Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Celebrates Utah’s Landscapes and Communities With “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty® State Tour”
Six Tour Stops Across Utah, August 7-12, 2023, Including Huntsville, Fountain Green, Spring City, Bryce Canyon National Park, Torrey, and Teasdale
WATCH: Re-live moments from the 2021 Forever Mighty® tour and discover where Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is traveling this summer.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (April 26, 2023) – Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, along with Governor Spencer Cox, are thrilled to announced the “”— continuing USUO’s mission to connect communities through great live music, give back to Utah residents, and serve the entire state. The August 2023 tour offers rural communities access to enriching performances by the premier arts organization in the Intermountain West and celebrates Utah’s cultural history and scenic landscapes.
“We are thrilled to bring our world-class Utah Symphony musicians and Utah Opera guest artists to communities throughout our state,” says Steve Brosvik, USUO President & CEO. “Our musicians are eager to share their passion and talent with audiences across Utah. This tour will showcase not only their extraordinary artistry, but will also shine a spotlight on the natural beauty and rich heritage of our state as we perform at national parks and breathtaking venues, and partner with local organizations to create unparalleled live music experiences.”
“Nothing could be better than an evening with Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in some of the most striking and inspiring settings throughout our great state,” says Governor Spencer Cox. “Music has the power to inspire, uplift, and connect us all, and USUO has a long-standing tradition of excellence and artistic innovation. I urge all Utahns to take advantage of these unique cultural opportunities that will sustain your imagination and uplift your heart.”
Featuring a wide collection of favorite classical, Broadway, opera and American folk music, the tour brings an elevated outdoor concert experience to six locations, August 7 through 12—with the orchestra and artists traveling more than 600 miles altogether. Stops include debut appearances in Huntsville, Fountain Green, Spring City, and Torrey; and returns to Bryce Canyon and Teasdale.
Featured with the symphony are Utah natives soprano Madison Leonard and baritone Shea Owens—both of whom have international careers within the operatic field and perform regularly with Utah Opera (Owens, in fact, was a Utah Opera Resident Artist from 2012 to 2014). Their appearance on the tour brings together both symphonic and vocal music on the program, helping to elegantly represent USUO’s identity as a uniquely merged organization. Utah Symphony Associate Conductor Benjamin Manis will conduct.
The first half of the Music Elevated Tour program includes energetic orchestral music from two ballets by Aaron Copland—Celebration (from Billy the Kid) and Hoe-Down (from Rodeo)—both of which honor the “out west” theme and pair beautifully with Utah’s stunning vistas. The second half features opera, film, and Broadway hits, including two high-wire, virtuoso arias—Largo al factotum from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (with baritone Shea Owens) and Je veux vivre (I Want to Live) from Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet (with soprano Madison Leonard). The symphony will share many immediately familiar works, such as Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville and John Williams’ Theme from Jurassic Park—a nod to ancient Utah when dinosaurs roamed the Beehive State.
Along the way, Utah Symphony musicians will also perform chamber music concerts in Fountain Green and Torrey, diversifying the tour itinerary with smaller and more intimate settings.
The “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty® State Tour” builds on the past success of Utah Symphony’s 2021 “Forever Mighty® Tour,” the 2017 “Great American Road Trip Tour,” and the 2014” Mighty 5® Tour,” all of which also featured the orchestra performing in beautiful outdoor settings in rural Utah communities. This year’s tour is again created in collaboration with the Utah Office of Tourism’s “Forever Mighty®” initiative, which encourages visitors and residents to travel responsibly to help ensure strong communities and preserve cherished parks and outdoor recreation access.
“The Music Elevated: Forever Mighty® Tour promises to be an incredible celebration of Utah’s diverse and vibrant cultural heritage,” says Vicki Varela, Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “Music and the arts are an integral part of our state’s identity, and we believe that Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s performances will not only entertain, but also inspire audiences to explore the many incredible destinations that our state has to offer.”
While recent state tours primarily visited communities in Southern Utah’s red rock country, this summer’s tour begins in northern Utah’s Ogden Valley, with a performance in the heart of the local community at Huntsville Town Park on August 7. Chamber music ensembles perform on August 8 at Sage Canyon Ranch in Fountain Green, a lush hillside village abundantly watered by Big Springs and Silver Creek. On August 9, the full orchestra will perform behind the historic Spring City Church in Spring City, a national historic district that has reinvented itself as a destination for artists. The tour also highlights one of Utah’s Mighty 5® National Parks with a concert on the rim of Bryce Canyon—in celebration of its 100th anniversary—at Ruby’s Inn on August 10. August 11 will feature a second chamber music concert hosted at the Cougar Ridge Lodge in Torrey, a sun-drenched Utah backcountry that features colorful sandstone cliffs soaring above narrow slot canyons. The culmination of the “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty® State Tour” will take place in Teasdale Town Park as the symphony and guest vocalists come together once more for a grand finale performance.
The tour will also engage students with educational opportunities. USUO has long been dedicated to bringing the joy of music to schools and communities throughout the state. Through a variety of programs, including in-school residencies, interactive performances, and master classes with world-renowned musicians, USUO reaches thousands of students and families each year, providing opportunities to experience the transformative power of music firsthand. This endeavor continues with the statewide tour as USUO partners with another renowned cultural and educational organization, Thanksgiving Point, in a collaborative effort to enhance the concert programs with related hands-on activities for all ages.
“By partnering with Thanksgiving Point, we continue to foster a love of lifelong learning and music to help build a stronger, more vibrant Utah,” said Ben Kipp, USUO Director of Education and Community Engagement. “We will spark joy among students and adults alike while on this tour—building genuine connections along the way.”
Additional partnerships with educational and cultural organizations in local communities will be announced closer to the performances.
All Music Elevated performances are free and open to the public; attendees are encouraged to reserve free tickets in order to guarantee admission. Tickets are available at USUO.org/MusicElevated or by phone at 801-533-NOTE (6683).
Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera would like to thank the Department of Cultural & Community Engagement and the Utah Legislature for supporting our 2023 Music Elevated Tour. Additional Sponsors include Zions Bank, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Foundation, and the Stewart Family Foundation.