BWW Previews: CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE Adds New Element to Holiday Season With Nashville Symphony
While you've heard the Christmas classics time after time again, the Nashville Symphony will present them in a new and energized way with Cirque de la Symphonie at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center Nov. 30 - Dec. 2.
The holiday special presents some of your favorite Christmas tunes set to the amazing routines of circus acts like acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, contortionists, magicians and more, all accompanied by the acclaimed Nashville Symphony. Enrico Lopez-Yanez, the conductor for the show, calls the process of working with the circus performers a "very collaborative atmosphere," working with the acts to ensure the music they're playing matches their gestures and movements.
The production is anything but typical, showing off the elaborate skillset of the Symphony as they time these classic holiday songs to the routines of these cirque performers, making for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience. "Because we don't collaborate with these sort of artists that frequently, it's always new to see what kind of gestures and movements we need to take as a queue from them, which is different," Lopez-Yanez explains.
With magicians doing tricks and acrobats flying over the Schermerhorn stage, the show will be a new experience for those in the audience, one the conductor believes with resonate with viewers and get them into the holiday spirit in a new way. "I think it's the overall spectacle that this show really is. It really sort of transports you out of what you would expect to see at a normal concert hall," Lopez-Yanez says of what spectators will be most excited about. "It's really unique in that we get to transport people visually and sonically with the orchestra collaborating with this organization."
Just some of the beloved songs in the setlist include "Deck the Halls," "Jingle Bells" and selections from "The Nutcracker," but expect to hear some less traditional numbers too, like "Little Bolero Boy," a mashup of "The Little Drummer Boy" and Maurice Ravel's "Bolero," using the snare drum riff of the latter piece with the melody of the famous Christmas carol. All of the numbers have been adjusted to coordinate with the performers' choreography, a different process for the Symphony.
"This sort of adds a new element that maybe you aren't expecting, which makes it that much more exciting is to have this new visual component. It's not just a movie, it's not just hearing your tunes being performed live, but it's being performed live with this grandeur that you might not expect to see normally," the conductor describes, adding that it's not every day one hears a symphony playing the holiday tunes they know and love, which adds another dynamic to the thrilling show.
"That has it's own element too is getting to hear a live 80-piece band play the stuff that you've heard on the radio coming through your little speakers for years and years," he says. "This just has a completely different effect that I think even if you closed your eyes and weren't watching the spectacle, you would still be amazed at the power and sort of emotion that can come from a live symphony orchestra playing these classic Christmas songs."
Cirque de la Symphonie plays four shows Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Tickets range from $34 - $89.