Wagner’s Ring Cycle Meets The Lord of the Rings at the Mobile Symphony May 6 & 7
The Mobile Symphony Orchestra (MSO) brings its 25th anniversary season to a thrilling conclusion with Lords of the Ring, an innovative mash-up of Richard Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle with Howard Shore’s evocative scores for the Lord of the Rings, Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 7, at 2:30 p.m., at Mobile’s historic Saenger Theatre. André Raphel returns to the podium as guest conductor.
“This concert has been years in the making,” says Scott Speck, music director. “We wondered what would happen if we juxtaposed music from Richard Wagner’s legendary 16-hour Ring Cycle with selections from a much more modern Ring – Howard Shore’s music to the Lord of the Rings films?”
Speck explains the groundbreaking project this way: “The works are separated by 150 years, but they contain startling similarities: an ancient legend, mythical characters and an epic battle for the future of humankind. There is no question that Howard Shore was inspired by Wagner, and we can be inspired by both. Beloved conductor André Raphel was game to take up this challenge, and he has fashioned an absolutely fascinating – and highly entertaining – exploration of these iconic works.”
Famous excerpts from Wagner’s Ring Cycle include Ride of the Valkyries and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey. Favorites from The Lord of the Rings include Concerning Hobbits, A Short Cut to Mushrooms, The Breaking of the Fellowship and more.
André Raphel was an instant audience favorite at his first appearance with the MSO in 2018. Acclaimed for his creative programming and versatility, he is renowned for his compelling musical performances and dynamic podium presence.
Conductor Laureate of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Raphel led the orchestra as music director for 15 years. Other key positions have included assistant conductor to Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic.
Tickets are $20-$89. Student tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 251-432-2010 or at the symphony box office, 257 Dauphin Street. Through
MSO’s Big Red Ticket program, sponsored by the Alabama Power Foundation, students in grades K-12 can attend any of the season’s classical Sunday performances for free when accompanied by a paying adult (excludes special events like the annual holiday concert). More details can be found at mobilesymphony.org.
MSO’s informative pre-concert talks, TakeNote, enhance the enjoyment of the concert. These lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. before Saturday performances and 1:30 p.m. before Sunday performances in Room 1927 adjacent to the Saenger entrance on Joachim Street.
The concert is sponsored by WKRG-TV, Red or White, Zimmer Biomet Solutions and Anne Low. All concerts have been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Mobile Symphony has been a regional orchestra for the central Gulf Coast since 1997. Scott Speck serves as music director. In addition to offering a full season of classical and pops concerts, the orchestra serves the area with a wide range of educational and outreach programs including student performances, string academies and a youth orchestra. http://www.mobilesymphony.org