Special to the Journal
Albany, GA – The Albany Symphony Orchestra will hold its final concert of the season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 at the Albany Municipal Auditorium with a spotlight honoring Theater Albany.
The concert, titled “Mavericks of the Theater,” will feature popular opera and cinema music and Theater Albany actors performing Tom Stoppard’s stage play, “Every Good Boy Deserves Favor” with music by Andre Previn. The symphony will pay tribute to Theater Albany during this piece. Other scores will be Bizet’s Suite 1 from the opera, Carmen; Jones/Edelman’s film, “The Last of the Mohicans” and Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld.”
The concert will be led by guest conductor Steven Byess whose extraordinarily varied career takes him not only to the stages of symphony orchestras and opera companies, but also to the stages of Broadway, jazz and television. A dynamic conductor, he has been hailed by critics as “masterful and brilliant,” “creating the epitome of instrumental elegance” and as a “talented interpreter, able to capture the sweep of a piece without neglecting detail.” “Steven Byess was the Symphony’s conductor for the Carnegie Hall Link Up concert that we did for area school children in March, and we are fortunate to have him back for this final concert of the season” said outgoing Director, Karen Allen.”
Byess is the Music Director of the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras; Associate Music Director of the Ohio Light Orchestra and was formerly the Cover Conductor for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
First performed in 1977, the play criticizes the Soviet practice of treating political dissidence as a form of mental illness. Its title derives from the popular mnemonic used by music students to remember the notes on the lines of the treble clef (E-G-B-D-F). The cast comprises six actors, but also a full orchestra, which not only provides music throughout the play but also forms an essential part of the action. Acting and music are inseparably combined in this work, which concerns two inmates of a Soviet mental hospital: one a sane political dissident, the other a man whose fantasy is possessing a symphony orchestra. They both report regularly to a doctor, who is himself a member of an orchestra and who steps down from time to time to join the imaginary orchestra – clearly visible to the audience – which surrounds the inmates’ cell. The play blends fantasy and reality throughout.
Concert tickets range from $8-38 and may be purchased online at www.albanysymphony.org , by phone prior to the concert or that night at the Box Office.
Attendees are welcomed to join Byess before the concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Auditorium for Conversations with the Conductor. The Conductor’s Circle reception, a time for guests to mingle with the conductor and performers, will be held at the Albany Area Arts Council immediately following the concert. Tickets are $15 and include wine and hors d’oeuvres.
The Auditorium is located at 200 N. Jackson St. in Albany.
For more information about the Albany Symphony Orchestra, including tickets, concerts and donation opportunities, visit www.albany symphony.org or call (229) 430-8933.