The musical menagerie of composer Saint-Saens’ classic “Carnival of the Animals” will come to life tonight when the Glendale Symphony Orchestra performs a benefit for PAWS/LA, a West Hollywood support group that helps people with AIDS care for their pets.
The Los Angeles Music Center event is for “music lovers who love animals and people,” said PAWS executive director Nadia Sutton.
Actor Arte Johnson of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” fame will narrate, interpreting the humorous verse that satirist Ogden Nash wrote to accompany “Carnival of the Animals.”
Lalo Schifrin will conduct the Symphony in a program that highlights performances by soloists Mona and Renee Golabek and includes works by Beethoven and Mussorgsky.
In “Carnival of the Animals,” a series of lighthearted interludes represent a parade of creatures as they strut, stomp, hop, romp and flutter their way through the piece. Camille Saint-Saens wrote the suite in 1886 as a musical joke, but it has become a favorite with audiences.
“It’s an adult piece but the music creates so much imagery through sound that for every child, it’s a wonderful teaching tool,” said Nathan Sternfeld, the organizer of the event.
Sutton founded PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) four years ago after learning that an ailing friend was forced to give away his cats.
Last year the organization helped 500 clients and provided pet food and supplies, discounted veterinary care, and homes to 800 animals.
With every ticket, concert-goers will receive “Carnival of the Animals” on compact disc, a recording released last year with proceeds benefiting several animal rights groups.