Stir up a bit of Bizet, Broadway and The Beatles, and what do you get?
A soufflé of a pops concert from the Salina Symphony entitled, appropriately enough, “Love is All You Need.”
The concert’s title comes from the lyrics of one of The Beatles’ most popular songs and will feature an orchestral tribute to the Fab Four encompassing the range of their unmatched musical legacy.
“I’ve done this Beatles tribute before, and it’s great,” said Yaniv Segal, conductor and music director of the Salina Symphony. “It includes both well-known and less known Beatles songs. It follows the scope of their music, which I think is timeless and generation-less.”
The Salina Symphony’s “All You Need is Love” concert will begin at 4 p.m. March 5 at the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, 151 S. Santa Fe.
Guest performer will be Samantha Rose Williams, a Philadelphia-based mezzo-soprano and crossover singer who has performed in numerous operas and such classic musicals as “My Fair Lady” and “Sweeney Todd.”
Williams will perform several Broadway-based romantic ballads during the concert, including “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady,” “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Misérables,” “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” from “Evita” and “On the Steps of the Palace” from “Into the Woods.”
“(Williams) is a wonderful singer joining us,” Segal said. “She has such a great stage presence and can sing both Broadway and opera.”
Orchestral selections performed by the Salina Symphony, in addition to The Beatles tribute, will be a mixture of timeless romantic classical works and contemporary romantic symphonic movie scores.
Selections will include the overture from the Disney animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” “Claire de lune” by Debussy, “L’amour est un oiseau” from “Carmen” by Bizet, the Waltz from “Sleeping Beauty” by Tchaikovsky and “Across the Stars,” the love theme from “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” by John Williams.
“Somewhere you’ve heard a lot of this music, whether it’s in movies or commercials,” Segal said. “In this concert, I’m trying to blur the lines between what’s considered pop and light classical.
The concert will end with “Love is All You Need,” the Beatles tribute arranged and orchestrated by Bruce Healey.
“The Beatles laid it down – it’s just incredible what they accomplished,” Segal said. “Everyone knows their music, so if people want to sing along with it, I’ll be more than happy.”
Segal will host a pre-concert talk beginning at 3 p.m. March 5 in the Stiefel Theatre’s Watson Room. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. Those attending are instructed to enter through the main theater doors.
Samantha Rose Williams earned a bachelor’s degree at Stanford University and a master’s degree in music in voice performance at the University of Michigan. In addition to performing on opera and musical stages throughout the U.S., Williams is manager of institutional giving for Opera Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.
Williams said she was invited by Segal to sing with the Salina Symphony after a previous collaboration at Ann Arbor, Mich., was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
“We had done all of our rehearsals just before everything shut down,” she said. “Then he sent an email asking what I was doing this year and said he would be honored if I would do this concert with him.”
Segal said that after their first concert was canceled, he wanted to work with Williams again if given the opportunity.
“Some tunes I had suggested she do, but I also asked what she would like to sing,” he said.
During her visit to Salina, Williams plans to visit Southeast of Saline High School and Kansas Wesleyan University to perform selections from her most recent artistic project “American Patriots,” a staged song cycle that seeks to examine patriotism from three different American perspectives: African American, Native American and White Working Class American.
“It’s a newly commissioned work that encourages people to think about American patriotism,” she said.
Williams said she is excited about performing with the Salina Symphony.
“Singing in front of an orchestra is what it’s all about, using every centimeter of your body to make sure you project over all those instruments,” she said.
Segal said he didn’t want to limit himself to one genre of music when putting together what he called a “pops crossover” concert.
“It’s meant to be a lighter concert, and now is a good time for that,” he said. “It’s just an afternoon of great music that just happens to be about love.”
Tickets for the Salina Symphony “Love is All You Need” concert start at $29. Tickets may be purchased at the Stiefel Theatre box office, by calling 785-827-1998 or online at www.salinasymphony.org.
The concert is sponsored by Bank of Tescott, Heritage Real Estate Advisors and Tom and Maggie Hemmer.
For more information, contact Salina Symphony executive director Adrienne Allen at 785-823-8309 or visit www.salinasymphony.org.