Sunday Casual Connections Revisits Boyer’s ‘Ellis Island: The Dream of America’ for Deeper Look

ConnectionsPacific Symphony’s Sunday Casual Connections returns to Peter Boyer’s compelling work with “Ellis Island: An American Dream,” in an effort to probe beneath the surface of the multi-faceted work. Considered his most ambitious work to date, Boyer’s “Ellis Island” celebrates not only the historic American immigrant experience but also the “American Dream.” Sunday Casual Connections, a 90-minute concert with insightful commentary provided by St.Clair, takes place Sunday, April 9, at 3 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $25-$98. And don’t miss the special preconcert presentation “Exiled Dreams: Jewish Composers in Hollywood,” taking place at 1:30 p.m. and featuring actors Rebecca Sherburn, Louise Thomas and David Prather as part of the Interplay Festival with Chapman University, “Golden Dreams.” For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (714) 755-5799 or CLICK HERE.

Carl St.Clair and ConnectionsIt’s been called “a sweeping opus masterfully chronicling, in words and music, the disparate experiences of seven European immigrants…” by The Buffalo News, which also said:  “It is at turns horrifying, whimsical and heart-rending. But it’s always palpably engaging… Boyer’s moving composition is eloquently symphonic and very digestible for its sheer emotional wallop.”

For “Ellis Island: The Dream of America,” Boyer fashioned short monologues from the actual words of these immigrants, and wove them into an orchestral tapestry which frames and comments on their stories—by turns poignant, humorous, moving and inspiring. The work concludes with a reading of the Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” (“Give me your tired, your poor…”), engraved on the Statue of Liberty, providing a powerful ending to this celebration of our nation of immigrants. (For more information on “Ellis Island: The Dream of America,” see previous story.)