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Utah Symphony, Utah Opera announces ‘Music Elevated: Forever Mighty State Tour’ celebrating cultural heritage in rural communities

By Staff | Aug 2, 2023

. USUO has long been dedicated to bringing the joy of music to schools and communities throughout the state.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, in collaboration with Gov. Spencer Cox, is excited to unveil the “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty State Tour,” a remarkable musical journey that will connect communities through the power of live music and celebrate Utah’s cultural history and breathtaking landscapes. This tour, scheduled for August, promises to bring enriching performances to rural locations and foster a sense of togetherness and artistic appreciation throughout the state.

Steve Brosvik, president & CEO of USUO, expressed enthusiasm for this opportunity to showcase the talent of Utah Symphony musicians and Utah Opera guest artists across various communities. The tour aims to not only spotlight their extraordinary artistry but also highlight the state’s natural beauty and cultural heritage by performing at national parks and stunning venues while collaborating with local organizations to create unforgettable musical experiences.

Cox echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the profound impact of music in inspiring and connecting people. He urged all Utahns to seize this unique opportunity, provided by USUO’s long-standing tradition of excellence and artistic innovation, to indulge in these cultural performances that will undoubtedly elevate the spirit.

An enriching experience

The “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty State Tour” will feature a diverse repertoire, including classical, Broadway, opera, and American folk music. The tour will take place over four days, from Aug. 7 to 12, and cover more than 600 miles in six locations. The orchestral and vocal performances will captivate audiences in Huntsville, Fountain Green, Spring City, Torrey, Bryce Canyon, and Teasdale.

Featured with the symphony are the renowned Utah natives, soprano Madison Leonard and baritone Shea Owens, both acclaimed for their international careers in opera and regular appearances with Utah Opera. The combination of symphonic and vocal music on the program elegantly represents USUO’s identity as a uniquely merged organization. The performances will be conducted by Utah Symphony Associate Conductor Benjamin Manis.

Embracing the Utah spirit

The first half of the program pays homage to Utah’s rugged landscapes with energetic orchestral pieces from Aaron Copland’s ballets, “Celebration” (from Billy the Kid) and “Hoe-Down” (from Rodeo). The second half brings opera, film, and Broadway hits, including virtuoso arias such as “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, performed by baritone Shea Owens, and “Je veux vivre” from Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet, sung by soprano Madison Leonard. The symphony will also perform familiar works like Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville and John Williams’ Theme from Jurassic Park, paying homage to Utah’s ancient history when dinosaurs roamed the Beehive State.

An experience for everyone

The Music Elevated Tour is designed to appeal to both larger audiences and those seeking a more intimate experience. In addition to the full orchestra performances, chamber music concerts will take place in Fountain Green and Torrey, offering a diverse and immersive musical experience.

A tradition of excellence

The “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty State Tour” continues USUO’s tradition of engaging with rural communities through music. Past tours, such as the “Forever Mighty Tour” in 2021, the “Great American Road Trip Tour” in 2017, and the “Mighty 5 Tour” in 2014, brought the orchestra to stunning outdoor settings across rural Utah. In partnership with the Utah Office of Tourism’s “Forever Mighty” initiative, the tour aims to promote responsible travel and foster a stronger sense of community and preservation of natural landscapes.

Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, expressed excitement about the celebration of Utah’s cultural heritage through the “Music Elevated” performances. She believes that USUO’s concerts will not only entertain but also inspire audiences to explore the diverse and incredible destinations Utah has to offer.

Educational opportunities

The tour will also extend its impact to students by providing educational opportunities. USUO is committed to bringing the joy of music to schools and communities across the state through various programs, including interactive performances, master classes, and in-school residencies with world-renowned musicians. The collaboration with Thanksgiving Point, a renowned cultural and educational organization, will enhance the concert programs with related hands-on activities for all ages, sparking joy and building connections between students and music.

Experience the magic of music

All Music Elevated performances are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to reserve free tickets in advance at http://USUO.org/MusicElevated or by phone at (801)-533-NOTE (6683).

The “Music Elevated: Forever Mighty State Tour” promises to be a celebration of Utah’s diverse cultural heritage, connecting communities through the magic of music while showcasing the natural beauty of the state. Join USUO in this unforgettable journey as they uplift spirits and inspire audiences in every corner of Utah. The tour is sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, and additional sponsors include Zions Bank, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Foundation, and the Stewart Family Foundation.

Concert schedule

1. Huntsville, Utah – Monday, Aug. 7 / 8:15 p.m. / Huntsville Town Park (7355 E 200 S, Huntsville, Utah)

2. Fountain Green, Utah – Tuesday, Aug. 8 / 8 p.m. / Sage Canyon Ranch (1100 W Ctr St, Fountain Green, Utah)

3. Spring City, Utah – Wednesday, Aug. 9 / 8 p.m. / Spring City Church (164 South Main Street, Spring City, Utah)

4. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – Thursday, Aug. 10 / 8 p.m. / Ruby’s Inn Bryce Canyon Rim (26 South Main Street, Bryce Canyon City, Utah)

5. Torrey, Utah – Friday, Aug. 11 / 8 p.m. / Cougar Ridge Lodge (Address not specified)

6. Teasdale, Utah – Saturday, Aug. 12 / 8 p.m. / Teasdale Town Park (Address not specified)


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