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TFO to perform U.S. premiere of unique ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’

The Florida Orchestra is bringing the U.S. premiere of a wickedly fun version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Tampa Bay for its socially distanced Family Concert matinee on Sunday, May 16, at the Mahaffey Theater. The work features a storyline by famed children’s author Roald Dahl, thrilling LIVE music by acclaimed composer Eleanor Alberga, and lead narration by actor Becca McCoy, without a set or images.

Separately, the concert also will feature powerful images of a new work by internationally renowned installation artist Ya La’ford, set to Mozart’s iconic Overture to The Marriage of Figaro. All music will be performed live by The Florida Orchestra.

Note to parents: Roald Dahl’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is not the traditional fairytale. Beloved author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and other children’s classics, Dahl is known for adding an edge to his stories, and he fills this PG-rated rendition with humorous, spooky twists and a surprise ending that will captivate families. It’s recommended for ages 8 and older, because some parts could be mildly scary for young children.

But the story would be nothing without the music of Jamaican-born composer Alberga, who creates an enchanting musical backdrop of wild forests and dance parties. The work premiered at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1994.

“We’re excited to be the first orchestra to bring this fresh, magical work to a live American audience. Eleanor Alberga’s music vividly tells the story with beauty, humor and sometimes even a spooky edge,” said TFO Resident Conductor Daniel Black, who will lead about 30 TFO musicians. “TFO is committed to bringing attention to a wide range of composers, and Alberga is a fascinating talent with a unique musical voice deserving of greater recognition.”

For this performance, local fan favorite Becca McCoy will be joined by actor Ward G. Smith and TFO Community Engagement Coordinator Michelle Kim-Painter to tell the Snow White story through narration.

TFO will open the concert with a powerful artistic voice, acclaimed installation artist Ya La’ford. A video will show the making of Community Woven, a mural project by La’ford that engaged schoolchildren in both art and music. Working with students from Mt. Zion Christian Academy and others, La’ford wove a visual quilt of “words, wisdom and well-wishes” collected from the community for the bold, geometric mural in the Warehouse Arts District in St. Petersburg. The video is set to a work familiar to all ages, Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, played live by The Florida Orchestra.

“Not only did we engage students in the similar process of creating art and music, but we shared how sound and instruments work together in an orchestra to create a richness of overtones and harmony,” La’ford said. “Together, we are sharing with our next generation how music and visual arts are universal tools to empower and elevate our experience.”

Like all of our concerts, the audience will be socially distanced and required to wear face masks (ages 3 and up) with one difference: family units will be seated together instead of spaced out in pairs. The Mahaffey Theater will be limited to 30 percent capacity. No lobby activities will be available.