ASO to present La Mer on February 9

The Akron Symphony Orchestra will explore the mysteries of the sea as we present La Mer on February 9 at 8 p.m.

The performance will open with Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, the composer’s most well-known work. The program will also include excerpts from Bernard Herrmann’s dramatic cantata Moby-Dick, with baritone Brian Keith Johnson and tenor Timothy Culver; the Northeast Ohio premiere of Stella Sung’s Oceana; and close with Debussy’s emotionally powerful masterpiece, La Mer.

The concert will be augmented by stunning visual imagery on two of the musical pieces.

A photographic essay, Then and Now, Changes from Above and Below by former Boston Globe staff writer David Arnold, will accompany Adagio for Strings. By matching older photos precisely with the same scenes today, Arnold has documented melting glaciers in Alaska and the Alps, and the general demise of hard corals throughout the Caribbean, along with the optimism of renewal as evidenced here in our own region.

Oceana will be accompanied by a film created by Annie Crawley, which reveals several important truths about the ocean and the Great Lakes, including its beauty and fragility.

The concert is also an official event of Cuyahoga50, a yearlong initiative marking 50 years of work to improve the quality of the Cuyahoga River. Cuyahoga50 is working to bring people together throughout 2019 to celebrate clean water and ignite future action through storytelling, discussion and debate.

A Preview from the Podium, featuring Maestro Wilkins discussing the evening’s program, will begin at 7 p.m. In addition, the Great Lakes Science Center will be in the lobby prior to the concert with an educational display about the center’s in-school and out-of-school informal STEM learning opportunities.

Single tickets for the performance start at just $25. Tickets are available online or by calling the Symphony Box Office at 330.535.8131. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the concert as long as seats are available.

The performance will take place at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, which is located at 198 Hill Street. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

La Mer on February 9