Tuesday, April 5, 2016

For Rossini lovers in the southern Illinois area

Press release from our friends in Illinois:

The 2016 Southern Illinois Music Festival Presents:
Rossini’s Opera William Tell (in 1776)
Part I: June 7 and 10; Part II: June 8 and 11
All performances at 7:30pm at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center

The Southern Illinois Music Festival, now in its 12th season, will present Rossini's final opera, William Tell, sung in French with projected English supertitles, at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center June 7, 8, 10 and 11. This opera has only been produced in the United States in its entirety three times in the last century, so this is an historic event.

Most people know William Tell's famous overture (with its Lone Ranger theme), but the opera is full of beautiful arias, stirring ensembles and rousing choruses. This production is set in 1776, to coincide with Washington crossing the Delaware, on this 240th anniversary of our Independence, and also includes all the original ballet music. The entire opera is presented twice over two nights, June 7/8 and June 10/11. Separate admission is required each night.

Josh Shaw, Director of the Pacific Opera Project in Los Angeles, directs the production, which stars internationally recognized singers including Wes Mason, in the title role, and William Davenport, singing one of the most demanding Tenor roles in the repertoire. Other professional lead singers come from New York to Los Angeles and points in between, along with a 40 voice chorus, 20 member ballet company, and the fabulous Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra, under the musical direction of Edward Benyas.

The Festival Orchestra will also perform a grand orchestral program of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, including the “Eroica” Symphony and the Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, featuring violinist, Michael Barta and cellist, Eric Lenz. The Festival will also present music by Mozart from 1776, including his three great violin concerti, the concerto for three pianos, the Serenata Notturno and the “Paris” Symphony. Mark your calendars for May 31 through June 12, 2016.

The Southern Illinois Music Festival presents three-dozen professional performances of classical music and jazz in two dozen venues throughout Southern Illinois each June. The Festival has been nationally recognized in Symphony magazine, the premiere publication for American orchestras; by the Chicago Tribune Travel section as one of 24 top summer activities (musical and otherwise) in an eight-state region; and by AAA Midwest magazine as a Midwest Travel Treasure.

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