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Events for August 2017

About this Concert:

An evening of glittering music and dance from Broadway’s George Gershwin, whose own life was a rags-to-riches New York story worthy of a musical!

COPLAND
Appalachian Spring (complete ballet)

GERSHWIN
Who Cares?, A Gershwin Ballet

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Fun Facts:

  • Recently named music director at New York City Ballet, Andrew Litton is also a Gershwin specialist.
  • Gershwin grew up running in the streets of New York’s tenements and had zero interest in music as a boy.
  • Gershwin rejected the Romantic legato of his European contemporaries, saying, “the rhythms of American popular music should snap and at times cackle.”
  • “Who Cares?” is a song in the 1931 musical Of Thee I Sing, for which the 33-year-old Gershwin won the Pulitzer Prize. It is also a ballet that incorporates Gershwin’s incomparable Broadway songs.
  • Another composer and New York native, Aaron Copland, won a Pulitzer Prize for his ballet Appalachian Spring.
  • Copland influenced a whole generation of American composers including the future music director of the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein.
  • Minnesota Orchestra will be performing a newly-compiled version of Appalachian Spring that dates from 2016 and features the complete ballet music expanded for full orchestra from the original 13-player instrumentation. Please note: New York City Ballet will not be performing this work.

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About this Concert:

In his final celebratory performance as Sommerfest Artistic Director, Andrew Litton conducts Richard Strauss’ seductive and shocking opera as an unforgettable end to Sommerfest 2017.

R. STRAUSS
Salome

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Fun Facts:

  • Salome debuted in 1905 and was instantly notorious for two scenes, Salome’s Dance of the Seven Veils, and her unhinged love scene with John the Baptist’s severed head, leading censors in cities around the world to ban Salome for years.
  • Salome is based on the play by the Irishman Oscar Wilde, though Wilde wrote it in French and Strauss had it translated into German for his opera, and later made another version of the libretto back in French. This performance will be sung in German with English supertitles projected above the stage.
  • Patricia Racette came to the rescue at the Metropolitan Opera in December, stepping in at the last minute to sing the title role in Salome, and the Financial Times raved: “The evening belonged to Patricia Racette, who rose to the challenge with gutsy abandon…”
  • Salome is the opera Andrew Litton has long wanted to conduct as a Sommerfest finale.
  • What is an "opera in concert?" Even though it's not a fully-staged production, you can expect a few dramatic elements including theatrical lighting, stage direction, props and even a costume or two.
  • Celebrate closing night of Sommerfest! Join us in the lobby after the opera for a glass of complimentary champagne and a toast for Andrew Litton.

Please note: this performance is approximately 90 minutes and does not have an intermission.

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