Haydn's "Creation" Re-Envisioned



Posted: 08 Nov 2017 08:39 AM PST

These BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts are part of the orchestra’s Music for the Spirit series
 PITTSBURGH — Opera and theater director Sam Helfrich joins Music Director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh for the third in a series of collaborations bringing to life great musical masterpieces through a provocative and modern-day lens.  Following staged interpretations of Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s St. John Passion, Helfrich returns this season to illuminate the “six most famous days in all of history” with a theatrical/symphonic presentation of Haydn’s beloved The Creation, December 1 & 3, 2017 at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. Tickets and information can be found online at pittsburghsymphony.org, or by calling (412) 392-4900.
Presented in three acts, Helfrich’s Creation offers a unique twist on the biblical “Creation Story.” The first two acts take place in a schoolroom, where the teacher, Uriel (tenor Werner Gura), begins a lesson about creation, based on Christian religious imagery. Then the students Gabriel (soprano Rachele Gilmore) and Raphael (bass Alexander Elliott) present visual reports on their understanding of creation. Act III is a story about first love. Raphael and Gabriel, now teenagers, sit shyly, getting to know each other, as if at a high school dance. As Uriel, still the teacher, observes from a distance, we are finally led to understand that this is the lesson about creation that he’s been teaching us all along: a celebration of life and love given to us from above.
Throughout the performance, the Heinz Hall stage will be illuminated with video and visual imagery designed by cinematographer Greg Emetaz. Audiences can expect to see abstract photography, scenes of nature and industry, and film footage that reference and enhance the music.
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On November 27, 2017 at 8:00 p.m., PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck and Director Sam Helfrich will explore the creative intersection of music, art, and spoken word in PSO @ City of Asylum: “Reimagining Creation,” at Alphabet City (40 W. North Ave) on Pittsburgh’s Northside. Tickets are free, but reservations are required.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the City of Asylum, has created a series of five events in the 2017-18 season that will employ and reflect the expertise and experiences of the artists of these two innovative groups. Themes and content have been jointly created to incorporate composers, musicians, poets, writers, and artists from Pittsburgh and around the globe. Each session ties into a theme on a Pittsburgh Symphony BNY Mellon Grand Classical performance and attendees will receive discounts to these concerts.
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