Symphony in the Domain


Symphony in the Domain

Symphony in the Domain (formerly known as Symphony Under The Stars) is the second of three, open air concerts that are held in The Domain, Sydney as part of the Sydney Festival. It is traditionally held on the third Saturday evening of January. In 2007, the event celebrated its 25th anniversary, and achieved a record crowd of 85 000 people as a result. It is preceded by Jazz in the Domain the previous Saturday evening, and followed by Opera in The Domain the week after, both of which achieve high crowds upwards of 80 000. All of the concerts are free of charge. The concert is performed by the Sydney Symphony, which in 2007, celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Symphony in the Domain has previously, tended to lean towards a more classical element of music, resulting in a larger, but much more sedate audience, in comparison to Jazz in the Domain where the livelier music often encourages dancing and frivolity. But in 2006, the orchestra presented a celebration of the music of George Gershwin, including both his show tunes and his more grand, orchestral works such as "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris". This evening of music featured, notably, members of the orchestra forming a small Jazz trio to perform some of Gershwin's songs. Subsequently, in 2007, audiences were treated to a playlist showcasing some of the best sounds of 20th century America, which was enthusiastically received. Led by internationally renowned conductor, Charles Hazlewood, the concert included music from Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" as well as music from Frank Zappa and John Zorn

The event is now enormously popular with both locals and tourists, and has become a much loved and celebrated part of Sydney summer culture. Families especially make a night of it, many arriving with blankets, picnic banquets, deckchairs, some even with pets. As with all the Domain concerts, Symphony in The Domain has a performance time of two and a half hours, although entertainment is now provided for people who arrive early to secure vantage areas closer to the main stage. Keen classical music lovers have been known to camp out days beforehand to mark their spots on the massive lawns of The Domain.

As with all of the concerts, crowds are welcomed to the event by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, and the currently serving State Premier of NSW. The concert is always unceremoniously ended with a rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture", with the finale complemented by cannons, a spectacular fireworks display above The Domain, and with the bells of St Mary's Cathedral tolling in the background. Crowds have historically thanked the Sydney Symphony for the performance with a massive standing ovation, and with large scale cheering and clapping.

Channel Nine is a principal sponsor of Symphony in the Domain, and the networks' nightly news bulletin is broadcast on big screens throughout The Domain at 6pm, which includes a live cross to the proceedings.

External links

* [http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au The official Sydney Festival website]
* [http://www.sydneyfestivalblog.com The Sydney Festival Blog Site]
* [http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/index/0,22045,5010940,00.html Sydney Festival - Feature from Daily Telegraph]


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