What you'll hear at the Deer Valley Music Festival

Utah Symphony • Tourangeau says there's something to please every one.

By Celia R. Baker Special To The Tribune

Published July 5th 2012 3:54 pm



The Utah Symphony is gearing up for another Deer Valley Music Festival, featuring headliner groups and family programming under the stars, intimate chamber orchestra concerts indoors and even a nod to outdoor opera.

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera CEO Melia Tourangeau said the festival follows the format that has been working well for several years. Weekend concerts at Deer Valley's Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater will feature the Utah Symphony and guests in light classical and family programming on Friday nights, with symphonic pop music and headliners on Saturdays.

Highlights of those shows include the opening concert's celebration of Michael Jackson's music, the rock bands Kansas and Earth, Wind and Fire, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the eclectic band Pink Martini.

A pared-down version of the Utah Symphony will play chamber orchestra music at Park City's intimate St. Mary's Church on Wednesday evenings, as in the past. There is a change this year, however. The festival is dropping its Thursday night series, which presented guest chamber ensembles from around the world. The concerts were expensive to produce, and because the Utah Symphony didn't perform on them, there was a dilution of branding, Tourangeau said.

"We decided we should focus on our own artists, our own talent first," she said.

Tourangeau explained that the festival doesn't have just one audience, but several. Patrons haven proven more likely to buy tickets to several concerts within one genre than to buy tickets for all the activities of a particular week.

"The whole idea of having a weeklong festival experience with something going on every night wasn't fitting what our patrons were looking for," she said.

Tourangeau is pleased that outdoor opera will be getting a new toehold at the festival this season. During DVMF's first years, fully produced light operas were an anticipated feature. The economic downturn made that expensive proposition infeasible.

This year, the festival will present an outdoor evening of opera hits on July 20, featuring artists of international stature. Those include sopranos Celena Shafer and Jennifer Welch-Babidge and baritone Darrell Babidge, who are Utahns.

"We are so fortunate to have this depth of talent in our community," Tourangeau said.

Many of the concerts will be conducted by Utah Symphony associate conductor Vladimir Kulenovic, whom Tourangeau describes as a tremendous asset to the Utah Symphony.

"I am so thrilled to be showcasing [Kulenovic]," she said. "He is an incredible talent who is going to go far in his career. We are lucky to get him at this stage of it. I'm thrilled to give him the opportunity to show this community what he's got."

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The Utah Symphony is gearing up for another Deer Valley Music Festival, featuring headliner groups and family programming under the stars, intimate chamber orchestra concerts indoors and even a nod to outdoor opera.

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera CEO Melia Tourangeau said the festival follows the format that has been working well for several years. Weekend concerts at Deer Valley's Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater will feature the Utah Symphony and guests in light classical and family programming on Friday nights, with symphonic pop music and headliners on Saturdays.

Highlights of those shows include the opening concert's celebration of Michael Jackson's music, the rock bands Kansas and Earth, Wind and Fire, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the eclectic band Pink Martini.

A pared-down version of the Utah Symphony will play chamber orchestra music at Park City's intimate St. Mary's Church on Wednesday evenings, as in the past. There is a change this year, however. The festival is dropping its Thursday night series, which presented guest chamber ensembles from around the world. The concerts were expensive to produce, and because the Utah Symphony didn't perform on them, there was a dilution of branding, Tourangeau said.

"We decided we should focus on our own artists, our own talent first," she said.

Tourangeau explained that the festival doesn't have just one audience, but several. Patrons haven proven more likely to buy tickets to several concerts within one genre than to buy tickets for all the activities of a particular week.

"The whole idea of having a weeklong festival experience with something going on every night wasn't fitting what our patrons were looking for," she said.

Tourangeau is pleased that outdoor opera will be getting a new toehold at the festival this season. During DVMF's first years, fully produced light operas were an anticipated feature. The economic downturn made that expensive proposition infeasible.

This year, the festival will present an outdoor evening of opera hits on July 20, featuring artists of international stature. Those include sopranos Celena Shafer and Jennifer Welch-Babidge and baritone Darrell Babidge, who are Utahns.

"We are so fortunate to have this depth of talent in our community," Tourangeau said.

Many of the concerts will be conducted by Utah Symphony associate conductor Vladimir Kulenovic, whom Tourangeau describes as a tremendous asset to the Utah Symphony.

"I am so thrilled to be showcasing [Kulenovic]," she said. "He is an incredible talent who is going to go far in his career. We are lucky to get him at this stage of it. I'm thrilled to give him the opportunity to show this community what he's got."

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The complete schedule

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Deer Valley Music Festival opens Saturday, July 14, and runs through Aug. 11. Here are the major events.

July 14 • Music of Michael Jackson; Brent Havens, conductor; James Delisco, vocalist. 7:30 p.m., Deer Valley Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.

July 18 • Chamber music on the theme of love. 8 p.m., St. Mary’s Church, Park City.

July 20 • Opera hits; Jerry Steichen, conductor; guest artists Celena Shafer, Sishel Claverie, Jennifer Babidge, Darrell Babidge, Ryan McPherson, Utah Opera Chorus. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Amphitheater.

July 21 • Kansas with the Utah Symphony; Larry Baird, conductor. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Ampthitheater.

July 25 • The French Connection — chamber music of Faur?, Gounod, Ravel, Debussy and Ravel; Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor. 8 p.m., St. Mary’s Church.

July 27 • 1812 Overture; Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor; with Children’s Dance Theatre and narrator Paula Fowler. 7:30 p.m. DVSPO Amphitheater.

July 28 • Broadway Rocks; Jerry Steichen, conductor; vocalists TBA. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Amphitheater.



July 31 and Aug. 2 • Accentuate the Positive— a second edition of songs from the Jewish American Songbook; Shawn Churchman, director; Jerry Steichen, pianist; vocalists Mary Driggs, JD Dumas, Ashley Gardner Carlson and Elizabeth Summerhays. 8 p.m., Temple Har Shalom, Park City.

Aug. 1 • Muir String Quartet — music of Beethoven, Mozart and Joan Tower. 8 p.m., St. Mary’s Church.

Aug. 3 • Disney in Concert — a multimedia experience that includes film clips, animation cells and storyboard art. Jerry Steichen conducts; guest vocalists TBA. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Amphitheater

Aug. 4 • Earth, Wind & Fire Guiding Lights Tour with the Utah Symphony. Charles Floyd, conductor. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Amphitheater.

?Aug. 8 • Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart — chamber music written during the brief span when all three were alive and composing. Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor. 8 p.m., St. Mary’s Church.

Aug. 10 • “The American Songbook” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Mack Wilberg, conductor. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Amphitheater.

Aug. 11 • Pink Martini with the Utah Symphony. Jerry Steichen conducts. 7:30 p.m., DVSPO Amphitheater.



Tickets • Available at 801-533-NOTE or www.usuo.org. Tickets are $5 more on performance day. The Design-A-Series package allows patrons who buy tickets to four or more concerts to receive a 20 percent discount. For this and other discounts, visit www.deervalleymusicfestival.org/tickets.