Seattle Symphony’s all-Stravinsky program: “Persephone,” with puppets, dancers, singers, and more

Posted on: April 23, 2018

“Igor Stravinsky famously felt that ‘music expresses itself’—essentially, that understanding a given piece of music requires little beyond what we hear when it’s played,” writes Christy Karras in Thursday’s (4/19) Seattle Times. “But ‘Persephone,’ which the Seattle Symphony is performing … at Benaroya Hall on April 26 and 28, might be the Stravinsky work that most proves him wrong.… The narrative it depicts—a young woman trapped in the Underworld—almost begs for visuals.” When the Oregon and Seattle symphonies co-commissioned a Persephone production, premiered last year by Oregon Symphony, they chose designer “Michael Curry, whose work includes Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ and ‘The Lion King,’ to portray Stravinsky’s mythic tale using life-size puppets. [In Seattle] puppets, dancers, singers (from Seattle Symphony Chorale and Northwest Boychoir) and the full orchestra will share the space…. The all-Stravinsky program [will include] the composer’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments and his ‘Les Noces.’ The latter two feature … pianist Marc-André Hamelin, first as a soloist and then as part of a four-piano ensemble for a wedding ballet [that] required an unusual combination: the four pianos plus percussion and Russian folk singers.”

Posted April 23, 2018