Tap-dancing Santas, music and storytelling at the Symphony
December 12th, 2012
Omaha, NE – The sound of little violins and tap-dancing Santas means an Omaha holiday tradition is just around the corner.
The Omaha Symphonyâ€™s annual Christmas with the Symphony celebration opens this Thursday. Joining the Symphony is a group of Broadway directors, singers, and dancers, and the production is more than just a concert, said Conductor Ernest Richardson.
â€œThereâ€™s a tremendous amount of theatre and high production values,â€ Richardson said. â€œThe directors bring the Broadway theatrical notion of things. Thereâ€™s a pacing that comes from Broadway, thereâ€™s a way of presenting different set pieces that really begin to tell a story.â€
â€œWithin each little vignette that we produce thereâ€™s a notion of storytelling through the music, through dance,â€ he added.
Local talent also plays an important role. Violin students studying with Symphony musician Anne Nagosky will also perform, and Richardson said the students deliver. â€œWe write music that enables her whole studio to play with the orchestra,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s all done by memory and they all look great, done up in their Christmas finery.â€
â€œIt is amazing what she does,â€ he said, â€œand we always look forward to that in the show.â€
Fancy lights, costumes, and scenery enhance the performance, but Richardson said what really makes this concert special is the message. Itâ€™s â€œvery much about family this year,â€ he said. â€œWe didnâ€™t plan it that way in particular, itâ€™s just that the music that we selected and the scenes that we started putting together that were inspired by these various songs end up being very family oriented.â€
Of course, it wouldnâ€™t be Christmas with the Symphony without a visit from St. Nick. â€œWe have tap-dancing Santas with â€˜Be a Santa,â€™” Richardson said, “but heâ€™s real of course.”
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