By Carlos Sanchez, Staff Writer
When I heard that three-time Grammy nominee David Arkenstone had teamed with award-winning film producer Victoria Paige Meyerink to bring to life a one-of-a-kind show called “David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure,” needless to say, I was thrilled. The news came on the heels of the release of Arkenstone’s stunning neo-classical album — Lovéren — a collaboration with the mesmerizing operatic siren Charlee Brooks.
Recording the work-of-art that is Lovéren with Brooks was inspired by Arkenstone’s desire to create a symphonic and cinematic album that told the story of an under-the-sea romance involving mermaids.
Lovéren adds to a recording career that spans 25 years and includes more than 30 albums, including film and television soundtracks and video game scores. Arkenstone regularly ventures into audacious musical territories, but Lovéren is a fantastical unique voyage exploring the hypnotic depths of romantic love. You can feel the passion in every musical note.
Entering the historic “Alex” Theatre, a Glendale landmark, I was transfixed by the beauty of the place. Previously known as “Alexander Theatre,” it has been host to everything from vaudeville acts to Hollywood screenings since opening in 1925. With over 1,400 seats, a full balcony, terrace, and orchestra seats, it seemed the perfect setting for an unforgettable night of music, dance, art, and romance.
Yes, I had high expectations for the night, and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was wholly impressed by a dazzling live production that transfixed, inspired, and moved every member of the sold-out audience. The show was superb. It was beyond words, but, alas, I will try to muster some creative ones in the hopes that you will one day find a way to experience this exceptional show.
At the heart of the program was the lovely Charlee Brooks, the gifted opera singer who acts as storyteller throughout the moving and vivid mermadic love story. Yes, I’m beginning to make up words (mermadic), but that’s because this wildly imaginative performance makes you believe you can do anything. It touched my heart and brought back sweet memories of my first love, and all the other lovers that have graced my life.
By the time the extraordinary Cirque de la Symphonie acrobats and Celtic dancers, all wearing hypnotic costumes, took the stage to compliment the live orchestra directed by conductor Seth Osburn, I was drowning in emotion. The mesmerizing combination of song and dance stole my breath and my heart.
What more could you possibly ask for or dream of in a musical adventure? Well, the one-night-only experience also featured The Towne Singers choir under the direction of Doug Tidstrand, Eric Rigler, the piper from Titanic and Braveheart, the electrifying violist Karen Briggs, and keyboard wizard Jonn Serrie.
It seemed to me every single member of the audience was awestruck from start to finish. There were many gasps, much applause throughout the night, and a standing ovation to complete it. The ingenious staging, intricate lighting design, and breathtaking special effects combined to deliver a transcendent musical experience that will fuel my imagination for years to come.
I aim to share it with you via this concert report. I truly wish you could have been there.
If you did miss this show, there will be an opportunity for you to enjoy it on DVD (and on TV) in the near future. For more information, check out: