Utah Symphony Announces Mighty 5 Open-Air Concert Tour, 8/11-17
The Utah Symphony led by Music Director Thierry Fischer will tour Utah's red rock country, home to the state's five iconic national parks, in August 2014 with free outdoor performances surrounded by the landscape of Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Presented by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, The Mighty 5® Tour represents a collaboration between two of Utah's great treasures, the state's leading arts organization, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, and the unparalleled natural beauty of Utah's red rock country preserved within the five national parks, collectively known as "The Mighty 5."
Concerts will take place in outdoor venues throughout the communities of southern Utah against the natural backdrop of arches, spires and canyons, and brilliant red rocks set afire by the setting summer sun. Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer will lead the 75-piece orchestra in symphonic works that complement the beauty of the environment including Shostakovich's "Festive Overture", movements from Dvo?ák's "New World Symphony," Bizet's Orchestral Suite from "Carmen", and Gershwin's "An American in Paris", as well as vocal selections featuring Utah native, soprano soloist Celena Shafer performing Johann Strauss's "Frühlingsstimmen", Puccini's "Quando me'n vo" from "La Bohème" and Gershwin's "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess".
Thierry Fischer said, "When I first visited Utah's national parks, I was awestruck by the pristine natural beauty of the landscape. One could almost imagine an accompaniment of classical music echoing off the red rocks and canyons. The Mighty 5 Tour is a great opportunity to combine the beauty of nature and transcendent energy of sound, and I am excited to celebrate both by performing a program of illustrious works for park visitors and members of the local communities."
Additional free concerts and events inside the national parks include chamber music performances to be held at visitor centers and outdoor amphitheaters along the tour route. Concerts will be supplemented with opportunities to explore the parks during the day with Utah Symphony musicians.
As the state's largest non-profit performing arts organization, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera's robust education department will host hands-on musical experiences within each park, an extension of the educational experiences and performances the company presents to some 155,000 students and teachers across Utah each year. Members of the general public will be treated to interactive opportunities to explore sound relationships and instruments, and also hear Utah Symphony chamber ensembles play throughout the day leading up to the evenings' free concerts.
By performing in each location, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera hopes to enhance its role as cultural ambassadors to aid in the increase of tourism and economic development in the state of Utah. The Mighty 5 Tour also simultaneously showcases Utah Symphony leading up to its 75th Anniversary, and promotes Utah's National Parks during the Centennial celebration of the National Park System, both of which take place in 2016.
"We are so pleased to be partnering with Utah Symphony | Utah Opera to showcase the best of Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks and arts and culture," said Vicki Varela, Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding. "Utah's Mighty 5 campaign brings together our five iconic parks into a single, bucket-list experience that inspires visitors from around the world. Touring the parks by day and enjoying outdoor classical music concerts by night represent an amazing way for visitors to experience the beauty and grandeur of The Mighty 5. This tour will truly be a life elevating experience," continued Ms. Varela.
Said Spencer F. Eccles, chairman & CEO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, "Our foundation is thrilled to sponsor the Utah Symphony's first-ever concert tour in partnership with Utah's national parks, and to ensure that the performances are offered free to our citizens and visitors alike. As a long-time board member of the National Parks Foundation, and one who has personally spent many hours exploring these treasured lands within our state, I can't think of a more fantastic experience for all to enjoy than a breathtaking Utah Symphony concert in the extraordinary landscapes in and around our parks. I can assure you that Maestro Thierry Fischer's Mighty 5 concerts will offer a 'mighty fine' thrill of a lifetime, and no one should miss this amazing opportunity!"
"For years, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation has been deeply committed to supporting the best performing arts initiatives in the state, and the Utah Symphony is no exception," said Ann Crocker, president of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. "Along with our love for live, classical music, my family has always appreciated the natural beauty of Southern Utah. We're excited to see how this outdoor tour brings those elements together, and share in the celebration of the symphony's 75th anniversary."
David Green, Senior Vice President and COO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, said that joining two of Utah's greatest treasures - the landscape and live orchestral music - is a rare experience that is not to be missed. "Pairing some of the most stunning beauty in Utah with the Utah Symphony will be one of the most unique and most important projects we have planned in the past 20 plus years," explained Green. "We often tour these special locations for our education outreach programs which reach the entire state, but The Mighty 5 Tour will be a chance to serve the communities that support the parks and the symphony in a different way - the lucky people who are able to see one of these events will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
The Mighty 5 Tour is the first event in a series of special initiatives in honor of, and leading up to, the Utah Symphony's 75th anniversary celebration in 2015-2016. "Utah is an amazing place to live and to visit, and Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is able to attract some of the best musicians, artists, and staff because of the variety of outdoor activities possible and great natural beauty of our state," explained Utah Symphony | Utah Opera President and CEO Melia Tourangeau. "Collaborating with Utah's National Parks and the state's Mighty 5 tourism initiative through our Mighty 5 tour allows us to jointly celebrate the natural and artistic treasures of Utah. We hope that hearing exceptional music in these outstanding landscapes will demonstrate why a thriving performing arts community is an integral part of what makes Utah great."
Each year, more than 6 million people from all over the world visit Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks to explore the iconic arches and spires of Arches, the mysterious hoodoos of Bryce, the slot canyons of Canyonlands, the high, multi-colored gorges of Capitol Reef, and the monoliths of Zion.
Tickets for all performances are free. Advance tickets are available starting May 1, 2014 by booking lodging or recreation packages through select partners. Tickets will be available through select Zions Bank outlets in communities surrounding the parks, and online for visitors who will be camping or who have other lodging plans, starting July 1, 2014. Tickets, if still available, will also be distributed at the gate on the evening of the performance. Visit utahsymphony.org/mighty5 for more information on obtaining tickets for performances.
Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer was named Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra in 2009 and has since revitalized the orchestra with creative programming and critically acclaimed performances that have drawn consistently full houses. In addition he has appointed 25 new orchestra members, has engaged top soloists to play with the symphony, and has galvanized community support.