Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s November Masterworks Program Mixes French Ballet, Theater and Orchestral Music

by Tucson Symphony

Jean-Marie Zeitouni to Conduct Program Featuring Bizet’s Symphony in C and Ravel’s Mother Goose

(Tucson, AZ)─ An all-French program mixing opera, ballet and orchestral music will be featured on the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s November Masterworks Series. Jean-Marie Zeitouni will conduct Bizet’s Symphony in C, Ravel’s Mother Goose and Chabrier’s Overture to L’étoile. Performances are Friday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Oro Valley, Saturday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 12 at 2:00 p.m. at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Dr. in Tucson. Concert Comments, sponsored by Splendido, are one hour prior to performances and are complimentary with tickets. There is plenty of free parking at both venues.

Jean-Marie Zeitouni is making his debut with the Tucson Symphony. He studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and graduated in conducting, percussion, and composition. In addition to his duties as artistic director of the Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, Zeitouni is music director of the Colorado Music Festival.

Georges Bizet wrote his only symphony when he was just 17 years old. Bizet’s precociousness is evidenced by his admittance to the Paris Conservatory at age nine, his first compositions at twelve and winning the Prix de Rome prize at nineteen. The entire final movement of the Symphony in C is constructed from developing two simple themes. Sensing their quality, Bizet used the themes again eighteen years later in Carmen.

Mother Goose is considered one of Maurice Ravel’s most exquisite creations. It is a melodic and delicate work, imaginative and very much in the impressionistic style which threads through all of the artist’s work. He first composed it as a piano piece for four hands, later orchestrating it and then turning it into a ballet. The work is dedicated to the children of friends. He was quite fond of Mimi and Jean Godebski and they adored his telling of fairy tales, some of which he originated on the spot as he entertained them. The children were so talented, Ravel suggested they give the first performance but they declined. Jean was later quoted as saying, “To us, it mainly meant a lot of work.”

“The idea of evoking the poetry of childhood in these pieces,” Ravel later explained, “naturally led me to simplify my style and to refine my means of expression.”

The program will open with the Overture to L’étoile. Emmanuel Chabrier’s opéra bouffe has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity since it was performed at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2001. The jolly, upbeat overture to this comedy in three acts captures the hijinks and romance to follow.

The Masterworks Series receives generous support from Drs. John P. and Helen S. Schaefer. Performances at St. Andrew’s are made possible in part by Fishkind, Bakewell, Maltzman and Hunter Eye Care.

Tickets are $45 to $55. They are available online at www.tucsonsymphony.org, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office, 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 520.882.8585.  TSO Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. 

 Programming, artists and prices are subject to change.

 Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158