The 45th season of the Bar Harbor Music Festival begins Friday with the return of Brass Venture for the eighth consecutive year. The season includes 12 performances, including recitals, chamber music, pops, new composers, opera, jazz and string orchestra concerts through July 31.

Highlights will include the 28th annual New Composers Concert on July 13; Rossini’s comic opera “The Barber of Seville” on July 15; The Wolverine Jazz Band on July 17 at the Jackson Laboratory Commons; and the Festival Gala featuring the Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra on July 31 at the Bar Harbor Club.

Boston-based Brass Venture begins the season at 8:15 p.m. Friday at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church with “Brass Gems,” a program featuring music written for brass quintet by Claudio Monteverdi, Brahms, J.S. Bach, Puccini, M. Arnold, Copland, Leonard Bernstein and John Philip Sousa.

Balance Rock Inn 1903 will host the festival’s Tea Concert at 4 p.m. July 3. Mezzo-soprano Fenlon Lamb and pianist Cara Chowning will present “Sexy Spaniards & Latin Lovers,” a collection of melodies by Granados, de Falla, Turina, Chabrier, Bizet and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

On July 8, pianist Christopher Johnson will pay tribute to Franz Liszt on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Johnson is returning for the 16th consecutive season. His recital program will include the world premiere of “Three Seascapes” by Edmund Cionek, the festival’s composer-in-residence, as well as Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Opus 67 in C minor. Curtain time is 8:15 p.m. at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church.

At 8:15 p.m. July 10, the festival’s annual pops concert, “Two to Tango,” will take place in the Great Room of the Bluenose Inn. Newlyweds Carrie Kahl and Jason Hardy will sing a diverse offering of musical theater, cabaret and pop tunes by Kurt Weill, Noel Coward, Flanders and Swan, Hoffman and Manning, Marvin Gaye and William Bolcom.

The New Composers Concert is set for 8:15 p.m. July 13 at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church and will feature clarinetist Maureen Hurd Hause and pianist Blair McMillen performing music by Evan Hause, William Bolcom, Alex North, Alan Shulman, Elliott Schwartz, Morton Gould and Francis Poulenc.

Schwartz, a composer, will moderate the New Composers Forum at 5:30 p.m. July 12 at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church.

The Bar Harbor Music Festival Opera Theatre will present Rossini’s comic opera masterpiece “The Barber of Seville” at 8:15 p.m. July 15 at Criterion Theatre in downtown Bar Harbor.

The Wolverine Jazz Band will return for Jazz Night at 8:15 p.m. July 17 at the Jackson Laboratory Commons.

At 8:15 p.m. July 22, Ukranian pianist Inesa Sinkevych will perform music by Haydn, Debussy, Albeniz and Brahms. At 8:15 p.m. July 24, pianist Christopher Johnson will join Sinkevych for a four-hand recital of music by Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Debussy and Rossini-Gottschalk. Both piano concerts will be at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church.

The Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra, conducted by Francis Fortier, will perform three concerts in the final week of the festival. Music by Mozart, Quantz, Enesco, Vaughn Williams and Josef Suk is programmed. Guest soloist will be flutist Jessica Hull-Dambaugh.

Performances are at 8 p.m. July 27 at Blackwoods Campground Amphitheatre in Otter Creek. Shuttle buses depart from the Jackson Laboratory parking lot on Route 3 for the amphitheatre every 10 minutes beginning at 6:45 p.m., returning during and after the concert.

The string orchestra also can be heard at 8:15 p.m. July 29 at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church and at 8:15 p.m. July 31 at the Bar Harbor Club.

Most tickets cost $25; $15 for students. The pops, jazz and gala concerts cost $38. Opera tickets are $30 to $80. For tickets and information, call 288-5744 or visit barharbor