UMD Symphony Orchestra: Les Illuminations
UMSO performs Britten’s Les Illuminations, with lighting and stage design by Doug Fitch.
Renowned for his multimedia spectacles in symphonic and opera productions — including work with the New York Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera and Tanglewood — Fitch previously collaborated with UMSO conductor James Ross on UMSO’s 2008 presentation of Petrushka.
The Britten also features new School of Music voice faculty member, tenor Gran Wilson. Mahler’s towering Symphony No. 7 fills the second half.
Proceeds from Music in Mind concerts benefit the School of Music’s undergraduate scholarship fund.
Review by The Washington Post
Ross solved brilliantly the programming challenge of what to pair with the Mahler by opening with Benjamin Britten’s song cycle “Les Illuminations.” Scored for string orchestra and voice — here, tenor Gran Wilson (Britten had written it for soprano but also performed it with his partner, tenor Peter Pears) — the performance featured projections that morphed back and forth from the abstract to the almost concrete.
– JOAN REINTHALER, The Washington Post, Sunday, March 10, 2013
Review by DC Metro Theater Arts
Designed and directed by Doug Fitch, with projections by Tim McLoraine, it made for truly an exciting and dynamic presentation: to not only hear the music but to see it as well. It added a new dimension to what one may consider the “typical” classical music concert, and made it more thought-provoking and vibrant, as the projections give a new perspective to the music and allowed for different interpretations of Britten’s piece.
– TIFFANY DRAUT, DC Metro Theater Arts, Sunday, March 10, 2013