Robert Redford joins the Dallas Symphony for a multi-media show about our endangered climate
The performance piece is called "The Way of the Rain - Hope for the Earth," and it's getting its North American premiere in Dallas on Saturday. Redford's wife, Sibylle Szaggars Redford and a team of collaborators created the show.
"The Way of the Rain - Hope for the Earth" was conceived by longtime visual artist Sibylle Szaggars Redford, who is Robert Redford's wife. She was inspired by the fragile climate of northern New Mexico where the annual rains sustain the dry, Southwestern ecosystem. In 2015, she founded an environmental, educational non-profit, The Way of the Rain.
Saturday's elaborate, multi-media concert at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center will feature not just the DSO, but the symphony's Children's Chorus, a big-screen film and live narration by Robert Redford.
To create it, Sibylle Szaggars Redford collaborated with composer Tim Janis (who has worked with Paul McCartney and Emanuel Ax) and film and projections artist Floyd Thomas McBee, who has been doing research and editing the piece since 2010. She created the storyline and directed the show, but together, the creative team shaped an expansive performance work that encompasses the origins of the universe to the evolution of the Earth, its great natural beauties, and their possible, even foreseeable extinction from climate change.
COVID delayed the 2020 world premiere of "The Way of the Rain" — planned for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22 — but it occurred last year in Monaco at the Grimaldi Forum. It was performed by the Zhangomusiq Orchestra and the Choir of the Monte-Carlo Opera — conducted by Julien Benichou, music director of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony. Benichou will also be leading the Dallas Symphony.
Although Saturday's performance came about partly because the DSO and the Meyerson had a fortuitous opening in their calendars, North Texas has been involved since the work's early days. EarthX, the Dallas-based, environmental non-profit created by Trammell S. Crow, is presenting the show — through M3 Films, which was founded by Melina McKinnon to develop cause-based, independent movies, a business model that's been called "filmanthropy."
"The Way of the Rain - Hope for the Earth," Saturday at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
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