The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents Best of Playing with Fire, the second program in the orchestra’s 2012 Winter Festival, at the Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank this Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m.
“Best of Playing with Fire” looks at musical stories of characters that have made a deal with the devil. From Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld overture to Dompierre’s Les Diableries to Gounod and Berlioz’s depictions of the story of Faust, the NJSO presents a host of diabolical scores featuring characters who tempt fate by playing with fire. The program features bass Ben Wager and NJSO violinist Héctor Falcón.
The Winter Festival is a three-concert series that highlights music inspired by fire. “Best of Playing with Fire” is the second concert of the festival.
The Best of … programming format allows for a creative exploration of the winter festival theme, says music director Jacques Lacombe, who will conduct the performance. “This season, it was obvious to build a program around fire, but when you think of fire, you also think of the devil,” he says. “There is a lot of music that has to do with the devil and with hell— Orpheus in the Underworld, Tales of Hoffman, Symphonie fantastique, The Damnation of Faust … It is a theme that has inspired many composers.”
A special pre-concert event—“When Fire Gives Life: A Look at the Heroism of Fire in Nature”—begins one hour before the performance. The discussion, moderated by Carleton Montgomery, executive director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance will explore “the ways in which fire restores and regenerates nature, our expert panel will share compelling regional examples of how fire is useful.” Also on the panel will be Dr. Walter F. Bien, director of the Laboratory of Pinelands Research at Drexel University and Dr. Emile D. DeVito, manager of science and stewardship, for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
Tickets are $20 – $60. Purchase online at www.njsymphony.org or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).