We came, we saw, and we started a revolution. Thousands of people witnessed Barter Theatre's Les Mis at main stage and hundreds more attended the two performances with Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport. Thanks to all who went on this journey with us. It was spectacular.
Thousands upon thousands of people have seen “Les Misérables”
this past year through the movie release last winter or the many regional
theatre productions. It’s officially the world’s longest running musical, and
“Les Mis” has been seen by over 65 million people in 42 countries. But how many
have seen it with a full symphony orchestra? Not many.
On August 16 and 17 the Mountain Empire is invited to see
the musical event of the summer in a brand new way: a collaboration of Barter
Theatre and the Symphony of the Mountains to bring the music of “Les Mis” to
soaring new heights.
Cornelia Laemmli Orth conducting The Symphony of the Mountains
Although the story, based on Victor Hugo’s novel, is
compelling, the music is the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of “Les
Mis.” Alain Boubill and Claude Michel Schonberg have arguably written the best
music for a theatrical production of all time. It has even made its way into
pop culture with references on “Seinfeld,” “South Park” and more recently, “Homeland.”
After the movie was released, even “Saturday Night Live” got in on the action
with a spoof of “One Day More” with host Anne Hathaway.
As fans already know, the show is meant to be seen live. It
is so rare for any production to have a full orchestra, which is why this is so
exciting that Barter Theatre is collaborating with Symphony of the Mountains
for two performances Kingsport. Last Sunday, Barter closed an extremely
successful run of “Les Mis” in Abingdon, but the cast is eager to perform two
more times and backed by a full symphony.
Actor Rick McVey
said, “Playing Javert in ‘Les Mis’ has been one of the most thrilling and fulfilling
roles I've ever done. To be able to do it with this fantastic cast and
crew is undeniably one of the highlights of my career, and to perform with
a full symphony orchestra is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
For two nights only, residents of the Mountain Empire can
hear the music of “Les Mis” the way it was intended and backed by the
professional musicians of Symphony of the Mountains.
The orchestra pit at Barter Theatre is only large enough to
hold six musicians, and that was a tight fit. The Toy F. Reid Center in
Kingsport, Tennessee, can hold the 30 Barter Theatre actors and a full
Barter Theatre and Symphony of the Mountains are two of the
longest-running performing arts organizations in the region. Barter is
celebrating 80 years and the Symphony is celebrating 65. It makes perfect sense
to collaborate when opportunity allows. Few organizations in the country are
pooling resources in this way. Barter first partnered with The Symphony in 2011
with “Cabaret” and the outpouring of support was exciting for both
Audiences loved “Cabaret,” but will be even more blown away
by “Les Mis.”
Hannah Ingram as Fantine
The difference between performing “Cabaret” and “Les Mis” is
the scope of the project. “Cabaret” is meant to be more intimate with a smaller
cast, but “Les Mis” is truly epic, and the entire story is told through the
lyrics and music, instead of having breaks for dialogue.
Symphony conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth and the musicians
really have their job cut out for them. Most musicals allow for musicians to
rest during dialogue. Since “Les Mis” is more of an opera than traditional
music theatre, every word is sung. The characters in the show take turns
singing solo or with groups, but the conductor and the musicians are performing
in every single number for the entire play..
“I am very
excited about this collaboration. Yes, it is a long time for me to have my arms
up without a break, but I am sure I won’t even feel it. This music is so
incredibly beautiful and passionate, that it makes us forget everything else,”
said Laemmli Orth.
Barter/Symphony collaboration will take place at the Toy F. Reid Eastman
Employee Center in Kingsport, TN, on August 16 and 17 at 7:30pm. For tickets
and more information, visit SymphonyoftheMountains.org or call (423) 392-8423.
Read More About the Collaboration with The Symphony of the Mountains.
To love another person is to see the face of God. —Jean Valjean, Les Misérables.
From the first soaring notes to the final triumphant chorus, Les Mis is a musical experience you will never forget. Pursued by the righteous policeman Javert, convicted felon Jean Valjean seeks to find redemption and protect the innocent orphan Cosette. Songs like “On My Own,” “Who am I?” and “One Day More” have made Les Mis an international smash hit for over two decades. Barter’s thrilling original production features a cast of 26 and a live musical ensemble on stage.
Barter Theatre is located in beautiful Abingdon, VA. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway for two, a reunion for the whole gang, or an excuse for a Girls Night Out – Barter Theatre and Abingdon, VA is the perfect destination.