Actor to narrate RCO performance

The world knows him best as Mr. Spock, but this weekend, actor Leonard Nimoy will perform another familiar role: narrator.

Nimoy, who portrayed the stoic Vulcan in the Star Trek TV series and movies, will be narrating the Reno Chamber Orchestra‘s performance of Igor Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale). The piece, composed for seven instrumentalists and a narrator, is a parody about a soldier’s misadventures with the devil and conveys an irony of wanting the world without making tough choices.

In this particular piece, Stravinsky treats the voice as another instrument. Nimoy’s voice is the perfect match, according to Scott Faulkner, RCO’s artistic operations manager.

Faulkner said the RCO was interested in using a celebrity narrator for this piece. Since Nimoy has ties to the area as a seasonal resident of Lake Tahoe, the orchestra decided to invite him to participate in the performance. Faulkner sent a proposal to Nimoy’s management in August, and much to the RCO’s pleasure, Nimoy accepted the invitation.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity,” Faulkner said.

Nimoy, an active supporter of the arts, lent his voice to other symphonic performances in Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. One of his most recent contributions was in the 1998 full-length oratorio, Souls on Fire, which tells the story of the founders of European Hassidism. This work was performed with the Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra. His voice has also been associated with pieces marking the Jewish holidays.

The RCO will also feature guest conductor Apo Hsu, artistic director and conductor of the San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic, and world-renowned Russian violinist Misha Keylin. Saturday’s performance will also include Gioacchino Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Silviglia Overture” and Niccolo Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Opus 7, “La Campanella.”

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Jan. 13 at Nightingale Concert Hall, located in the University of Nevada, Reno, Church Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $10 for students, $20 for seniors and $25 for general admission. Faulkner said that tickets are still available, but he expects them to sell quickly.

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