Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Announces Fall 2020 Digital Streaming Schedule

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 23, 2020) – From the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and Abravanel Hall stages to schools and living rooms throughout the state, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera rolls out streamed content that will bring performances from local, professional musicians to Utahns at home or in the classroom. For more information, visit usuo.org/on-demand.

“We are committed to evolving our performance experiences to meet the challenges of our current climate and have prioritized making music as accessible to audiences as we possibly can. First, we introduced reimagined live performance options this fall for those who feel comfortable joining us in person,” said Utah Symphony | Utah Opera President and CEO Steven Brosvik. “Now with these virtual performance offerings, we expand our reach to audiences outside the theatre and concert hall walls and bring immediacy to the musical experience in a way we hope inspires and entertains members of our community in their homes and classrooms.”

USUO: On Demand

Virtual concert experiences, ranging from intimate recitals with international soloists to full Utah Symphony Masterworks performances, will be released regularly starting October 22 and available for on-demand streaming for 30 days following the release. In order to make the content as accessible as possible, access to streaming content will be “pay what you wish” with minimum amounts starting at $5 for subscribers and $10 for non-subscribers.

The first on-demand virtual concert begins streaming on October 22, 2020 and features British piano sensation and MacArthur Fellow Stephen Hough performing a 75-minute solo recital of Bach, Robert Schumann and two works by Liszt. Hough, a frequent soloist with Utah Symphony, was originally scheduled to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor” followed by Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 on the orchestra’s first two consecutive Masterworks concerts of the 2020-21 season, but those programs were revised to utilize smaller orchestrations to meet spacing requirements for safety.

Subsequent virtual concerts include a performance of Beethoven’s “Eroica” with Music Director Thierry Fischer, a 75-minute solo recital from Argentine pianist and 2006 Gilmore Artist Ingrid Fliter, and four Utah Symphony chamber ensembles featuring performances by piano trio, woodwind quintet, brass quintet and string quartet. Also, the traditional holiday “Messiah” Sing-In, which in previous years has involved audience participation in a “2,000 voice choir,” will take on a new virtual form as a streamed event that begins on November 26, 2020. The video will feature the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera Chorus, four Utah Opera Resident Artist soloists, and “crowd sourced” footage submitted by members of the public singing along to the iconic “Hallelujah” Chorus.


Virtual Programs for K-12 Students & Teachers

During a typical school year, USUO’s education programs take the full Utah Symphony orchestra and Utah Opera Resident Artists to school districts throughout the state of Utah, reaching each one on a three to five-year rotation. This year due to restrictions from Covid-19 measures, the education programs have migrated online with free educational learning resources, virtual assemblies, and instrument and voice video libraries in “Connecting to Classrooms” website pages, extending the outreach programs that normally reach 135,000 students and 7,000 teachers each year.

These education offerings are available at no cost to schools thanks in part to generous funding from Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS), the Elizabeth Brown Dee Fund for Music in the Schools, and CARES Act funding from the Utah Education Network (UEN).

“Mood Music for the Pandemic” is a 35-minute Utah Symphony concert where Associate Conductor Conner Gray Covington leads parts of the orchestra in separate groups, allowing students to hear the different timbre, or quality of sound, of the various instrument families. Selections take teachers and students on a musical journey that tracks the emotions they may have felt during the pandemic, demonstrating the incredible ability of music to communicate emotion. In addition, students will take a virtual tour of Abravanel Hall through the images and narration provided by the conductor. Teachers have access to a plug-and-play PowerPoint presentation that introduces students to the orchestra and the opportunity to register for a live, virtual Q&A with a Utah Symphony musician and their class.

“All About Opera: Classroom Edition” features Utah Opera’s Resident Artists, who introduce elementary school children to singing and the elements of opera in a 35-minute program that uses scenes from favorite operas to illustrate the concepts. The program, with separate editions for K-3 and 4-6 grade students, was filmed this fall at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and Utah Opera Production Studios. Teachers have access to a plug-and-play PowerPoint presentation that introduces students to opera, the opportunity to register for a live, virtual Q&A with a Utah Opera artist, and a video that allows students to do vocal warmups with an opera singer.

“Opera Up Close 2020” is a hybrid presentation for secondary school choir classes. Utah Opera’s Resident Artists will make a live presentation through a streaming service to the choir classroom and present topics about opera history and genres, the art of the audition, musical theatre and opera, art song, and jobs in the world of opera. Topics are illustrated through performance, with some scenes live and others pre-recorded. The presentation concludes with the sharing of a 15-minute opera, Margot Murdock and Kathleen Cahill’s “The Better Man,” which was commissioned by Utah Opera and tells the story of Utah’s Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female State Senator elected in the United States.

All of these education programs will be available in late October. Educators may sign up for notifications here: www.utahsymphony.org/connectingtoclassrooms and www.utahopera.org/connectingtoclassrooms.