Community Women’s Orchestra (CWO) and Music Director Dana Sadava present a Fall Family Concert full of folk tales, fairy tales, and love stories told through music. CWO’s 33rd season opening concert features Bay Area composer June Bonacich’s “Rumpelstiltskin,” narrated by award-winning young adult fiction author Anne Nesbet. Nesbet recently won a California Book Award Gold Medal in juvenile fiction for her tale of East German intrigue, Cloud and Wallfish. Other repertoire on the concert includes “Romeo and Juliet Overture” by Tchaikovsky and “Karelia Suite” by Sibelius.
“Rumpelstiltskin” by June Bonacich is based on the fairytale made popular by the Brothers Grimm. The music and narration tell of a “funny little man” with “beady little eyes” who can spin straw into gold, and the miller’s daughter who enters into a bargain with him to impress and marry the king. When she tries to break the deal, Rumpelstiltskin promises to destroy her happy world. Narrator Anne Nesbet says of the rehearsal process, “June asked me to call on my musical background, which includes playing violin with CWO, as well as my talents as a big ham, to bring the characters to life.”
Ms. Bonacich is a Professor of composition and musicianship at the San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College Division, where she is also an alumna. Her award-winning music has been performed extensively throughout the Bay Area. Recently, the world premiere of her Concerto for Four Bassoons was featured on NPR's "State of the Arts" with Jeffrey Freymann and received an extended ovation at CWO's 2015 spring concert. "Group Therapy", a musical she wrote for the Lesbian Gay Chorus of San Francisco was performed at the 2005 Gay Games in Chicago. Her work, "Life in the Produce Aisle," was performed by CWO on May 15, 2016. Her newest work, a concerto for String Trio, written for the "Little Stars String Trio" will be premiered in March by the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Overture” (1880) propels the torrid, tragic romance of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, with famous themes for Father Lawrence (whose dubious advice propels R and J’s fate), the warring Capulets and Montagues (their families opposed to the romance, and the lovers themselves.
"Karelia Suite" by Jean Sibelius (1893) was commissioned by a group of university students staging a historical tableau about their region, Karelia, to celebrate their Finnish roots while being ruled at the time by Russia. Kings, castles and celebrant marching armies are evoked by Sibelius’ folk-based themes.
CWO Music Director Dana Sadava, returning for her fourth season, says of the orchestra,“This accomplished group of women musicians couldn’t be prouder to performing for their 33rd season. Our Fall Family Concert is a great tradition that welcomes young new audiences to stories told through classical music, in this instance written and performed by women: June Bonacich’s colorful “Rumpelstiltskin,” the famous love theme of “Romeo and Juliet,” and the Finnish history reflected in “Karelia Suite.” CWO is here to play, and here to stay!”