Tucson Symphony closes season with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” | Arts and Theater
While the orchestra performs Mendelssohn’s incidental music for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, half a dozen student actors will perform scenes from Shakespeare’s famous play.
TSO music director José Luis Gomez said the students won’t be performing the entire piece, but the scenes will “give a good chunk of the entire piece.”
Mendelssohn composed his incidental music for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1842, a few years before his death. It was the composer’s second attempt at composing music for the play; in 1826, just as he was beginning his career, he composed an overture to the play, which was later included in incidental music.
Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” includes his famous “Wedding March,” which has invited brides down the aisle for nearly three centuries.
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Gomez said when he was initially planning the 2021-22 season, he envisioned singers accompanying the orchestra with the Mendelssohn, but shifted gears when it became clear the pandemic wasn’t stopping.
Instead, the orchestra decided to have actors perform on stages that matched the music.
“Who doesn’t want to play this great music? It’s one of Mendelssohn’s best compositions,” Gomez said last week from Chicago, where he was. guest conduct with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
Gomez associated the Mendelssohn with Schubert’s “Great” Symphony No. 9, which has a history with Mendelssohn. The German composer was the first to perform Schubert’s symphony in public a decade after Schubert’s death.
During his relatively short life – he died aged 31 – Schubert was best known for composing songs, largely because he could not afford to publish many of his orchestral works. After his death, Robert Schumann discovered a dusty manuscript of the Ninth Symphony and brought it to Mendelssohn.
“It’s music that’s up to us musicians to find and discover, and it’s no wonder we consider it one of his greatest,” Gomez said. “It’s a great symphony to end the season, and it’s fantastic.”
Under Gomez, the TSO aims to perform Schubert’s seven symphonies. So far they have performed its second and fourth as well as its eighth in B minor “Unfinished”.
This weekend’s performances at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 8 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10 cap off what Gomez said has been an exciting season.
“We came back after two years of silence, and that’s the most important thing that has made this season exciting,” he said. “The connection we’ve had with the audience and the connection with the community, we’re confident we’re going to continue to have for the next 94 years because the city wants it, the audience wants it and the musicians want it. This was a fantastic season of believing in who we are and what we want to do.
Performances this weekend will be at Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., and tickets cost between $17 and $83. ticketmaster.com
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Starburch