Symphony features Broadway hits

PARKERSBURG – The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg will feature a series of Broadway showstoppers during its final concert of the 2012-2013 season.

As part of its season closing, the WVSOP will also hold a benefit dinner on the same night as the concert.

The concert will be 3 p.m. April 14 at the Blennerhassett School Auditorium on Jewell Road south of Parkersburg.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults and $8 for students. Ticket information is available by calling 304-485-4200 or by visiting the symphony’s website at Tickets will also be available at the door until 2:30 p.m. the day of the concert.

As it does each year, the WVSOP will close its season in Parkersburg with “Dinner with the Maestro” at the Blennerhassett Hotel in downtown Parkersburg at 6 p.m., following the concert. Tickets for the dinner are $55 per person and are available by calling 304-295-6593.

The benefit is sponsored by the WVSO League of Parkersburg and serves as a major fundraiser for the music awareness programs provided to local elementary schools in Wood and Washington counties by the WVSOP.

The concert is titled “Music of the Night” and will feature performances by two veterans of the Great White Way. Vocalists Norman Large and Christina Saffran will join the orchestra for the special pops concert to close out the season.

The performance will feature Broadway music from such hits as “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Les Miserables,” “The King and I,” “The Sound of Music” and others.

Large’s career bridges Broadway, film, television, concert, opera and recording, He starred in the original Broadway productions of “The Woman in White,” “Les Miserables,” “A Doll’s Life” and “Silverlake.” Worldwide he has starred in numerous major productions including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “My Fair Lady,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Urinetown,” “Man of La Mancha,” “South Pacific”,” The Sound of Music,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “West Side Story” and “The King and I.”

On television, he has appeared on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “NYPD Blue,” “JAG,” “Seinfeld,” “Nash Bridges,” “LA Law,” “Voyager,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Caroline in the City” and “Quantum Leap” along with numerous soaps and movies of the week. On film, Large appeared in “Pretty Woman”and “Repossessed.”

He has been a principal artist with the New York City Opera and has sung with symphony orchestras nationwide under the batons of such noted conductors as Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.

Saffran’s career is extensive, having starred as Kathy Seldon in “Singin’ In The Rain,” Maggie in “A Chorus Line,” Shoo Shoo in “Sophisticated Ladies,” Rosabud and Edwin Drood in “Drood” and Zaneeta in “The Music Man.”

She has also appeared around the world in leading performances in “My Fair Lady,” “Showboat,” “South Pacific,” “Phantom,” “White Christmas,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Damn Yankees,” “The Sound of Music,” “Pajama Game,” “She Loves Me,” “Street Scene,” “Grease,” “Company,” “My One and Only,” “Chess,” “Me and My Girl” and others.

Her concert work includes a multitude of styles ranging from engagements as the lead chanteuse for Herbie Hancock, to soloist with various national symphony orchestras, to “jazzing it up” with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and on to opening for Don Rickles with her own show in Las Vegas’ Stardust Resort and Casino.

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg welcomes patrons with disabilities and with three weeks advance notice will make every effort to accommodate their needs.

Funding for the WVSOP concert series comes in part from grants from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the National Endowment of the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, from the McDonough Foundation, and from the Artsbridge Arts Fund.