Moravec: Lush and Colorful

Paul Moravec’s orchestral score for his opera The Shining is lush, colorful, and totally evocative of the drama throughout.” On the eve of the South Dakota Symphony’s April 7 performance of Moravec’s The Overlook Hotel Suite, music director Delta David Gier offers a glimpse into the composer’s musical language and imagination. The Shining was commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Opera in May 2016. The production was directed by Eric Simonson and conducted by Michael Christie. The South Dakota Symphony’s concert features The Overlook Hotel Suite’s first performance in its new version for full orchestra.

Delta David Gier, South Dakota Symphony music director

Delta David Gier continues. “I attended the premiere of The Shining in St. Paul, which was artistically and critically an overwhelming success. Afterwards, my conversation with Paul immediately turned to [him creating an] orchestral suite…I believe [the suite] will have an interesting life in itself because of any audience’s connection to this story.”

Moravec adds, “The Overlook Hotel Suite is an orchestral fantasy on musical material from my opera The Shining, which is directly based on the Stephen King novel and features a libretto by Mark Campbell. An earlier chamber orchestra version of this suite premiered in October 2016, performed by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. In this suite, although the winter caretaker Jack Torrance makes an appearance, it focuses on the realm of the hotel’s ghosts such as Delbert Grady and his two daughters, Lloyd the bartender, and Mrs. Massey (the dead lady in Room 217). The piece moves through various ghost stories and areas of the hotel, returning repeatedly to a never-ending phantom masked gala in the grand ballroom…[and] The Overlook’s manager invites you to join the party.”

More April news: Also happening on April 7, is the Enzo Quartet’s performance of Moravec’s Dialogue for String Quartet; on the 14th, the Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo present Raritan Triptych as part of the Long Island Guitar Festival; and on the 15th and 16th, shakuchai player James Nyoraku Schlefer joins ensemble members of Sybarite5 for two New York performances of Shakuhachi Quintet (version for shakuhachi flute and string quintet).