As the curtain raised for Ballet West’s Serenade, the first sound I heard was my own; I caught my breath. And I wasn’t the only one; In unison, the audience inhaled a silent ‘ahh’, which was immediately followed by applause. The combination of Maestro Terence Kern and the Utah Chamber Orchestra’s Serenade for Strings (Tchaikovsky) and the ethereal Ballet West dancers bathed in blue was simply breathtaking. Such serenity, such beauty. It was my favorite ballet moment ever.
This weekend, the Utah Symphony presented Verdi’s Requiem. I had no idea what it was, but I knew it involved the Utah Symphony, a large chorus, and 4 soloists – a soprano, a mezzo-soprano, a tenor, and a bass baritone. Oh, and I presumed it would not be in English. There is so much about Verdi’s Requiem that I absolutely loved. The music, the singers, the orchestration – it was all amazing!
The highlight of the evening was 17-year old violinist Will Hagen. Any time an artist graces the stage at such a young age, there is surely something spectacular, and with his first performance with the symphony at age 9, he must have some great talent. I was really looking forward to hearing how good this kid was!
As I arrived at Abravanel Hall and watched hundreds of children stream through the doors, I wondered why there aren’t more of these types of concerts. How exciting it was to see so many kids at the Symphony! For less than the cost of a night at the movies, I had the opportunity to hear a wonderful Mozart piece, I heard fabulous singers, I laughed a lot and had so much fun! Tara Faircloth’s adaptation was brilliant. What a great introduction to the opera for kids and adults alike.
As Ballet West’s Artistic Director, Adam Sklute takes an idea, molds it and presents his labor of love to the ballet patrons of Salt Lake City. As the curtain rises at the Capitol Theatre, the question he likely asks is, “will you see it as I see it?” I answer, how can I not? Adam Sklute clearly has a vision for Ballet West, and I believe it is to bring out the best in the dancers and to bring the best productions to Salt Lake City and beyond.
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