Powerful music and fabulous singing were backed up last weekend with staggeringly beautiful dance moves at the Mid-Columbia Symphony's final concert of its 2011-12 season.
But this was much more than a concert. It was a production so elaborate it had to be moved from the symphony's usual venue at the Three Rivers Convention Center to the Windermere Theatre at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Each of the 24 movements of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana are based on a collection of 13th century Medieval poems that were discovered in 1847.
The poems cover a range of topics from the fickleness of wealth and the joy of spring, to the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and lust. All are as relevant today as they were 800 years ago.
What made this concert an even more emotional experience was the added vocal talents of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Yakima Symphony Chorus and Children's Choir from the Richland School District, as well as the intoxicating moves of dancers with the Mid-Columbia Ballet.
Each movement performed by the symphony featured a different set of dancers in scenes that ranged from impish to sensuous.
And there were moments when it was apparent the powerful singing of the Mastersingers and Yakima chorus sent chills through the near capacity crowd of close to 2,000.
This unique concert might have been the final one of the season, but it won't be the last, as the Mid-Columbia Symphony, Mastersingers and Mid-Columbia Ballet plan to give Tri-City music lovers even more extravagant performances in the future, said Justin Raffa, symphony manager and artistic director of the Mastersingers.
The Windermere Theatre was a better choice for this concert than the convention center for a number of reasons. It holds more people and offers stadium seating, so your view of the stage was not hindered by the person in front of you, and the big black curtains do give it a more intimate feel.
But underneath all that it is still a hockey rink. And then there's the problem with acoustics. It doesn't take a degree in physics to figure out that a coliseum with steel rafters degrades beautiful music.
Even though the music and movements of Carmina Burana were powerful enough to compensate for the inadequate acoustics, there's no doubt the production would have been even more stirring in an actual performing arts center.
The Tri-Cities already has proven it offers the high quality entertainment found in bigger cities.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org