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Columbus Symphony Orchestra taking Shakespeare from the page to the stage

Courtesy of CAPA

Guests of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will experience a full compilation of the arts in its new venue, tailored for an intimate setting.

“Inspired by the Bard,” a show made up of symphonic pieces, acting portions, visuals and vocal ensembles from various William Shakespeare plays, will take place at the Southern Theatre at 8p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Friday will mark one of the symphony’s first performances at the Southern Theatre after playing there for this first time in October. The arena can hold more than 900 guests, said Diane Cattran, manager of foundations and grants for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The symphony has previously performed in larger locations, such as the Ohio Theatre, which can hold more than 2,700 patrons, Cattran said.

“In the Southern (Theatre), you will be astonished by the acoustics,” Cattran said. “The setting is more intimate, and it is a neat way to be introduced to the Symphony and see the programs.”

Accompanying the symphony will be actors from CATCO-Phoenix, and guest vocalists Michèle Losier, a mezzo-soprano, and Alisa Suzanne Jordheim, a soprano.

The symphony will perform the Shakespearian sections of the plays such as “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” to show a mixture of two composers, Hector Berlioz and Felix Mendelssohn.

Because of the numerous styles of performances, “Inspired by the Bard” is the first show of its kind, Cattran said.

Its several styles of entertainment, including the visuals, vocals, symphony and acting will be presented in a way no audience has seen before, Cattran said.

Conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni will show the audience the difference between the two composers, as well as demonstrate the influence Shakespeare had on both composers, Cattran said.

Nicholas Dekker, a theatre lecturer at Ohio State, said students should continue to watch and read Shakespeare.

“Shakespeare tells very good stories, and even though some of his language may seem outdated, the stories themselves have a lot of resonance, and a lot of students can still relate to them,” Dekker said.

To learn about the music in the show, ticketholders can attend a free, pre-concert lecture about the music and what to expect from the show, held by WOSU’s Christopher Purdy.

“This is a good way to familiarize yourself with the music before you hear it,” Cattran said. “In the half-hour lecture you will learn, and it will be entertaining.”

Cattran said the symphony looks to gain more students in their audience.

Averi Cragel, a second-year in exploration, saw the Columbus Symphony Orchestra with her father last year.

“My dad likes their music, so when we visited Ohio State, we went to see them play,” Cragel said. “I really liked their music, and as long as a friend comes with me, I’ll go see their new show this weekend, because I heard the show is a new style and probably exciting.”

Tickets for “Inspired by the Bard” are $28-$68 and are available to purchase at the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office, on 39 E. State St., at all Ticketmaster venues and Ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased by phone by calling (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000.

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