By Amy Baird – November 20, 2019
FRONT ROW REVIEWERS
With America’s Wonders in 3D, you can imagine experiencing some of our country’s most spellbinding beauty and vibrant cities in 3D accompanied by the unparalleled Utah Symphony. This concert was a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country journey showcasing some of the most spectacular views that our nation has to offer. Conner Gray Covington conducted the Utah Symphony and the performance was enhanced by the performance of tenor Adam Fisher. The performance showcased the versatility of the orchestra with pieces ranging from sweeping lyrical pieces like “Shenandoah” to a rousing “Viva Las Vegas”. This special performance was performed on November 19, 2019 in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of Zion National Park’s designation as a National Park in 1919.
This unique experience was made possible thanks to Princeton Entertainment and MacGillivray Freeman Freeman Films, which provided the films and accompanying scores. The compilation of 3D video covered 28 national parks and 11 major U.S. cities including New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco. The first act focused on the beauty of national parks and the second act focused on the cityscapes and cultures of vibrant cities across our nation. A literal feast for the eyes and the ears, the experience was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
The “Our National Parks” portion of the program began with Ferde Grofé’s “Sunrise” and scenes of beautiful waterfalls and parks as the sun rose. The 3D glasses enhanced the experience by making it feel like you were soaring through the air above the mountains.
The national park portion continued with pieces focusing on “Mountains,” “Sandstone,” “Water,” and “Green”. The symphony captured the emotion and mood of the various landscapes with soaring crescendos and quiet plaintive moments. Each piece was structured like a day beginning with sunrise and ending with a sunset.
The orchestra’s full range was showcased during Thiago Tiberio’s “Water”, which featured percussion creating sounds like bubbles, waves, rain, and even ice. The video ranged from bubbling mudpots and geysers at Yellowstone to scenic waterfalls and streams. The music perfectly captured the motion and the energy of the water from delicate raindrops to roaring rapids.
The selections were lightened with images of humorous animals including the prairie dogs that surround Devil’s Tower National Monument. The prairie dogs popped in and out of their holes and seemed to dance to the music eliciting laughter from the audience. Another humorous moment was the scene of a bear attempting, unsuccessfully, to catch a fish swimming upstream with the accompanying music that matched the jovial mood and humor.
During the “Our Exciting Cities” portion of the program, the symphony was joined by Fisher, the tenor soloist. Fisher energized the performance with his enthusiasm and engaging singing style. The tour of our nation’s cities began with a rousing rendition of “I’ve Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway”, followed by a stirring “New York, New York”. As Fisher sang the songs, the screen showed a 3D view of the cityscape soaring above the skyscrapers as well as break dancer performing in the streets of Broadway.
A crowd favorite was the visit to New Orleans with its cable cars and vibrant jazz music. A soulful, jazzy “City of New Orleans” and then a rousing “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Chicago was next on the tour followed by the Southern Cities which included a visit to South Carolina (“Carolina on My Mind”), Austin, Texas (“Deep in the Heart of Texas”), Nashville (“Crazy Town”) and Miami (“Conga”).
The visit across the United States ended on the West Coast with a crowd pleasing “Viva Las Vegas” sung while the audience flew high over the shining lights of the Las Vegas Strip. Los Angeles was another favorite with music from La La Land including “City of Stars”. After a trip to Seattle, we ended flying over the Golden Gate Bridge with a rousing rendition of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. The audience was brought to their feet in thunderous applause after this final song.
The most powerful moment of the night was the encore performance of Don McLean’s “Vincent”. Fisher showed his range in this touching song written in tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. As he sang the song, highlights from the evening’s video was shown from a beautiful time-lapsed Arches National Park night sky with stars flying overhead to fields full of sunflowers. It was a stunning conclusion to this perfectly accompanied celebration of the beautiful country that we live in.
America’s Wonder in 3D with the Utah Symphony was an exquisite piece of art with the stunning images in 3D perfectly accompanied by soaring crescendos and minute staccatos to replicate the sounds and emotion of nature. The cross-country journey through America’s cities was enhanced and enlivened by the vocal stylings of talented tenor Adam Fisher. America’s Wonder in 3D was an exceptional experience that has to be seen to be believed.