POWELL, Wyo. - Just when it seemed safe to go out in the dark, the house lights will dim for a Halloween spooktacular of Northwest Civic Orchestra frights and other delights under the gnarled wand of sorceress Maurine Akin. The season’s first concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Nelson Performing Arts Center Auditorium at Northwest College.
The evening gets underway with Charles Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette.” The underlying theme follows the funeral procession of a marionette who died in a duel. Along the route, mourners stop off to take refreshments at an inn before continuing the funeral march. Fans of cinematic suspense will recognize this familiar work as the theme music from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955-65 television series.
The music turns from marionettes to clowns with “March of the Gladiators” by Julius Fucík. Of Fucík’s more than 400 marches, polkas and waltzes, this work is his best known and recognized around the world as one of the most popular theme tunes for circus clowns.
The orchestra performs Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Bacchanale” from the opera “Samson and Delilah.” One of the most popular selections from the opera based on the Biblical tale, this exotic, exciting piece takes place at a wild party and portrays Delilah’s conniving, ruthless revenge toward Samson.
The orchestra explores a boy’s adventures in the underground Kingdom of the Trolls next. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” is a recognizable piece written by Edvard Grieg for the play “Peer Gynt.”
Also on the program is Hector Berlioz’s “March to the Scaffold,” the fourth movement from “Symphonie Fantastique.” It tells of “an artist gifted with a lively imagination” who dreams he has killed his beloved, then poisons himself and witnesses his own execution on the scaffold.
The concert closes with Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” a Halloween favorite based on the old Russian legend of a witches’ Sabbath on St. John’s Night. Fans of “Saturday Night Fever” and Disney’s “Fantasia” will recognize the familiar score.
Immediately following the concert, guests are invited to a reception in NPA 29.
General admission to the concert is $7 for adults, senior citizens pay $5. NWC students and children 12 and under are admitted free.