Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You and Warren-Green, face to face

Did you ever wonder what an orchestral conductor and his exertions look like from the players’ vantage point? Here’s your chance to find out.

The Charlotte Symphony will let listeners this week sit in a new location: onstage.

The Bach and Beethoven works on the agenda don’t demand a stageful of players. So the orchestra will sell tickets to seats behind the orchestra – the ones the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte used in last week’s concerts.

If you listen from there, the experience is more "visceral," executive director Jonathan Martin said. He has tried it.

"What you’re going to hear is a great deal of immediacy and a lot of volume," Martin said. On the other hand, he added, the sound won’t be as "blended" as what the audience out in the auditorium hears.

The orchestra’s music director, Christopher Warren-Green, has wanted to bring listeners onstage "for a while," Martin said. It's part of the effort to "make the orchestra more accessible and more connected with audiences," Martin said. "We hope it will give people a new appreciation for our musicians and what their experience is."

Banking on the popularity of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the orchestra will perform the program three nights – adding Thursday, Nov. 17, to the usual Friday-Saturday pair. Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture and Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 are also in store.

Some concert halls have built-in seats behind the orchestra. The Belk Theater doesn’t. So the orchestra had to make special arrangements for ushering the listeners onstage – and even had to get the fire department’s OK.

Putting listeners onstage isn't feasible at every concert, Martin said. But the orchestra's leaders are looking for more opportunities this season.

“We’ll learn from this first weekend,” Martin said. “I think we’re going to want to do this as much as we can.”

The orchestra will sell 60-70 tickets for stage seats. The price: $26.50. They're available only from the Charlotte Symphony box office, 704-972-2000. Sales will cut off at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18.


Anonymous said...

No thanks. Ever since the decided to charge for pops in the park, I have stopped giving them money.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Don't want to support the symphony when they charge $5 a person to sit on the grass and fight mosquitos.

Thecentralscrewtinizer said...

Beethoven's Fifth ......again.

Anonymous said...

"I don't want to support the symphony when they charge $5 a person to sit on the grass and fight mosquitoe". It's obvious you never "supported" the symphony financially if you are too cheap to pay 5 bucks to see over 50 people play music. You spend a lot more than that on dinner even if it is mcdonalds... So you will fight mosquitoes for free... You are just cheap and have no appreciation for preserving fine arts.

Anonymous said...

"Don't want to support the symphony when they charge $5 a person to sit on the grass and fight mosquitos"
If you paid a little extra you could see them at Bell theater and even sit on the stage. You are just looking for something for free.

Anonymous said...

Chrisopher Warren-Green isn't only respected for his talent as a violinist and conductor around the world. He and his wife are quite involved in the community. His wife worked with a teacher at Winterfield elementary to give violin lessons to her students after school. The teacher bought 18 violins with her own money. The school is 95% below the poverty level. The teacher contacted Warren's wife who started working with the students. Warren personally attended their recitals. Then he brought them onstage with the symphony at Bell Theater. The kids touched the audience so deeply people cried and the ovation was roaring. The investment in those children's confidence will surely pay off for them years from now. I am honored to have such a great leader for the symphony and I will pledge my financial support for as long as that man is in charge.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is blessed to have a great orchestra and a great director. This is a great opportunity for those of us who love classical music appreciate a different perspective. The price is more than reasonable. Thank you CSO!

Anonymous said...

Don't they play mostly popular music at POPs in the Park?