Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011-2012 Phoenix Symphony Schedule-Press Release


N E W S   R E L E A S E

Arizona Five Arts Circle is proud to support The Phoenix Symphony.  They have just released their 2011-2012 Schedule!

April 13, 2011                                                                                                                                   Media Contact:
Jacquelyn Williams
602-495-1117 ext. 423

The Phoenix Symphony Launches its 2011/12 Season

Guest conductors, stellar soloists, and much more!

            PHOENIX – The Phoenix Symphony and Virginia G. Piper Music Director Michael Christie announce an extraordinary and electrifying 2011/12 Season. The season kicks off in grand style September 15 & 17 at Symphony Hall with one of the greatest musical compositions ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Also featured will be Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man as we observe and pay tribute to those whose lives were forever changed ten years ago on September 11, 2001.
            "Arizonans are in for a musical feast of delights this season and I can't think of a better way to start off the season than with the selections we have made," said Michael Christie, "Throughout the season we'll be offering performances from a wide variety of composers and unbelievably talented soloists.  No one in our audience will go home unsatisfied."
            The season is comprised of Classics, Pops, Family and Scottsdale Series featuring the works of Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin to name a few. Guest soloists include Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Olga Kern, internationally renowned cellist Zuill Bailey, and dazzling Broadway soloists.
            "We are proud to be one of the few full time symphonies in the country to be able to offer a season of such musical variety and virtuosity," said Jim Ward, Interim President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony. "There has never been a greater time to sample the extraordinary talent of The Phoenix Symphony than with this season which has so many great concerts on the program."

US Airways Classics Series       
            The 2011/12 US Airways Classics Series features fan favorites, festivals, and world-renowned guest soloists performing the greatest classical compositions of all time. Season highlights include the sounds of The Arabian Nights with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, and Mussorgsky’s most famous composition Pictures at an Exhibition. Hailed as the greatest violinist of her generation, 22-year-old Chloe Hanslip will join The Phoenix Symphony to perform one of the defining pieces of the violin repertoire, Korngold’s Violin Concerto. Destined to be an unforgettable component to this season is the two-week Rachmaninoff Festival featuring Van Cliburn Piano Competition winner Olga Kern. The young Russian superstar will amaze the audience as she plays all four piano concertos and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The Phoenix Symphony will also celebrate Arizona’s centennial with Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite featuring a photographic multimedia event with a commission from photographer James Westwater.

APS Pops Series
            The APS Pops Series begins September 30 & October 1 at Symphony Hall as The Phoenix Symphony participates in the first bi-annual Celebración Artística de las Américas celebrating the vibrant musical offerings of our regional Latino community. The rock and roll side of Broadway comes to The Phoenix Symphony as three Broadway soloists perform hits from award-winning shows like Wicked, Jersey Boys, Hairspray, Rent, Dream Girls and Mamma Mia. The legendary sounds of Motown will also be heard this season with hits by the Jackson 5, the Supremes, and more. Back by popular demand will be Cirque de la Symphonie, this time featuring thrilling aerial acts performing alongside The Phoenix Symphony. Pops favorites like Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and the traditional Holiday Pops are also included in this exciting season.
Family Series
            The 2011/12 Family Series is sure to delight children and adults alike. Assistant Conductor Joseph Young will lead the orchestra for all five Family Series concerts. “Our rich variety of family offerings this season will entertain and educate all ages,” said Joseph Young.  “If you want a memorable experience that is different from a typical family outing, head to Symphony Hall for something original and unique.” The series will begin December 3 with the traditional holiday season favorites. The educational entertainment continues for the young and young at heart with Beethoven Lives Upstairs, the story of a boy with an interesting neighbor, none other than, Ludwig van Beethoven. The tales of Dr. Seuss will come alive through music performed live by The Phoenix Symphony accompanied by engaging narration. Family Series concerts provide learning elements through the fun of music and many familiar childhood fables like Goldilocks and The Three Bears, The Tortoise and The Hare, and The Fox and The Crow.

Scottsdale Series
            The Phoenix Symphony will continue its Scottsdale Series with five performances held at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts. The Scottsdale Series concerts and dates will be announced at a later date.  

2011/12 Series Tickets
Season tickets to the 2011/12 Season are now on sale, with a variety of packages offered for the Classics, Pops, Family and Favorites Series. Packages provide subscribers with savings of up to 30% off ticket prices to the general public. Only subscribers enjoy exclusive benefits such as flexible ticket exchanges, pre-sales, and special offers. Package prices start at $58 and can be purchased by calling the Phoenix Symphony Box Office Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm at 602-495-1999 or visiting  

2011/12 Season Calendar

US Airways Classics Series
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
September 15 & 17 at Symphony Hall

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21
September 22 & 24 at Symphony Hall

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
November 17-19 at Symphony Hall

Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony
November 25 & 26 at Symphony Hall

Dvořák: Cello Concerto
January 12-14 at Symphony Hall

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
January 19-21 at Symphony Hall

Centennial Celebration! Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite
February 16 & 18 at Symphony Hall

Brian Mulligan Performs Puccini & Mahler
March 1 & 3 at Symphony Hall

Elgar: Enigma Variations
March 22 & 24 at Symphony Hall

Christie Conducts Scheherazade
March 29-31 at Symphony Hall

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
April 19-21 at Symphony Hall

Rachmaninoff Festival Week 1
May 3-5 at Symphony Hall

Rachmaninoff Festival Week 2
May 10-12 at Symphony Hall

Rodrigo: Concierto De Aranjuez
May 17-19 at Symphony Hall

APS Pops Series
The Phoenix Symphony Celebrates the CALA Festival
September 30- October 1 at Symphony Hall

Holiday Pops
December 2- 4 at Symphony Hall

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
January 6-8 at Symphony Hall

Fiddler on the Roof
February 3 & 4 at Symphony Hall

Broadway ROCKS!
February 24-26 at Symphony Hall

Motown’s Greatest Hits
March 16-18 at Symphony Hall

The Rat Pack!
April 27-29 at Symphony Hall

High Flying! Cirque de la Symphonie
May 25-27 at Symphony Hall

Family Series
Holiday Celebration
December 3 at Symphony Hall

Beethoven Lives Upstairs
January 7 at Symphony Hall

Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham
March 17 at Symphony Hall

Musical Fables
April 28 at Symphony Hall

High Flying! Cirque de la Symphonie
May 26 at Symphony Hall

For more information about The Phoenix Symphony visit

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Understudies Do Nowadays

Color silkscreen poster for a Federal Theatre ...Image via WikipediaThis is an article about Arizona Opera understudies and how they spend their time while waiting to perform on the main stage with the Arizona Opera:

Arizona State University’s LYRIC OPERA THEATRE is pleased to present a new production of the Engelbert Humperdinck’s delightful fairy tale opera HANSEL AND GRETEL (sung in English), which will be performed on March 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 pm and March 6 at 2:00 pm in the Evelyn Smith Theatre in the ASU School of Music. Based on the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, the opera is a charming confection of tuneful melodies, spiced with suspense and humor when the children Hansel and Gretel fall in the clutches of the Wicked Witch! For over a century, audiences have fallen under the spell of this magical work, which has been called “the perfect introduction to opera for children of all ages.”

Featured in this all-student cast are several participants in the new Arizona Opera STUDY COVER PROGRAM, in which ASU students have been engaged to learn and cover roles for Arizona Opera’s mainstage season. This year’s Study Cover participants include: Robyn Rocklein (Hansel), Christina Rivera (Gretel), Christine White (Witch), Suzanne Rovani (Mother) who were Study Covers in Arizona Opera’s production of Carmen, and Rachel Hastings (Dew Fairy) who was a Study Cover in The Pirates of Penzance.

To purchase tickets ($8 - $23) by phone, please call the ASU Herberger Box Office at 480.965.6447 or online:

The non-profit arts patrons organization, Arizona Five Arts Circle is a proud sponsor of the 5 major arts organizations in the Phoenix metropolitan area....including Arizona Opera!
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Life as a Costume Manager

This is a story about a day in the life of Corinna Bohren, the Costume Manager for Arizona Opera...........

The costume shop is always a busy hive of activity!

On any given day AZO has as many as ten people (wigs, milliners, drapers, stitchers, crafters) preparing the singers to look their part on stage.  Most of our costumes are rented from other opera companies, which gives us the challenge of taking someone else’s design and fitting it to our singers and sets.

An average day during a show run will find me in the office at 7:30 a.m preparing paperwork and anticipating the needs of the next production and season.  By 12:00 p.m., I am in the theatre with my assistant ironing and steaming all of the garments you see on stage (usually upwards of 200 pieces) and laundering all of the skins (costume lingo for undershirts).   By 5:00 p.m. my crew arrives and they check their dressing rooms, distribute shirts, socks and any other laundered items.

We buzz around helping with zippers, calming nerves, soothing illness, checking that everything is being worn correctly and setting up any quick changes that will occur during the production.

After the show is done for the night, we pick up the laundry from each room, tidy the spaces and review how the show went. 10:30 p.m. usually finds the staff gone and by 11:00 p.m., I have done a final check, started the laundry and am saying goodnight to the security guard . . . all in preparation to come back the next morning and do it again!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happiness Rules at Ballet Arizona!

WHAT: Don Quixote
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 10, 7PM
     Friday, Feb. 11, 8PM
     Saturday, Feb. 12, 2 pm and 8 pm
     Sunday, Feb. 13, 2 pm

Ballet Arizona’s first offering of the New Year Don Quixote, may just be the perfect ballet for everyone—even people who don’t know anything about ballet. Perfect for Valentine’s weekend is the story of a retired gentleman who spins into the realm of fantasy after reading too many tales of chivalry. Convinced he is a knight, Don Quixote, along with his sidekick Sancho Panza, embarks on a journey of adventure that also includes a love story. The object of Don Quixote’s affection is a young woman named Kitri, who is in love with a poor barber. But Kitri’s father wishes her to marry a nobleman named Gamache. And so a lover’s quadrangle is formed…

Ballet Arizona’s production of Don Quixote is upbeat, delightful, and full of passionate dancing. Here is a love story without an accompanying tragedy. No curses, spells or dying swans. The ballet puts aside the satire and darker social commentary to make room for good-natured fun and energetic dancing. From the bravura dancing of the fiery matadors to the colorful caravan of gypsies, the stage explodes with one show-stopping dance after another.

Don Quixote is accompanied by The Phoenix Symphony playing the score by Ludwig Minkus. The music is lively and full of expressive melodies perfect for this festive romantic comedy and Valentine treat of a Ballet!

Tickets are available for $17 - $121. Discounts are offered for seniors, students, children and groups. Call (602) 381-1096 or online at

Members and corporate partners of the Arizona 5 Arts Circle will be attending this wonderful performance and loving every minute of it!
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New and Exciting Direction for the Private Conversations Blog

Taken from public performance. Jan, 13th 2007 ...Image via WikipediaStarting next week, the Private Conversations blog is taking a new and interesting direction......

First, imagine that you love symphony music and wonder what it would be like for the conductor five minutes before he/she takes the stage for a performance.  Next thing you know, you are standing in a hidden corner of a symphony hall and you just happen to overhear the Maestro talking to a friend as he's walking up to the stage.......and you can hear every word!

Well, that's exactly what we plan to have happen on this site.  Interesting people talking about interesting topics that you would not necessarily get to hear....unless you were eavesdropping on them!  Guests from all walks of life will share some of their private conversations on the subjects that are near and dear to their hearts.

Hope you like it!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama and Jindal Talk Like Second-Graders

I so sick and tired of all the political news, I am about to scream. Everything about last night's speech and rebuttal was hilarious. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was a second-grader, because that was where they were directed.

First, we hear all day from television commentators exactly what President Obama would be saying even down to how he was going to say it. To myself, I was laughing; Obama will do better than that, I thought. Then he swaggers out to the podium like an actor might do on a Saturday Night Live skit. I am already in stitches. Then, the President proceeds to say his speech exactly the way the TV commentators said he would.


And what's wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her persona has got to be one of the most annoying I have ever seen. Did someone put a gooser on the seat of her chair? All she needed was a pair of pom poms. I started to throw up once watching her jump up to clap and cheer, but I held it in so it wouldn't land on my suit and end up looking like...Nancy Pelosi's suit!

Finally, the fluffy, cheerleady speech had come to an end. Next, it was the Republicans turn with their rebuttal. Charles Gibson tells us that it's not really a rebuttal but a prepared speech Jindal had written earlier. To myself, I was laughing; Jindal will do better than that, I thought. But no, Jindal starts giving a speech that seems totally disconnected to Obama's speech and I am seriously pissed off now. As he goes on and on I am reminded of a Indian Mickey Mouse. Is this the best we can do? What little I do know of this guy, he's smart and a good fiscal conservative. So why is his speech so lame?

Well, I am speaking for at least some of the Americans when I say, "We are not going to take this crap anymore"! The very least, there should be two versions of speeches: one for people who like second-grade material in their speeches and one for those of us who know what's going on, understand the complexities of a massive stimulus package and appreciate words that have more than one syllable!