Peter and the Wolf, Gentle Nutcracker

Holiday preparations, fragrant evergreen boughs, fairy lights, family warmth,—a Thanksgiving week to remember.  It started with a dream-come-true for me:  I narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf!  Another family/sensory-friendly collaboration (Boulder Philharmonic Wind Quintet, the Boulder Public Library concert series, and me) for two consecutive Saturday performances…
I’ve loved Peter and the Wolf since childhood.  I would listen to a recording while looking at the magical pop-up book with moving parts that once appeared under our Christmas tree.  Soon, I wanted to become part of that wonderful music, and over the years, I repeatedly expressed my desire to narrate.
Fast forward 18 years, and the opportunity finally presented itself!  I’ve found such joy in creating unique voices and body-gestures for each character.  Prokofiev’s music tickles and inspires me, and my mom’s supportive coaching helps with artistic discoveries.  And then, performing is like icing on the cake.  Thanks to all who made it happen!

bpo-wind-quint-1

Four days later, came the Gentle Nutcracker.  I emceed this special sensory-friendly performance at Boulder’s grand Macky Auditorium.  The building looks like a castle—turrets and crenelations—and the art-deco interior sparkles with gold-pink light-rosettes alongside shimmering maroon velvet.  Magical sets, brilliant stage lighting, backstage hustle-and-bustle with ballet dancers warming up in the wings… my excitement when stepping out onstage, microphone in hand, to tell a little of my own background, and then introduce the main characters and happenings from Act I—thus transporting the audience into the “Land of Sweets.”

nutcracker-backstage
That was my role!  And then I got to watch with greatest delight, just as I’ve done year after year since I was 3.  Back then, Mom would put on our Nutcracker recording and bounce me on my big red Gymno ball.  After some weeks, I’d be ready to attend Nutcracker dress-rehearsal; by then, Tchaikovsky’s magical music was already my good friend.

nutcracker-onstage
“Hip hip hooray, for gentle ballet…”  The Denver Post and Daily Camera both took notice of our new approach to Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker:

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/19/hip-hip-hooray-for-the-gentle-ballet

http://www.dailycamera.com/entertainment/ci_30584015/boulder-ballet-boulder-phil-stage-sensory-friendly-nutcracker

nutcracker-dancers-and-b

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