Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Presents The Three Bears & Other Famous Fairytales

Program features narrator Rheda Becker, Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers and CityDance Ensemble, May 9

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will present The Three Bears & Other Famous Fairytales narrated by Rheda Becker and conducted by BSO violinist and conductor Christian Colberg on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Becker will be joined by the Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers, Washington D.C.’s CityDance Ensemble and mezzo-sopranos Jessica Renfro and Madelyn Wanner, as they explore fairytale classics like Beauty and the Beast, The Tortoise and the Hare and The Three Bears.

Favorite fairytales take to the stage in this family event. The BSO will perform music from Snow Maiden, The Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Mother Goose, Hansel and Gretel and Peer Gynt. The Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers will perform in “A Phantasy for the Orchestra” from The Three Bears and CityDance Ensemble will perform in “Waltz from the Suite” from The Sleeping Beauty and “Conversation of Beauty and the Beast” from Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite. “Brother, Come and Dance with Me,” a song from the opera Hansel and Gretel, will be performed by Jessica Renfro and Madelyn Wanner.

The BSO Family Fun Zone will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Meyerhoff lobby. Children and their families can take advantage of numerous, free, age-appropriate pre-concert activities, including Port Discovery Children’s Museum’s interactive World Rhythm Drum Circus, the Maryland Zoo’s ZOOmobile as well as an instrument petting zoo and face painting.

Rheda Becker is recognized as one of the outstanding professionals in the specialized art of the musical narrator. She made her debut in 1974 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and since then has appeared with them frequently as the speaker in works by Britten, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Schuller, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. In addition to guest performances with symphony orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orches­tra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Becker has performed with chamber ensembles at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Boston’s Gardner Museum, the Library of Congress and the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. Her repertoire includes a wide variety of works ranging from a 14th-century narrative to compositions by composers of the present day. She was the narrator in world premieres by the composers Ernst Krenek, Earl Kim, Robert Hall Lewis and Jonathan Holland. She has been a frequent guest soloist at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Performances have included the role of Joan in Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, Walton’s Façade, Hindemith’s Herodiade, Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis, Krenek’s They Knew What They Wanted and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish.” She has also served on the faculty of the Conservatory.

Mezzo-soprano Jessica Renfro has been described as "simply marvelous" with "deliciously playful comic timing" (The Washington Post) and a "sparkling voice" (The Washington Times). Her opera credits include Hansel in Hansel und Gretel, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Cenerentola in La Cenerentola, Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, Concepcion in L'heure Espagnole with Baltimore Opera, Opera Vivente, Bel Cantanti Opera and many others.

Madelyn Wanner is in her senior year in Phyllis Bryn-Julson’s studio at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. In the fall of 2006, Ms. Wanner made her operatic debut with the role of Cherubino in Peabody Opera’s mainstage production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and in the fall of 2007 she sang the title role of The Child in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges. Most recently, Ms. Wanner sang the role of the Second Lady in Peabody Opera’s 2008 production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Wanner is looking forward to singing the role of Hansel in Peabody’s 2008-2009 opera outreach program. Other roles include Zita in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Little Lyric Opera Company of Philadelphia. She is a recipient of the Linda A. Mantegna Endowed Scholarship as well as a Peabody grant.

Musical Adventures: The Three Bears & Other Famous Fairytales
For children ages 3-6 and their families
Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Lobby opens at 10:00 a.m. for Family Fun Zone.

Christian Colberg, conductor
Rheda Becker, narrator
Jessica Renfro, mezzo-soprano
Madelyn Wanner, mezzo-soprano
Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers
CityDance Ensemble

Tickets for this program range from $12 to $20 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office 410.783.8000, 877.BSO.1444 or


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