The Santa Barbara Symphony, together with the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts (SBCPA), presents Sergei Prokofiev‘s Peter and the Wolf at the Granada Theatre (1214 State St.) on Saturday, November 26 at 3 p.m. This tale of excitement and courage features the acclaimed Michael Katz as narrator and is recommended for children ages three and over, prefaced by family-friendly interactive musical entertainment in the Granada lobby.
“This concert, combined with the pre-performance activities, will make for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for the entire family,” Kathryn R. Martin, interim executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, states. “Engaging our community’s young people in orchestral experiences such as Peter and the Wolf is part of our core mission, and we are proud to partner with our colleagues at the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts in such efforts.”
Dr. Craig Springer, president and CEO of the SBCPA, similarly says, “We’re proud to collaborate with the Santa Barbara Symphony to make this family concert accessible and affordable to the community, through our Jurkowitz Center for Community Engagement. We are grateful to each organization’s generous family of donors for making this possible.”
Premiering in May 1936, Peter and the Wolf has charmed audiences for generations. The unique storyline, centering around a boy and his animal friends, symbolizes each character as a musical instrument and theme. Commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow and composed during Stalin’s Great Purge, this play found itself in the hands of Walt Disney, who produced an animated version in 1946 and has been a family favorite thereafter.
Michael Katz has been a storyteller since 1984 and hosts the program Katz Pajamas on National Public Radio station KCBX. He received a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award for his recording Far Away and Close to Home. He was also the founding artistic director for the FlyingLeap Storytelling Festival in Solvang and founded Boxtales Theatre Company. The Los Angeles Times describes Katz as “a versatile performer” while the Santa Barbara Independent states that he has a “gift for telling tales.”
Pre-performance interactive activities begin at 2 p.m., and include the Santa Barbara Symphony’s award-winning Music Van, a mobile music classroom that allows children of all ages to see, touch and play orchestral instruments. The activities are organized by the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Symphony’s own Music Van, the Santa Barbara Public Library, and MOXI – the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation.