19 Aug 2014
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Amahl & Peter: A Family Affair, a spectacular family-oriented joint concert on Sunday, January 12, 2014, 3 PM at the historic Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, will be staged... in a wonderful collaboration with the Klein Memorial Auditorium Foundation that brings together the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony under the baton of Christopher Hisey. GBYO will perform Amahl and the Night Visitors, featuring renowned opera singers Richard Owen III (boy soprano), Christina Holms (soprano), William Hall (tenor), Edward Pleasant (baritone), and Brad Walker (bass-baritone), along with members of the Fairfield County Children's Choir, in the first act. In the second act, GBS will present Peter and the Wolf narrated by veteran actor Stephen Stout, director of theatre at Greens Farms Academy. Finally, GBS and GBYO will perform a side-by-side of Bizet’s Farandole from L’Arlesienne #2. This memorable concert will be the first time in decades that GBS and GBYO will perform on the same stage. All proceeds will benefit GBS, GBYO and the Klein Memorial Auditorium Foundation, three of the Bridgeport region’s cultural cornerstones.

Dr. Orin Grossman, Fairfield University Professor Emeritus and Gershwin specialist, will provide a family-friendly talk about the program music, beginning at 2:15. Amahl is a one-act opera, in English, written by Giancarlo Menotti in 1951, which tells the story of the visit of the Three Kings to Bethlehem. Peter and the Wolf is a classic musical tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev. Georges Bizet’s Farandole is the basis for the familiar Christmas classic This Great Day.

“This concert is ideal family entertainment: cultural, educational, and fun,” says Jim O’Donnell, President of the Klein Memorial Auditorium Foundation. “It’s a great way of introducing the young, and young at heart, to the wonderful way that music can be used to tell a story”. He adds that this is a marvelous gift opportunity, coming right after the holidays – reasonably priced, family centered entertainment that benefits three local charitable organizations.

Since 1940, GBS has provided great music at the Klein to a wide regional audience. GBYO, founded in 1961, was originally an offshoot of GBS, established to encourage and nurture young musicians in symphonic music. The two organizations became independent in 1991. GBS is currently showcasing five potential successors to long-time conductor Gustav Meier, who retired last spring after 41 seasons. GBYO has grown to include six developmentally-sequential ensembles, serving over 250 students this year, 5th- to 12th-graders from nearly 30 area towns.

“We chose the name A Family Affair because it truly is just that,” says former GBYO President Mark R. Halstead. “It’s an event the whole family can enjoy, and more: it’s a family reunion of GBYO with the organization that gave it life 52 years ago. This is a unique opportunity for the kids to perform with professional musicians and singers. Quite a few GBS musicians are teachers of GBYO students, and they will now share the stage at the Klein.”

Tickets are priced at $15, $25, $35 and $45,available through www.gbs.org, or by calling the GBS box office at (203)576-0263.

Snow date February 2, 2014.

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