For an out-of-this-world concert experience, come to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for the Houston Symphony’s The Planets-An HD Odyssey Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Under the direction of Maestro Hans Graf, this multi-sensory concert experience features the Women of the Houston Symphony Chorus and a newly created HD film of planetary images paired with a live performance by the symphony. Tickets to travel the universe are $15 for orchestra seating. Mezzanine and lawn seating are free courtesy of Audi of America and Woodforest National Bank. Tickets are not required for free seating. Gates open at 7 p.m.
For this production, the Houston Symphony collaborated with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and award-winning producer/director, Duncan Copp, to craft a film of the latest, high-definition planetary images that accompany a live performance of Gustav Holst’s suite, “The Planets.” The world premiere of The Planets—An HD Odyssey took place at Jones Hall in January 2010. The monumental and innovative project then toured to New York’s Carnegie Hall and Florida’s Kravis Center and Broward Center. In October, the tour goes international when the orchestra travels to seven cities in the United Kingdom.
The multi-media event takes an existing classical program with strong popular appeal and pairs it with an arresting visual presentation. The beautiful and mystifying score by Holst is performed by the orchestra while the film is shown on a 24-foot screen above the stage. In addition to out-of-this-world imagery, the film opens with an introduction featuring interviews with JPL planetary scientists.
The program lifts off with Igor Stravinsky’s “Feu d’artifice” (Fireworks), Opus 4, then “Medea’s Dance of Vengeance” by Samuel Barber and ends with Holst’s “The Planets.”
Before your voyage through space begins, make a stop in the North Plaza at 7 p.m. for pre-concert activities sponsored by Fidelity Investments and Market Street-The Woodlands. Visit unique exhibits from Johnson Space Center in the House of Blues Hospitality Tent, including an Apollo EMU spacesuit, displays of the solar system and Earth, a shuttle extravehicular activity glove, space food samples and a shuttle launch helmet. Explore the music of “The Planets” at Pavilion Talk, a free pre-concert discussion led by noted music scholar Ira Black that provides insight into the evening’s program. Pavilion Talk takes place from 7:15-7:45 p.m. Children can discover the sounds of musical instruments at The Pavilion Partners Instrument Petting Zoo and can show their creativity making UFO’s. Your journey doesn’t end there. Make sure to visit Woodlands Online, Woodforest National Bank, Fidelity and Market Street. Audi of America, official automobile of The Pavilion, is unveiling its new 2011 Audi A8 in The Pavilion’s North Plaza. The Audi A8 is the new generation of the Audi brand’s flagship, combining dynamic exterior and luxurious interior design with sporty driving characteristics, while providing the highest level of comfort and convenience equipment in the segment.
If you would like more information about The Pavilion, visit www.woodlandscenter.org or look for The Pavilion on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.