Penfold Theatre Company takes offense to the notion that the best theater comes from New York. In every successful season, the Round Rock stock of actors and artists give the Great White Way a run for its money with inspired productions. Hatched in the summer of 2007?after an 18-hour road trip led its founders to the dramatic potential of the hills of north Travis and Williamson Counties?Penfold quickly blossomed into a community jewel and a critics? darling. Winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Musical Production for the third year in a row, the troupe embarks on a new season filled with comedy, drama, and music?all while breeding new stocks of young thespians in their Penfold Players acting classes and summer camps.
The nonprofit home of revitalized classical and contemporary music, the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra reshapes masterpieces by Vivaldi and Copland in its season opener, A New Birth of Freedom. As a hush falls over the audience, popular conductor Grant Gilman releases poised bows, sending them flying across strings to weave the notes of the overture to Rossini's lively La Gazza Ladra until they form a durable basket. Guest soloist Ertan Torgul, San Antonio Symphony's concertmaster, adds extra ear candy to the orchestra during Astor Piazzolla's modern version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. A narrating voice joins strings in Copland's Lincoln Portrait before performers jig through Elgar's Enigma Variations. Since the symphony aims to foster a love of music in young people, the special selection of Into the Storm fuses the experience of the orchestra with the energy of student musicians from Round Rock middle schools. At 7 p.m., Maestro Gilman will chat with interested audience members about the music and composers they're about to hear, as well as providing a glimpse of the rare bird taught to sing inside every violin.
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