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Babar the Little Elephant Brought to Life with Music and Narration in Next orKIDStra

February 08, 2010

Youthful French themes also feature 12-year-old Webster violinist;Seneca Park Zoomobile makes special post-concert visit

Rochester, NY – From the depths of the jungle through streets of Paris, the adventures of the little elephant in The Story of Babar have enchanted generations of children throughout the world.  The musical adaptation of Jean deBrunhoff’s beloved book by French composer Francis Poulenc will be performed on Sunday, February 21 at 2:00 pm as the centerpiece of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s orKIDStra concert at the Performance Hall at Hochstein. The accompanying vivid narration by Jennifer Carsillo will help bring the story to life.  Pre-concert activities at Hochstein begin at 1:00 pm.  Following the concert at approximately 3:00 pm, a special free visit from the Seneca Park Zoomobile will take place at Hochstein for concert ticketholders.

It was the efforts of one of Poulenc’s young relatives that resulted in his musical composition, The Story of Babar.  The young girl begged Poulenc to stop playing his classical music and instructed him to play her child’s book instead. As she placed the copy of her book onto Poulenc’s music desk, his interpretation of Babar became a reality. 

The theme of youth characterizes the concert, with short works by French composers Georges Bizet (“March” and “Gallop” from Jeux d’enfants), and Claude Debussy’s “Jumbo’s Lullaby” from Children’s Corner Suite for Orchestra.  In addition, 12-year-old violinist Helen Wong—a seventh grader at Spry Middle School in Webster and student of the RPO’s Boris Zapesochny—will be featured in the Rondo movement from Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole

Jennifer Carsillo—international violinist, soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster—has a vast musical repertoire. Her musical performances range from Baroque to contemporary cultural masterpieces. Carsillo’s versatile experience also includes musical theatre, commercial television appearances, and frequent guest narrations with symphonic orchestras around the nation.

Although ideal for children of all ages, RPO orKIDStra concerts – sponsored by Wendy’s Restaurants of Rochester – are designed for families with young children ages 3 and up.  RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County; and the City of Rochester. 

General admission tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for children, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) in person from the RPO Box Office, Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm (non-concert Saturdays, 10:00 am-3:00 pm); and seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.

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