Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale Return to the Stage for “Eternal Light”
The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale return to the stage for a combined concert, “Eternal Light,” on March 11 and 12.
The concerts feature performances by soloists Christina Pier, Kimberly Gratland James, David Cody and Seth Keeton.
The “crown jewel” of the concert is Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor, with both orchestra and chorale performing. Chorale Music Director, Dean Peterson, describes certain movements within the piece as “choral acrobatics.” “This piece has never been performed in Missoula and one reason for that is due to its difficulty and complexity,” he says. “It’s a major commitment. It’s so complex and in essence requires two full choirs, but the result is magnificent.” According to Peterson, the Chorale has been working on the Mass since last September, adding practices with the Orchestra this month. “This piece really showcases Mozart’s genius. It’s exciting, gorgeous and really quintessential Mozart,” he says.
Two of the soloists featured, mezzo soprano Kimberly Gratland James and tenor David Cody both teach voice in the University of Montana School of Music. “We’re lucky to have such phenomenal talent so close to home,” says Orchestra Music Director Darko Butorac. “Both Kimberly and David have performed with us on numerous occasions, and we’re thrilled to have them back,” he says. Joining the two are soprano Christina Pier, who returns to Missoula after what Butorac describes as a “stunning” performance in the Brahms Requiem last fall, and bass Seth Keeton, both internationally acclaimed.
The concert also starts with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, which Butorac describes as “one of the most colorful works of the Russian Romantics.” “It was written in the late 19th century, and it really exemplifies the evocative melodies and sparkling orchestration for which Rimsky was known,” he says.
Butorac will also be presenting a pre-concert talk an hour prior to each show in the Gallagher Business Building, Room 106. Talks are free and open to the public.
The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale perform on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre on UM Campus. Tickets are available at www.missoulasymphony.org, 406-721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 E. Main St.