The Florida Orchestra will open its 2022-23 season with a bang: The Hough Family Foundation’s Masterworks Series Opening Concert in October will feature Carl Orff Carmina Burana with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.
The masterpiece has been used in countless references in popular culture for dramatic effect.
“Carmina is such a beautiful musical spectacle,” said musical director Michael Francis, who is conducting the concert. “It deals with the idea of fate and fortune. I think we all feel like we’ve been pushed into the dryer phase for the past few years with COVID. And I thought getting that back, because this big season opener, works really well.
It will be tempered by Ravel Daphnis and Chloe Suites 1 and 2, which Francis says are sultry and together, “will create wonderful sensory overload.”
After its full return last season, the orchestra maintains its momentum, with numerous Masterworks concerts at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater and Ruth Eckerd Hall. All Masterworks concerts include a free pre-concert conversation with musicians and conductors that explores the stories behind the music, starting one hour before the performance.
Another highlight of the season is the world premiere of Michael Ippolito’s Violin Concerto in December. The piece was written especially for the Florida Orchestra’s concertmaster, Jeffrey Multer. Ippolito grew up in Tampa watching the orchestra and is now a collaborator, having composed Triptych for the orchestra for the 2017-2018 season.
“This is the third piece he’s written for us and it’s a major commission and for our esteemed concertmaster,” Francis said. “Michael has a wonderful sense of drama, and I’m sure this will be an engaging piece of music. I’ve seen some of the sketches already and some of the early drafts. It looks like a marvelous piece perfectly suited to Jeffrey’s consummate technique and musicality.
In January, the orchestra will present American music with Gershwin’s An American in Paris, featuring the tuba concerto of jazz legend Wynton Marsalis played by TJ Graf, principal tuba of the orchestra.
Tuba concertos aren’t very common, but Francis said the brilliance of Marsalis’ piece will complement Graf’s ability.
Are you planning your weekend?
Subscribe to our free newsletter Top 5 things to do
Every Thursday, we’ll give you ideas for going out, staying at home or spending time outdoors.
You are all registered!
Want more of our free weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s start.
Explore all your options
“I think people are really going to start to understand what a wonderful, virtuoso instrument the tuba can be in the right hands,” Francis said.
February brings a mini Sergei Rachmaninoff Festival to honor the composer’s 150th birthday. On consecutive weekends, world-renowned pianist Joyce Yang will return to the Florida Orchestra for Rachmaninoff’s second and third piano concertos. Yang last performed with the orchestra in February 2020, so Francis said he thought audiences would like to see her again.
The Florida Orchestra recently named a new assistant conductor, Chelsea Gallo. She will begin in the fall directing Jeans ‘n Classics Presents Abbey Road (February 4) in the Raymond James Pops series and Best of Ballet (December 15) in the Morning Coffee series.
“(Chelsea) is a wonderful musician and was by far the best candidate for the job,” Francis said. “A great communicator, a great conductor, great ideas, a real taste for music and life and a wonderful musical personality. So I’m really delighted to be working closely with Chelsea.
Another highlight of the Masterpieces series is the work of Stravinsky The Rite of Spring with Tchaikovsky Swan Lake (Oct. 21-23). Aretha: Queen of Soul with singer Capathia Jenkins (January 13-14) and Harry Potter vs. Star Wars (March 18-19) star in the Pops series.
The Masterpieces series also includes the orchestra’s first-ever performance of Wagner’s work The ring without words (May 20-21, 2023). Wagner’s Ring cycle of operas typically takes around 15 hours to unfold over several days, but this version condenses the highlights into just over an hour.
Francis said this concert is a great example of how far the orchestra has come in showing its virtuosity. The variety of offerings in the orchestra’s series and programs demonstrates how flexible the organization is.
“I hope Tampa Bay sees … that we really care about the community and are constantly looking to find ways to reach people in the right way,” he said. “But even beyond that is our passion to share this wonderful music to bring this wonderful community together.”
Season passes are on sale now at floridaorchestra.org. Individual tickets go on sale August 15. A full program of community concerts will be released over the summer.
Hough Family Foundation Masterpiece Series
Carmina Burana with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay with Ravel Daphnis and Chloe Suites 1 and 2 (Oct. 7-9)
by Stravinsky The Rite of Spring with Tchaikovsky Swan Lake (Oct. 21-23)
Scheherazade with Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto, conducted by JoAnn Falletta (5-6 Nov.)
Brahms Violin Concerto with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein (Nov. 12-13)
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 with the world premiere of Ippolito’s Violin Concerto (2-4 December)
by Gershwin An American in Paris with Marsalis Tuba Concerto, conducted by Fawzi Haimor (January 6-8, 2023)
Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony with Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3, conducted by Ankush Kumar Bahl (January 21-22, 2023)
Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Elgar’s Cello Concerto (January 28-29, 2023)
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Joyce Yang (February 17-19, 2023)
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Joyce Yang (February 24-26, 2023)
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 with Vaughan Williams The rising larkconducted by Nicholas Hersh (April 1-2, 2023)
by Mendelssohn Elijah with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay (May 5-7, 2023)
by Wagner The ring without words with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 (May 20-21, 2023)
Raymond James Pops Series
Hollywood Sings directed by Michael Krajewski (Oct. 14-15)
Magic of Rodgers & Hammerstein conducted by Stuart Malina (Oct. 29)
Holiday Pops led by Bob Bernhardt (December 9-11)
Aretha: Queen of Soul conducted by Stuart Malina with singer Capathia Jenkins (January 13-14, 2023)
Jeans ‘n Classics Presents Abbey Road directed by Chelsea Gallo (February 4, 2023)
Harry Potter vs. star wars directed by Lawrence Loh (March 18-19, 2023)
Wild West led by Daniel Black (April 15-16, 2023)
Sinatra and Beyond conducted by Jack Everly with vocalist Tony DeSare (April 29-30, 2023)
A Night at the Oscars directed by Lawrence Loh (May 27, 2023)
Morning coffee series
Poetry in Music directed by Stuart Malina (Oct. 27)
Arabian Fantasy directed by Stuart Malina (Nov. 17)
Best of Ballet directed by Chelsea Gallo (December 15)
Let’s Dance conducted by Stuart Malina (January 12, 2023)
German Romanticism under Chelsea Gallo (February 1-2, 2023)
Divine Inspiration conducted by Stuart Malina (March 15-16, 2023)
Spring in Paris directed by Sameer Patel (April 12-13, 2023)
Making Waves conducted by Stuart Malina (April 26-27, 2023)
The Power of Music conducted by Stuart Malina (May 10-11, 2023)