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'Rings' of Power at Symphony

O Mysterious Ring! Simplest of forms yet with such awesome power ... symbolizing Eternity, the Infinite, Wholeness, Unity. Recently, the cinematic success of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy further popularized Tolkien’s modern mythology which in turn was influenced by Wagner’s "Ring of the Nibelung."

Wagner’s Ring has captivated audiences for over 150 years. In fact there’s a fanatical cult following of this work. And for good reason. It's over 20 hours — yes, 20 hours of endlessly rewarding music is drama on a huge scale; play on a grand scale.

It’s this sense of play and wonder that the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will convey through four of the most glorious selections of the entire cycle in a concert entitled, "Mythology," on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. Not to worry — it won’t take 20 hours — only twenty-five minutes of stunning music. And in the way of introduction, we’ll be giving a Crash Course to the Ring’s Cast of Characters. Providing the exclamation point will be Washington National Opera’s Maria Jooste who will sing music so lovely you could die from Wagner’s heart-achingly beautiful “Love-Death” from Tristan and Isolde.

Bringing exciting dimensions to this exploration of mythology is Shore’s music to Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings." This will provide a fascinating and fun comparison to the “other” Ring cycle on this program. An absolutely delightful introduction to the program will be Gluck’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” inspired by the Greco-Roman myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The other side of the globe has inspired a piece depicting the Hawaiian war god, Ku-Ka-Ilimoku. This ferocious tour de force highlighting the ASO percussion section underscores the seminal role that percussion plays in musical mythology telling throughout the world. It’s an experience you’ll not soon forget. See you at “Mythology.”