Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Deer Valley Music Festival

New Summer Adventure #3

First just let me get something off of my chest. It was my long-held hope that the Utah Symphony performance we would be going to up there would be in mid-August featuring Elvis Costello. It was embarrassingly hard for me to let go of this when it became clear it couldn't happen. I have not really thought of Elvis Costello since my high school days; in fact, I can only put my finger on one or two songs anymore. To hear what a concert with him and a symphony would be like? I couldn't wait to see for myself! Long story short, I shed my tears as I let go of this mini-dream, that in days past would have been an easy and exciting get-away. Now I have a family, a growing family, and other people's needs and plans to consider. And that's OK.

Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture performance was an excellent plan B. It worked out perfectly to combine this concert with our overnight stay in Park City. Since we got a package deal of concert + lodging, it didn't make sense to leave our 3-month-old with a sitter 30 minutes away. I was a little anxious about bringing a baby to the concert. And the signals were mixed about whether it was allowed. Over the phone I was told it was fine, online it looked like it wasn't...? Being an outdoor venue, I wasn't overly stressed about it. I crossed my fingers and figured that if they were stinkers about it, we would go find something else to do. I understand WHY they have policies like that and I am ultra aware when I take my baby out; there are others looking for (and paying for) some cultural refinement as well.

I'm making this too long. We checked in, Peter asked about the tickets, they told us they were at will call. Five minutes before the performance, we arrived (which was a Park City traffic miracle with the arts festival also going on). At will call they did not have our tickets. We called the hotel. Oh! They have them! And they will bring them right up! (grrrr...) It was fun to feel so "on time" for a minute though. :o)

The good news is that I printed out some 1812 Overture history from Wikipedia and crammed it in the diaper bag, so we had something to read while we waited and listened to what we were missing. A half hour later we called the hotel again to see when we could expect them. To my surprise, the phone was answered by the same guy I had spoken to earlier who had just brought them up! He hadn't even looked for us in the box office area, just took them to the window. At one point I took a picture of Peter and Sean on a bench, and it was probably then, when my back was turned that he dropped them off.

In we went. We had general admission lawn seats so we were way up on the hillside. The amphitheatre setting, you're basically at the bottom of the main ski lift, with the mountains all over, is really impressive. Having the rows and rows of condo units looking over us took away from it a little bit, I thought. Surely if I owned one of those condos I would feel differently. :o)

It was a perfectly lovely evening, just the three of us and our big levi blanket. Most of the show was this harpist, and though we couldn't really see, I think her harp is painted blue. Some of her stuff was really great, she electrified her harp for part of it and really rocked out, some was a little weird. We were surprised that she actually DID finish her performance with a bizarre love song about the garbage man. I so rarely go to professional performances of any kind, though, so I was relaxed and enjoying myself. She shared with us her "congratulations" birthday song that was still in my head the next morning. Smart for a performer to have one of those, so they don't have to pay the late MJ any royalties for the traditional "Happy Birthday."

During intermission we got some hot chocolates and a pretzel, all for under ten dollars. I almost bought their huge chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich, I should have. Now that I'm thinking of that again, maybe I'll just make my own tonight. I make them smaller, so I can have three. :o)

The cool thing I had heard about the 1812 at Deer Valley is the cannons that they actually fire off at the end. It was grand and LOUD. Thankfully, we were completely on the opposite side of where they were, and they didn't scare Sean. He was a very good boy and I only had to stand up and walk him around once during the coarse of the night. The overture was about 20 minutes long. I think everything was done just before 10:00, and then we learned why people parked so far away and walked up the parking lot. We parked as close as we could to the entrance and it took us almost 30 minutes to get out onto the main roads.

Were I to go again, I think I would choose a concert with more symphony, because that was the part I enjoyed most. I would also bring in some goodies. You can bring any food in, people were hauling coolers. We saw everything from KFC to watermelons.


Alison said...

The 1812 Overture is one of my very favorite songs... how great to see it live in a beautiful setting.

Corinne said...

I've been there! I saw Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin - FANTASTIC. And so lovely - I think I was with Marie! I'm glad you got to have a lovely night out with your hubby (and sweet one :)