(WICHITA, Kan.) — The Wichita State University Summer Orchestra brings dramatic characters to life at this weekend's concert featuring Tchaikovsky, Weber, Sarasate, and Surinach. The musical ensemble is made up of 60 professional musicians, WSU students and high school instrumentalists.
A virtuoso violin setting of the famous opera Carmen, about a seductive Spanish gypsy, is created by WSU master's student Leo Adamov. He says the piece is challenging but the great emotional contrasts make it fun to perform.
"Carmen herself is kind of this rebellious heady character who defies all of her surroundings. She is very expressive because of her background," says Adamov. "It's enjoyable to just let go of your classical inhibitions and explode. I can really put myself into it."
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Theatrical characters can also be found in Carl Maria von Weber's Bassoon Concertro in F Major. Scott Oakes, the principal bassoon player at the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and a professor at WSU, says the German composer's background writing Romantic opera weaves drama into the music.
"My favorite thing about the piece is the contrast and the characters," says Oakes. "You get a wide range of ideas and expressions. I can step outside of myself and put on a few theatrical characters."
While there is no specific plot, Oakes suggests audience members create their own ideas about what inspires the music.
"Listen for different contrasting sections and make a story to go along with it," says Oakes. "Weber was best at creating dramatic music."
You can hear the music for yourself tonight, July 20th, at Wiedemann Hall on the WSU campus starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the WSU Fine Arts Box Office at (316) 978-3233.
The WSU Summer Orchestra plays the Carmen Fantasy