This weekend, the Steamboat Symphony is set to enchant the community with its spring concert, titled “Wonder of the Wild,” a meticulously curated program that pays homage to the captivating allure and intrinsic splendor of nature.
The captivating performances will commence promptly at 7 p.m. on both Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at the esteemed Strings Pavilion. Tickets for this exceptional event are available in a range of prices, spanning from $10 to $75.
The inaugural segment of the concert will unveil a masterpiece entitled “Wolf Song,” a creation born from the artistic genius of orchestra conductor Ernest Richardson, with evocative lyrics penned by none other than Dagny McKinley, the executive director of the Colorado New Plays Festival. This collaboration marked a unique endeavor for McKinley, who ventured into the realm of symphonic lyricism, guided by the experienced hand of Richardson.
Reflecting on their partnership, McKinley praised Richardson’s remarkable ability to transform narratives into enchanting musical compositions. “He possessed an uncanny knack for weaving tales into melodious verses,” McKinley mused.
The concert itself is ingeniously divided into two distinct halves, each encompassing three distinctive sections. The orchestral performance gracefully commences with an homage to the timeless cinematic classic, “Dances with Wolves,” a selection that Richardson deemed a perfect prelude to the overarching theme of the concert.
“Even for those unacquainted with the film, the music will transport you to a realm of breathtaking landscapes and the ethereal beauty of nature,” Richardson affirmed.
The program then transitions gracefully into the entrancing melodies of the renowned French composer Claude Debussy, where the graceful presence of Greek deer takes center stage.
“It’s an incredibly atmospheric and sensual musical experience, evoking a sense of pastoral beauty that is truly mesmerizing,” Richardson elucidated.
The culmination of the first half unfolds with the captivating “Wolf Song,” a narrative that chronicles the life of a woman residing in the Yampa Valley. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she encounters a pack of wolves while tending to her home, all while her husband embarks on a fateful journey to fight in the Civil War.
“Wolf Song” explores profound themes of love, freedom, the choices we make, the losses we endure, and our resolute response to these challenges, as McKinley elaborated.
For a considerable duration, McKinley harbored the desire to craft a story that delicately addressed the contentious issue of wolf reintroduction, artfully balancing the perspectives that surround this complex topic.
The lyrical rendition of “Wolf Song” weaves a tapestry of spoken prose and soaring, melodic vocals, harmoniously intertwined with the orchestra’s majestic performance, all set against a visually captivating backdrop that Richardson aptly describes as a “multimedia adventure.”
The vocal talents of Tara Cowherd, the orchestra’s artistic director, will breathe life into “Wolf Song,” while Thea Wigglesworth, operations manager of Opera Steamboat, will masterfully direct this captivating opus.
The second half of this symphonic journey commences with a timeless melody from “The Lion King,” a selection that Richardson believes resonates with virtually every audience member. Speaking of the music, Richardson noted its haunting and enduring appeal, a testament to the timeless beauty of the songs from “The Lion King.”