By RUTH FIRESTONE
Hays music lover
Mark your calendars now for the Hays Symphony’s season opener with new director Brian Buckstead at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, in Fort Hays State University’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
Three masterpieces are guaranteed to conjure rainbows, flowing rivers, colorful fandangos and/or any scenes and dreams you see with your eyes closed.
Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” (from the opera of the same name) is chock full of wonderful melodies that Rossini designed to evoke images of storms, peaceful herds of cattle, and fast-moving soldiers.
He intended this, his last opera, to be acclaimed as his greatest operatic achievement, but only the overture has ever gained popularity. Only the last few minutes are popular in the Unites States, and for reasons Rossini could never have foreseen: bound by our own culture, we react with visions of old cartoons, advertisements and, of course, the Lone Ranger.
Smetana’s “The Moldau” (in Czech “Vltava,” the river that flows through Prague) is one part of “Ma Vlast” (“My Homeland”), a six-part set of symphonic poems picturing various parts of what was then Bohemia, a state of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now the Czech Republic.
The piece draws musical pictures of the river’s ebb and flow as well as iconic scenes along its length and is Smetana’s most popular instrumental composition. His comic opera, “The Bartered Bride,” is probably his best-known work.
“The Three Cornered Hat,” Suites 1 and 2, by Manuel de Falla, concludes the concert with a number of colorful Spanish dances that tell the story of a miller, his wife, and a lecherous magistrate who wears a three-cornered hat. The music itself began life as accompaniment to a two-part pantomime but then was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev for the Ballet Russe. The orchestral suites are based on the ballet.
All Hays Symphony performances are free to the public, but audience members must have a ticket.
Tickets can be reserved online at www.hayssymphony.org or may be picked up at the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Hays Offices starting Monday, Sept. 16. Tickets can also be picked up in the Beach/Schmidt lobby after 7 p.m. on the evening of the concert.
Please check the Hays Symphony Facebook page for additional concert details, such as pre-concert talks and post-concert receptions.
This concert is sponsored by AutoWorld. The post-concert reception is sponsored by Werth Wealth Management.
Information will be available at the concert to join the Hays Symphony Guild.
Ruth Firestone is a supporter of music and theater in Hays.