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We celebrate the music of one of the most acclaimed American composers and conductors, Leonard Bernstein, in a program that includes music from Candide, On the Town and West Side Story.

Stick around the main lobby following the concert and enjoy a drink and live entertainment from local 80s cover band MIXTAPE.

Ticket Information

Reserved seating, all tickets $29

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Candide: Overture 

“Somewhere” (West Side Story

On The Town: Three Dance Episodes

BERNSTEIN (Arr Don Walker)
“I Can Cook Too” (On the Town)

Facsimile, Choreographic Essay for Orchestra

“Glitter and Be Gay” (Candide)

BERNSTEIN (Arr Maurice Peress) 
Overture to West Side Story

Program subject to change.
There is no intermission at this performance.


Program Notes

All music by Leonard Bernstein
(b. Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1918 / d. New York, 1990)

By the standards of what describes a successful Broadway show, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide might be looked at as a disappointment. The original production ran for three months and a day beginning in late 1956. Not much for a musical – but as an opera (and this show definitely straddles the two genres), it’s pretty incredible. The sparkling overture has become a staple of the modern orchestral repertoire from its first performance. It is also an extremely challenging work, with rapid, almost non-stop changes in metre and pace, and with excerpts from a number of the work’s melodies, most notably the sparkling coloratura aria “Glitter and be gay.”

We can be forgiven for remembering the many marvelous melodies from Leonard Bernstein’s incredible score for West Side Story – including the touching “Somewhere.” But it’s important to remember that the lyrics to these great songs gave legendary Broadway icon Steven Sondheim his first major credit in a musical. West Side Story, of course, transplants Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to contemporary New York, and rival street gangs. In “Somewhere,” Tony (a member of the white gang the Jets) and Maria (from the adjacent Latino neighbourhood, home of the Sharks) sing of an idyllic life that can never be for them.

Here is what Bill Eddins had to say about On the Town: “1943 saw the beginning of the career of young Leonard Bernstein. (That’s when) he made his now famous last-minute conducting debut, and he also wrote the ballet Fancy Free for Jerome Robbins. Oliver Smith, set designer for the ballet, suggested that the plot be expanded into a full-length show. In the fall of 1944, Bernstein, Robbins, and writers Betty Comden and Adolphe Green presented their very first show together – On the Town. It was an instant smash. The plot is simple – three sailors on leave in New York for 24 hours. The genius of Bernstein is immediately self-evident – the sophistication of the music is unlike anything else from that period of Broadway…The Three Dance Episodes from On the Town are miniature reflections of the star of the musical – New York City.”

“I Can Cook Too” is a song from On the Town. The show opened while World War Two was still being waged (December 1944), and its lighthearted tone was a tonic for the times. Tonght’s concert arrangement was done by Don Walker.

Following the 1944 success of Fancy Free, the first collaboration between composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins, came Facsimile in 1946 – an altogether more introspective and melancholy work than the first. The simple story told in the ballet is that of a woman, whom we meet on a beach. She is bored, until a pas de deux (“flirtation and disappointment”) with a suitor, followed by a pas de trois (“amusing games”) involving the first man and another, ending with her cry of “Stop!” The coda is the woman, once again alone. The original program note for the 1946 premiere contained an elusive moral to the scene: “Small inward treasure does he possess who, to feel alive, needs every hour the tumult of the street, the emotion of the Theatre, and the small talk of society.”

A highlight of the Bernstein’s take on Voltaire’s Candide (see above) is “Glitter and be gay,” an effervescent aria for coloratura soprano. Coloratura refers to a vocal technique that is deliberately virtuosic, featuring leaps and wide runs, and demanding extraordinary vocal agility.

We conclude tonight with an overture arranged for Leonard Bernstein’s brilliant musical that transplanted the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the tenements of New York. West Side Story (see above) opened in 1957, and has seen several revivals since. The original overture that Bernstein wrote did not actually quote from the many familiar tunes from the musical. The overture we will hear tonight features excerpts from “Tonight,” “Somewhere,” and “Mambo,” in an arrangement by Maurice Peress.

Program notes © 2014 by D.T. Baker

Artist Info

William Eddins, conductor

william eddins conductorNow in his ninth season as Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, William Eddins has a captivating energy, a magnetic stage presence, and an adventurous musical curiosity that continues to propel the orchestra to unique, new and exciting achievements. His commitment to the entire spectrum of the ESO audience brings him to the podium for performances in every subscription series, as well as for a wide variety of galas and specials.

A distinguished and versatile pianist, Bill was bitten by the conducting bug while in his sophomore year at the Eastman School of Music. In 1989, he began conducting studies at the University of Southern California with Daniel Lewis, and Assistant Conductorships with both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony (the latter under the leadership of Daniel Barenboim) followed.

Bill has many non-musical hobbies including cooking, eating, discussing food and planning dinner parties. He is also quite fond of biking, tennis, reading and pinball. He recently complete building a state-of-the-art recording studio at his home in Minneapolis, where he lives with his wife Jen (a clarinetist), and their sons Raef and Riley.

While conducting has been his principal pursuit, he continues to perform as pianist, organist and harpsichordist. He has conducted the ESO from the keyboard on many occasions, and in 2007, joined then-ESO concertmaster Martin Riseley and cellist Yo-Yo Ma in Brahms' Piano Trio No. 1 at a gala concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Winspear Centre. In 2008, he conducted Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess for Opéra de Lyon, leading to repeat performances in Lyon, London and at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2010. Other international highlights include a 2009 tour of South Africa, where Bill conducted three gala concerts with soprano Renée Fleming and the kwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. On May 8, 2012, Bill made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the ESO at a memorable concert featuring four Canadian soloists, and music by three Canadian composers alongside Martin?'s rarely-performed Symphony No. 1.

Mela Dailey, soprano

mela dailey sopranoAs the winner of competitions sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs, Metropolitan Opera, New York University, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Downbeat magazine, and Connecticut Opera Guild, and finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Mid-South Region, American Traditions Competition, International Opera Singer Competition, and Career Bridges Grant Awards with the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, Inc., Mela Dailey has command of both her instrument and the stage. Ms. Dailey has received recognition in a wide variety of musical genres including opera, oratorio, art song, musical theatre, vocal jazz, gospel, country, and popular music. Ms. Dailey made her professional debut at Carnegie Hall in 2003 with the Grammy nominated Conspirare Company of Voices directed by Craig Hella Johnson. She has been a recipient of the New York University Talent Scholarship for achievement in musical theatre, a winner of the Second Annual University of Texas Opera Gala Aria Competition, and was selected as a New Young Artist with the Victoria Bach Festival.

In the fall of 2011, Ms. Dailey performed and recorded a Samuel Barber choral program with Conspirare for Harmonia Mundi. 2012 begins with a Conspirare Mid-Western Tour, solo debut with the Spokane Symphony, a Florida chamber music tour, and solos in Debussy's La damoiselle élue and Poulenc's Gloria in a return to the Georgetown Festival. Previous operatic performances include the roles of Ines in Il Trovatore, Countess Ceprano (and covering Gilda) in Rigoletto, and Ida (also covering Adele) in Die Fledermaus with Austin Lyric Opera, Adina in L'Élisir d'amore and Musetta in La Bohème with the Opera Company of Brooklyn, the title role of Semele at the Staunton Music Festival (VA), and Frasquita in Carmen with the Amarillo Opera. With the Austin Symphony, she sang the role of Sophie in the Act III Trio and Finale from Der Rosenkavalier. She has also appeared in concert with the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra of Klagenfurt, Austria and was Artist-in-Residence with the Amarillo Opera.


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