The Dream of America

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Saturday, March 28  

The Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall welcomes the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s The Dream of America. The production, directed by Harry Parker, will include Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) and Boyer’s Ellis Island: the Dream of America. The audience will hear two flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, triangle, cymbals and strings during Symphony No. 9, which Dvorak composed between 1892 and 1893 as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. It was hailed by the New York Evening Post as “the greatest symphonic work ever composed in this country.” Dvorak, born in what today is the Czech Republic, titled the piece to reflect the “impressions and greetings from the New World.” Composed in 2001-02, three flutes (third doubling piccolo), three oboes (third doubling English horn), three clarinets (second doubling bass clarinet, third doubling alto saxophone), three bassoons (third doubling contrabassoon), four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, a large percussion section, harp, piano (doubling celesta), and strings, in addition to seven actors (four female, three male) tell the story of Boyer’s Ellis Island: the Dream of America, which is said to be Boyer’s most ambitious work and “his most frequently presented original composition … receiving more than 150 live performances by more than 65 orchestras,” says the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s program notes. Celebrating immigrants coming through Ellis Island in search of the American dream, it brings to the stage music, theatrics and imagery that lean on one another for a complete telling and experience. Spoken text as part of the production comes from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, and Boyer chose seven of the personal stories the project entails, creating monologues using their own words. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will perform these two masterpieces beautifully on Saturday, March 28, starting at 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.okcciviccenter.com.

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