Composer Names Vietnam-Themed Oratorio


Elliot Goldenthal has named his composition commissioned by the Pacific Symphony to commemorate the human costs of the Vietnam War. "Fire Water Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio" is to have its world premiere April 26 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, played by the orchestra under music director Carl St.Clair.

Another performance, to be broadcast live on KUSC-FM 91.5, is scheduled for the following day. For both performances, baritone James Maddelena will replace the originally announced Sanford Sylvan, who has withdrawn because of scheduling conflicts.

Tickets will be $14 to $41. Information: (714) 556-2787.

A series of related events will include a photography exhibit, "Eternal Images: Reflections of Vietnam," in the center lobby April 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. and immediately following the performances; an introduction to the piece, with cellist Tim Laundauer playing some of its themes, and poems read by Vietnam veterans, April 23 at 7 p.m. in the Newport Beach Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave. (admission is free), and a dress rehearsal open to sixth- through 12th-graders April 25 at 7 p.m. at the center ($3 for students, $5 for teachers or chaperons. (714) 755-5788).

Several private society events are also planned. An honorary committee for the event is to be co-chaired by Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, and will include Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, none of whom is expected to attend, according to an orchestra spokesman.

The spokesman also announced that the orchestra has raised the $250,000 it needed to cover the costs of performing and then recording the piece (sessions for the Sony Classical label are slated for the week after the first performances). The money came from corporate, government and private sources, the spokesman said.

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