Missoula Symphony: War and Peace

Symphony wraps season April 15-16 with “clarion call for tranquility”  

On Stage

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorale join forces April 15-16 in the last masterworks concert of the season, War and Peace, featuring special guest vocalists José Rubio and Melanie Henley Heyn.

Soprano Melanie Henley Heyn joins the symphony in works by Strauss and Vaughan Williams.
Soprano Melanie Henley Heyn joins the symphony in works by Strauss and Vaughan Williams.

Hailed as a “young dramatic soprano to watch,” Heyn is known for her rich voice and arresting performances. Rubio is noted by Opera News as possessing “… a voice roundly sonorous, of warm beauty, commanding in voice and presence, dominating the stage with every appearance – a major operatic find.”

This final masterworks concert explores the contrasting themes of war and peace, and, more specifically, effects a clarion call for tranquility in a time of dire uncertainty.

The concert opens with Sergei Prokofiev’s lively War and Peace Overture, then moves into Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs – one of the last pieces the composer wrote before his death. Strauss’ movement will feature the visiting soprano soloist and actress, Melanie Henley Heyn, whose vast singing repertoire spans the opera, concert and folk worlds.

The second half of the concert begins with Adolphus Hailstork’s Fanfare on Amazing Grace.

This striking arrangement leaves listeners with a sense of hope and goodwill. Next, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem is performed by the Missoula Symphony Chorale along with Heyn and baritone vocalist José Rubio. Vaughan Williams’ poetic and heart-wrenching plea for peace was written and performed as World War II was approaching.

Join the symphony for this masterworks concert at the University of Montana’s Dennison Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 16.

For tickets or more information, visit missoulasymphony.org.