MAHLER’S SECOND SYMPHONY, STRAVINSKY’S PERSEPHONE WITH SETS AND COSTUMES BY MICHAEL CURRY, UKULELE PHENOM JAKE SHIMABUKURO, AND DISNEY IN CONCERT CONCLUDE RECORD-BREAKING OREGON SYMPHONY SEASON

April 12, 2017

(PORTLAND, Ore.) The Oregon Symphony winds up its 120th season with a concert lineup sure to amaze and delight audiences of all ages and tastes. The final SoundSights concert features Stravinsky’s ballet Persephone, with puppets and sets by world-renowned designer Michael Curry, and the final Classical Series concert presents Gustav Mahler’s epic Second Symphony, featuring expanded orchestra, vocal soloists, and three of Portland State University’s finest choirs. Also on tap: an evening of Disney’s finest film music, performed live with clips from several smash animated movies, and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro brings his iconoclastic playing and musical style to the Symphony for an evening of hit covers and original compositions for ukulele and orchestra.

 

DISNEY IN CONCERT: A DREAM IS A WISH
FRIDAY, MAY 5

When and Where: May 5 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh

The Program: The magic of Disney comes to life once again in A Dream is a Wish, transporting audiences into the musical worlds of The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog, Pocahontas, and more. With original film footage, singers, and sweeping scores performed by the Oregon Symphony orchestra, audiences will discover that dreams really do come true! 

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The latest in a long line of box office smash symphony concerts from Disney, this evening will feature animated clips from beloved Disney films that focus on magical happenings.
  • “Disney in Concert” was created by Ted Ricketts, who brought to the task decades of experience as a music producer for The Walt Disney Company.
  • “The Disney animated films have a breadth of captivating music. Hearing music and songs from so many beloved film scores … shows the power and sensitivity behind these famous film songs, resulting in an extremely rewarding experience.” – talkinbroadway.com
  • This concert guarantees an unforgettable evening for the whole family.
  • Previous Disney concerts have quickly sold out; get your tickets now!

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Disney in Concert: disneyconcerts.com/iptitles/a-dream-is-a-wish/

Tickets: begin at $30 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (Monday–Saturday, 10 am–6 pm); by phone at 503-228-1353 (Monday–Friday, 10 am–9 pm; Saturday 10 am–6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

PERSEPHONE
SATURDAY, MAY 13
SUNDAY, MAY 14
MONDAY, MAY 15 

When and Where: May 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Portland State Chamber Choir; *Pacific Youth Choir, *Paul Groves, tenor, *Pauline Cheviller, narrator; *Michael Curry, designer & staging director

The Program:           

Tchaikovsky:             Symphony No. 2, Op. 17, “Little Russian”

*Stravinsky:               Perséphone

 

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The third and final “SoundSights” concert of the 2016/17 Season features Stravinsky’s rarely performed ballet Persephone, with puppets and set design by Michael Curry.
  • Curry, who is best known for the puppets he created for the Broadway smash hit The Lion King, has achieved an international reputation as a production designer specializing in transformational scenery, large-scale puppetry, costuming, and character design.
  • Curry collaborates regularly with the world’s foremost entertainment companies, such as The Walt Disney Company, Cirque du Soleil, the Olympic Committee, and the Metropolitan Opera, to create exhilarating performance experiences for global audiences.
  • Stravinsky created Persephone for dancer/actress Ida Rubinstein in 1934 as a ballet tableau, with Persephone speaking her lines and a solo tenor serving as narrator. The story, using texts by poet André Gide, is a retelling of the Greek myth in which Hades, god of the underworld, kidnaps Persephone, daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest and life cycles. Hades imprisons Persephone in the underworld, leaving earth frozen in perpetual winter.
  • American tenor Paul Groves is a rising international opera star who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, at La Scala in Milan, and with Lyric Opera Chicago, Vienna Staatsoper, and Opéra de Lyon, where Opera Today described his performance in Persephone as“splendid.”

 

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Paul Groves: opus3artists.com/artists/paul-groves
On Pauline Cheviller: agencesartistiques.com/Fiche-Artiste/271888-pauline-cheviller.html
On Michael Curry: michaelcurrydesign.com
On the Portland State Chamber Choir: psuchamberchoir.com
On the Pacific Youth Choir: pacificyouthchoir.org 

Tickets: begin at $23 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (Monday–Saturday, 10 am–6 pm); by phone at 503-228-1353 (Monday–Friday, 10 am–9 pm; Saturday 10 am–6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 2
SATURDAY, MAY 20
SUNDAY, MAY 21
MONDAY, MAY 22 

When and Where: May 20 at 7:30 pm, May 21 at 2 pm, and May 22 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Tamara Wilson, soprano; *Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano; *Portland State Chamber Choir; *Portland State Man Choir; *Vox Femina

The Program:         

*Mahler:                     Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”

 

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Mahler’s epic symphony, which requires an expanded brass section including ten horns, hasn’t been played by the Oregon Symphony for more than a decade.
  • The symphony combines orchestral, choral, and solo vocal resources in this expansive, stunning journey into Mahler’s unique sound world.
  • Soprano Tamara Wilson, “a plush, voluminous soprano . . . [and a] veritable force of nature” (Chicago Tribune), has garnered enthusiastic praise around the world: “A striking timbre all her own” (Opera News); “A voice of steely beauty and great power” (Houston Chronicle); “a voice of distinctive beauty and apparently effortless power” (The Opera Critic).
  • Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong has been hailed by The Guardian for her “contralto opulence with blazing top notes and some of the most staggering coloratura you will ever hear.” Chicago Classical Review writes, “DeShong was luminous, her burnished mezzo an aural splendor . . .” and EDGE San Francisco raves, “. . . DeShong sings like a vocal giant. Her lowest notes have body and depth; her mid-range is rich and compelling; and her highs are dispensed with a freedom that many a mezzo daily prays for.”
  • Portland State University’s award-winning, internationally acclaimed chamber choir, along with its Man Choir and Vox Femina, join the Symphony for the final movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony.

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Tamara Wilson: tamarawilsonsoprano.com
On Elizabeth DeShong: elizabethdeshong.com
On the Portland State Chamber Choir: psuchamberchoir.com
On the Man Choir: pdx.edu/music/ensembles#men-women
On Vox Femina: pdx.edu/music/ensembles#men-women

Tickets: begin at $23 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (Monday–Saturday, 10 am–6 pm); by phone at 503-228-1353 (Monday–Friday, 10 am–9 pm; Saturday 10 am–6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

JAKE SHIMABUKURO
TUESDAY, MAY 23

When and Where: May 23 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; *Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele

The Program: Ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro, who shot to international fame with his virtuosic covers of “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” joins the Oregon Symphony to perform his many fan favorites plus original works, including songs from his latest album, Nashville Sessions.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • YouTube star and ukulele prodigy Jake Shimabukuro joins the Oregon Symphony for an evening of favorite songs, plus Shimabukuro’s own compositions for ukulele and orchestra.
  • Shimabukuro gained world wide recognition in 2006 for his YouTube videos covering classics like George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, all performed with never-before-heard skill on his four-stringed, custom-made tenor ukulele.
  • Known for his fast and complex finger work, Shimabukuro also writes original compositions that feature his inimitable style and unusual sense of harmony.
  • Shimabukuro, who began playing ukulele at age four, “comes by his fame with buoyant musicianship and brisk proficiency.” – New York Times.
  • Shimabukuro has become a media star, making the late night television circuit with Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daly, and Conan O’Brien. He has also given TED Talks around the world and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and numerous other public radio programs.
  • In 2012, the Japanese documentary Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings was released in theatres and on PBS.

 

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Jake Shimabukuro: jakeshimabukuro.com/home/

Tickets: begin at $35 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (Monday–Saturday, 10 am–6 pm); by phone at 503-228-1353 (Monday–Friday, 10 am–9 pm; Saturday 10 am–6  pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

BEYOND THE SCHNITZ

Oregon Symphony Community Engagement Programs

The Oregon Symphony and its musicians are deeply involved in the community in places that stretch far beyond the confines of our concert hall. Here are a few of the things happening in that arena during the month of May.

 

Classical Up Close

The musicians of the Oregon Symphony have become known for their annual spree of free performances throughout the region. These performances, scheduled from April 22 to May 7, feature great performances in settings of all kinds, from sidewalks to libraries and churches. Post-performance Q & A sessions provide the opportunity to get to know musicians and what their lives are like. For a complete listing of performances, visit http://www.classicalupclose.org.

 

Thursday, May 4, 10:30 am–noon
Carnegie Hall Link Up Concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

5,400 students make their Oregon Symphony debut, playing and singing along with the orchestra in the Link Up concert “The Orchestra Rocks.” Students and teachers from four school districts have been getting ready for this concert all year long.

The students will sing along with “The Anvil Chorus” from Verdi’s opera  Il trovatore and Orff’s “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana. They will play recorder along with Holst’s “Mars” from The Planets and a Russian folk song, based on a theme from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 which the Oregon Symphony will perform. The audience is prepared to clap and stomp along with the driving beats of Stravinsky’s “Dance of the Adolescents” from The Rite of Spring andCabaniss’ “Drumlines,” featuring David Douglas High School’s drumline. 

 

Tuesday, May 23, 7–7:20 pm
Jake Shimabukuro Concert Prelude

Prior to Jake Shimabukuro’s 7:30 pm concert, 25 members of The Ridgeline Ukulele Extravaganza from Ridgeline Montessori School in Eugene will perform in the lobby to welcome the audience as they enter the concert hall. Their music teacher, Jon Labrousse, states “the students are preparing now to honor this amazing young musician and can’t wait to share their love of ukulele repertoire with him and his audience.”

 

Photos for media uses can be accessed at: orsymphony.org/newsroom/artists.aspx

Season subscriptions, including the popular Choose Your Own package and Gift Cards, are still available through the Symphony Ticket Office at 503-228-1353.

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