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Information Regarding COVID-19

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Please note:

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Weill and Blitzstein: Airborne in Miami

Jun. 27, 2022

Orchestra Miami pulled off a brilliantly conceived pairing of Kurt Weill’s Der Lindberghflug and Marc Blitzstein’s Airborne Symphony in a concert on April 9. Part symphony, part oratorio, the Airborne Symphony had a powerful effect at its 1946 premiere under Leonard Bernstein in New York. Its narrative recounts the history of flight and then reflects thoughtfully on the use of air power during World War II. Weill’s cantata Der Lindberghflug (later retitled Ozeanflug by his collaborator Brecht) examines more narrowly the heroic journey of a single aviator confronting a daunting challenge.  

Conductor Elaine Rinaldi, music director of Orchestra Miami, imaginatively assembled local partners to create a performance event incorporating visual elements in keeping with Miami’s own history as an aviation center and the original headquarters of Pan American Airways. The venue? A retired Coast Guard aircraft hangar. As reported by Lawrence Budmen in the South Florida Classical Review

“Women’s voices from Tropical Wave and a contingent of the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida sang with vociferous enthusiasm and solidity. Members of the Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre portrayed the sea and the emotional turmoil of the pilot in bold choreographic patterns. Michael Yawney’s staging, aided by Bobby Brinson’s subtle lighting, infused the cantata with drama and intimate spectacle. Video of clouds and storms and grainy film of Lindbergh’s actual landing amid jubilant crowds vividly enhanced the drama.” 

Budmen also praised Rinaldi’s Lindberghflug interpretation (read the full review):

“Rinaldi displayed full command of the score, capturing both the cabaret jazz and thorny undercurrent of Weill’s divergent styles. The orchestral playing proved lively, precise and incisive.”

Click on the images below for full recordings of Der Lindberghflug and Airborne Symphony: