LSM Newswire

Friday, October 30, 2009

Portland Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Special Guest Judd Nelson for "Great Stories to Tell" at Merrill Auditorium, November 8

PORTLAND, Maine For the first Sunday Classical concert of the 85th anniversary season, the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) welcomes celebrity guest narrator Judd Nelson for "Great Stories to Tell!" Led by Music Director Robert Moody, the matinee performance will also feature members of Portland Ballet Company. The concert takes place on Sunday, November 8 at 2:30 PM in Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street in Portland.

"Great Stories to Tell!" blends music, story-telling, dance and colorful costumes to appeal to all the senses. The concert begins with Respghi's Ancient Airs and Dances (Suite No. 1), composed in 1917 and based on themes of Renaissance-era lute music, followed by selections from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream Op. 61, written to accompany the Shakespearean romantic comedy.

The centerpiece of the program is Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat ("A Soldier's Tale") a 1918 theatrical work "to be read, played, and danced" ("lue, joue et danse"). L'histoire du Soldat is a parable based on a Russian folk tale about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy. The music is witty and acerbic, and includes elements of ragtime, early jazz, and tango. Dancers from Portland Ballet Company portray the Soldier, the Devil, and the Princess, while Nelson narrates, all accompanied by a virtuoso ensemble of select PSO players.

Judd Nelson, best known for his roles as John Bender in The Breakfast Club, Alec Newbary in St. Elmo's Fire and Jack Richmond in Suddenly Susan, is a native of Portland, and returns to the city to narrate this exciting performance. Nelson's father Leonard is a past Board President of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

Sponsored by Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine, "Great Stories to Tell!" will take place at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, at 2:30 PM on November 8. Tickets range from $20-$70 and are available through PortTix at (207) 842-0800 or www.porttix.com. Phone and internet orders are subject to $6-per-ticket handling fees. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office at 20 Myrtle St., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 PM.

A Concert Conversation with Dr. Scott Harris, Director of the USM School of Music, takes place at 1:15 PM in the Rehearsal Hall, and a Post Concert Q&A will be held onstage with the artists immediately following the performance. Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine will be providing free health screenings in the auditorium lobby. A live recorded broadcast of the concert can be heard on Maine Public Broadcasting Network on Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

The PSO's 2009-10 season is sponsored by IDEXX Laboratories. For complete season information, including artist biographies; program notes; and Online Insights, provided with support from season Enrichment Sponsor Fairpoint Communications; visit www.portlandsymphony.com.

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