Westword preview: “New Frontiers at KPOF Hall: Thursday, May 22”
Space is the place for the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra’s interactive season finale, New Frontiers, which will explore the final frontier through a series of intergalactic-themed pieces tonight. The first stop is the fictional planet Krypton, where a violent percussion piece from Michael Daugherty’s Man of Steel-themed Metropolis Symphony sonically depicts the demise of Superman’s home planet. From there, Alan Hovhaness’s ethereal “Celestial Fantasy” offers a more serene string-orchestra feeling of floating through space before the main event: Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
In addition, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Dave Cuomo will take audiences through a video presentation that gives the illusion of flying around each celestial body. “He uses actual imagery taken from various spacecrafts to render the planets,” explains conductor Lawrence Golan. “As we play a movement for Mars, the bringer of war, there will be this video simulation of flying over and around the planet.”
The last movement of The Planets, “Neptune, the Mystic,” features the women of the Colorado Repertory Singers as an otherworldly chorus to portray the planet furthest from the sun. “The women’s chorus is actually played backstage so you just hear this faint, distant sound that gives that spacious effect,” says Golan. Meanwhile, program notes and interesting facts will be posted on Twitter with a live Q&A through the hashtag #DPOtweets along with a space-themed selfie corner to document the evening.