The Tucson Music Hall becomes the Big Top when Cirque de la Symphonie acrobats, dancers and jugglers fill the stage and aerial artists soar through the air accompanied by the TSO Pops! performing the music of Tchaikovsky, Ravel, John Williams and more.
The orchestra, conducted by music director and conductor George Hanson, accompanies the high-flying action on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29 and 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.
Aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen of Cirque de la Symphonie "are some of the most accomplished veterans of exceptional cirque programs from around the world," a release said. "They include world record holders, gold-medal winners of international competitions, Olympians and some of the most original talent seen anywhere."
The Cirque performances are adapted to stage accommodations shared with the symphony, and each artist's performance is choreographed to the music arrangement provided by the maestro.
Cirque de la Symphonie performers appearing with the TSO Pops! are:
• Jarek and Derek's "Duo Design" hand-balancing champions who have won competitions in the U.S. and Europe;
• Christine Van Loo, a seven-time consecutive national champion, female Olympic Athlete of the Year, and Athlete of the Decade in acrobatic gymnastics;
• Alexander Fedortchev, compared to Tarzan because of his imposing physique.
• Irina Burdetsky, who grew up in a circus family in Moscow and traveled as one of the youngest performers with the Moscow Circus;
• Sergey Ignatov, recently crowned for the third time as the WJF world champion of jugglers;
• Sonya Petrova, a four-time Bulgarian national champion
TSO making changes to stay afloat in '10-'11
Special to The Explorer
On Friday, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra announced changes and reductions for its 82nd season, the 2010-'11 campaign.
The orchestra is:
• Reducing programs in its Classic Series from nine to seven, discontinuing Thursday performances. Pre-concert talks by Music Director and Conductor George Hanson on Friday evenings at 7 p.m. will continue, with a 1 p.m. pre-concert talk added to all Sunday matinee performances;
• Reducing the TSO Pops! Series from five to four programs. Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances continue, but there will be no Friday evening performances;
• The Moveable Musical Feasts and the Recital Series in Tucson and Green Valley will be suspended. The Green Valley shuttle to Thursday Classics and Sunday TSO Pops! is being discontinued.
"These changes are consistent with meeting TSO's mission and public service obligation, with stabilizing our financial condition in recessionary times, and with maintaining a high quality TSO season — all for the benefit of our patrons and our community," said TSO executive director Susan Franano.
Citing the economic downturn in the fourth quarter of 2008, Franano explained it was too late then to make programming changes for the 2009-'10 season, which continues as planned through the final Classic Series performances April 22-23.
Changes, made by the TSO Board of Trustees, are intended "to make the most of the TSO's reduced resources and still allow all patrons to continue to experience the joy of hearing great symphonic music.
"Many TSO subscribers will not be affected by these changes," the release said. Subscribers who are affected have received phone calls from board members explaining the changes along with the TSO's "sincere commitment to make the transition as smooth as possible."
"Our priority always is to bring you the finest music at the highest level of performance possible and we are very confident you will find the 2010-'11 – 82nd season to be exciting, accessible and affordable," said Hanson.
Renewals for the TSO's 2010-'11 season begin the week of Jan. 25, when subscribers receive their season brochure and renewal packet.
The TSO Pops!
Cirque de la Symphonie
Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29 and 30, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.
The Tucson Music Hall.
Tickets, $24-$62, are available online at www.tucsonsymphony.org; the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue; or at 882-8585.