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Review: Utah Symphony's DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? is Sublime

Utah Symphony recently presented the sublime "Do You Hear the People Sing: From Les Mis to Miss Saigon" concert at Abravanel Hall.

The concert included countless pieces of music from the stage musicals of Alain Boublil (in attendance at the reviewed performance) and Claude-Michel Schonberg. Due to the constraints of putting together a balanced set list, some beloved songs did not make the cut, but the list still incorporated a marvelous cross-section of music both obscure and well known.

The rich sound of the Utah Symphony was ravishing as always. It was incredible to hear Boublil and Schonberg's epic songs so fully orchestrated and so skillfully played. Conductor Jerry Steichen was as engaging as ever as he partnered with the guest performers to introduce the various numbers.

The most exciting aspect of the concert was the participation of Broadway legend Terrence Mann, who originated the roles of the Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, and Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel. He was also, most relevantly, the first to play the role of Javert in Les Miserables on Broadway. Unfortunately, due to the composition of this concert's particular group of guest artists, Mr. Mann was often relegated to singing comedic songs that didn't best feature his distinctive voice. He was a game participant, however, and he showed a great deal of versatility in the process. The unmitigated highlight of the evening was Mr. Mann's performance of "Stars" from Les Miserables, which showcased his strengths as a performer and evoked the memory of his iconic roles.

The other incredibly talented guest artists included Eric Kunze, who performed as Marius in Les Miserables and Chris in Miss Saigon on Broadway; Jennifer Paz, who played Kim on the original first national tour of Miss Saigon; Marie Zamora, who played the role of Cosette in Les Miserables in Paris; and Sarah Uriarte Berry, who performed as Eponine in Les Miserables, among other Broadway credits.

Other memorable moments included "I'm Martin Guerre" from Martin Guerre by Eric Kunze, the cut "Too Much for One Heart" from Miss Saigon by Jennifer Paz, the cut "I Saw Him Once" from Les Miserables by Marie Zamora, and "Woman" from The Pirate Queen by Sarah Uriarte Berry.

The concert closed with thrilling renditions of "One Day More" and "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables by the group of guest artists and the Utah Symphony Chorus, which entranced the audience with its versatile sound throughout the evening.

For information about other forthcoming Utah Symphony concerts, visit www.usuo.org. For tickets, call 1-888-451-ARTS (2787) or visit www.arttix.com.

Photo Credit: Terrence Mann



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