Dennis Kempton, For the News Tribune
Under the baton of music director Dirk Meyer, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra took an aural vacation to the complexity of the British Isles Saturday night for its fourth Masterworks concert of the season at Symphony Hall.
Reportedly, the first performance of "Love's Labor's Lost" was done during the Christmas season in 1597 for Queen Elizabeth I at court. The enduring power of Shakespeare's sophisticated wordplay is evident, since, over 400 years later, students in the Fine Arts program at the University of Minnesota Duluth opened their own iteration of the comedy Thursday night at the Marshall Performing Arts Center.
On the eve of the new year, the stage at Symphony Hall was brilliantly lit for the second Pops concert of the season for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. The destination? The music of Journey. Journey is one of those iconic rock bands known for its power ballads from an era that really doesn't exist anymore. Coming out of the California music scene of the early 1970s, the band really took flight in the mid-1980s with lead vocalist Steve Perry. That said, the personnel of the group has gone through several iterations and remains active.
The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra launched into its first pops concert of the season with “Home for the Holidays” Saturday afternoon at Symphony Hall. The color palette outside was slate gray, but inside the hall, Lyric Opera of the North set the stage with twinkling Christmas trees. Whimsical candy canes and other traditional Christmas season decorations were suspended from the fly loft above for a feeling of drama that would support the guest artists from the opera and Twin Ports Tenors.
There has long been a rivalry between east and west ends of the city, but as far as food and culture go, the burgeoning Lincoln Park neighborhood of our fair city is giving downtown a run for its money — and not just in the figurative sense. In October, Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace opened up in the space occupied by Duluth Folk School at 1917 W. Superior St. The name was inspired by the dovetail joint that brings things together in carpentry. It's a fitting name, considering the space also serves nearly 70 instructors and offers classes for aspiring artisans.
As the chill of the impending winter season gripped the city, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra warmed Symphony Hall with two towering works under the theme “Unforgettable Views” Saturday evening.
There's an essential loneliness present in the lives of gay men that few outside that tribe can fathom. No matter how many of the most amazing friends gay men have, and no matter how many of the girls at work love them, single gay men, as they age and remain single, find their own personal relationships diminished by the omnipresence of heteronormative family life. That's the weighty material laid out bare on stage in playwright Joshua Harmon's 2015 dramedy, "Significant Other" on stage now in the Dudley Experimental Theatre at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Ah, Vienna. Long heralded as one of, if not the most, celebrated of European cultural centers for hundreds of years, the capital city of Austria is a natural destination for classical music. The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra treated its capacity audience in Symphony Hall to an exquisite musical holiday abroad in its second program of its season's Grand Adventures Theme: New Horizons.
The poet Emily Dickinson once wrote, “The mind was built for mighty freight.” It is within the spirit of this quote that the latest iteration of “Dear Finder,” written by Tom Isbell, Valerie Buel, Denise Dawson, Jamison Haase, Kourtney Kaas, Julie MacIver, Andrew Nelson and Julie Unulock, dwells as it opened Thursday night at the Marshall Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Music is, indeed, a grand adventure through time and cultures. The season theme of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra for this season is Grand Adventures. People sitting in a packed Symphony Hall on Saturday night set sail for the opening journey — and they were not disappointed. Music director Dirk Meyer took the stage and, as he raised his baton, I could feel the anticipation. It’s a new season, a new interim executive director and a new repertoire. And then … Leonard Bernstein.