‘RSO Celebrates Opening Night’ Sept. 21 at Coronado

Kathy Pyeatt

Staff Report

RSO Celebrates Opening Night, a romantic evening at the Coronado” opens the Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s (RSO) ComEd Classics Series at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford.

The RSO is excited to introduce its first Opening Night Gala. This special fund-raiser, meant to replace the retired Black Magic Ball, will be a sophisticated evening of music, dinner and fun. A cocktail reception will be held prior to the opening-night performance in the lobby of the Coronado Theatre, with an elegant eating experience held immediately following the concert. The opening-night performance will have an early start time at 6:30 p.m.

Returning to Rockford and the Coronado stage is nationally acclaimed soprano Kathy Pyeatt, who will perform exciting renditions of three famous operatic arias that celebrate romantic love: the young Juliet as she enjoys her dream of carefree life before the snares of love entrap her; Violetta, rejecting the ardent offer of Alfredo’s love in favor of the pursuit of pleasure; and Leonore, who calls upon the power of love for the strength to rescue her husband from death at a tyrant’s hand.

The opening-night performance will also feature Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The work is inspired by, written with and all about love. Each variation is an affectionate portrait of those closest to him, beginning with his wife, Carolyn Alice Elgar, and 13 other dear friends, closing with a stirring finale that, in part, celebrates his happy marriage.

Guests to the gala will arrive at 5 p.m. and enjoy cocktails in the third-floor lobby overlooking the historic marquee of the Coronado Theatre. After the performance, they will enjoy an elegant dining experience and mini-performances through the theater, including an encore performance by Pyeatt. The evening will end with a dessert buffet on the Coronado stage.

Tickets for this concert are available online at www.rockfordsymphony.com or by calling the Rockford Symphony Orchestra Box Office at (815) 965-0049. Concert ticket prices range from $20 to $58. Student tickets are $7. Opening Night Gala tickets range from $35 to $145.

The RSO is beginning its 79th year of offering vibrant music experiences that enlighten, educate and entertain. Under the artistic leadership of Music Director Steven Larsen, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra is a leading arts organization in the Rockford region and the third-largest symphony orchestra in the state of Illinois. The RSO is composed of 65 professional musicians who perform 15 performances this year — including classics, pops, concerts for youth and ballet — for an estimated annual audience of 30,000. The RSO was named the 2007 Orchestra of the Year for Illinois.

From the Sept. 18-24, 2013, issue

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