Published on: February 18, 2016
The PSO’s Romance Concert this season was a great combination of popular music with romantic classical favorites – all centered on the passion, joys, and tribulations of love – perfect for a Valentine’s Day weekend.
Our soloist was Marisa Buchheit, a fine singer and former Miss Illinois. Marisa’s presence added a great touch of beauty, both aural and visual. Her charm and talent helped make our Riverfront Concert in September a great success and this performance will particularly showcase her talent in the realm of operatic singing. Marisa is the second Miss Illinois to perform on our Romance concerts, following in the footsteps of pianist, Jade Simmons.
The music on the program ranged from the soaring romanticism of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, to the flirty fun of overtures and arias by Rossini and Mozart – including a few selections from our upcoming March performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Juxtaposed with these classical gems are the great love songs of the world, from Bernstein, Puccini, Arditi, Jerome Kern, and Oscar Hammerstein – plus a few popular surprises thrown in for good measure. The evening came to a passionate conclusion with Ravel’s sensual Bolero. Weren’t the dancers a wonderful addition to that performance?
This concert is another way the PSO is taking the enjoyment of great music beyond a mere concert to a memorable experience. I hope you were able to join us to enjoy this great music, charming guest artist, and fine orchestra on an evening that had as many musical courses as a gourmet meal. What happens after this annual concert is your own affair, but the PSO does its best to provide the inspiration, and will continue to offer this annual heartwarming program each February as a toast to love and romance. I hope you will make it your tradition to join us!
George Stelluto, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra
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