10 June, 2017, 7:00PM, Military Aviation Museum (Gates Open at 3:00PM)
The Flying Proms: Heavenly Slug
The performance will be directed by Dennis Zeisler. With the musicians of Symphonicity, the program will feature the world premiere of Dr. Andrey Kasparov’s newest work for orchestra, Heavenly Slug: Orchestral Suite after Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi.
“Prom” is short for “promenade concert,” a term whose origins may be traced to the 18th-Century pleasure gardens of London. Such outdoor concerts afforded audience members the freedom to stroll the exquisitely manicured lawns and avenues, observing such choice elements of sculpture and society as might then be seen, to the accompaniment of canorous entertainments. In 1895 the first of a series of indoor promenade concerts was inaugurated. Today they are among the most well-known in the world: The BBC Proms. As one of the world’s largest classical music festivals, the Royal Albert Hall today hosts annually more than 70-concerts. The outdoor component is continued through the Proms in the Park performances.
The rich and variegated heritage of the BBC Proms inspired the governors of Great Britain’s Shuttleworth Collection to create the original Flying Proms in 1997. Subsequently, in 2010, the Military Aviation Museum came to appreciate the potential to host the first and, so far, only Flying Proms in North America. Taking a leaf from those original promenade concerts of Cremorne, Marylebone, and Vauxhall Gardens, this year’s edition of the Proms will be, as in years past, peerless in its consummate blend of pitch and prop.
In 1944 Joseph Stalin ordered into production a lighthearted musical comedy. Filming on Heavenly Slug began at Lenfilm, the Soviet Union’s 2nd-largest film studio, following the end of the 900-day Siege of Leningrad (1941–1944).
The movie opens with Major Vasily Bulochkin, a fighter pilot of the Soviet Air Force, bailing out of his damaged and burning airplane.
During his subsequent convalescence, he is visited by his fellow pilot officers and friends, Senior Lieutenant Semyon Tucha and Captain Sergei Kaisarov. As they stroll through the gardens of the sanitarium, they vow not to fall in love for the duration of the war.
It doesn’t take long, however, before their plans are thwarted; first by the pilots and staff of a women’s air squadron, and then by a young journalist, Valya Petrova.
At the same time, Major Bulochkin, not yet fully recovered from his injuries, must come to terms with his new machine: the slow, old-fashioned and ungainly Polikarpov Po-2.
Vasily Pavlovich Solovyov-Sedoi (1907–1979) composed the full score for “Heavenly Slug,” among his many accomplishments as one of the Soviet Union’s greatest songsmiths. Dr. Andrey Kasparov – an award-winning composer, recording artist, concert pianist and Professor of Music at Old Dominion University – has crafted this suite for orchestra from Solovyov-Sedoi’s original themes.
As a part of this year’s Flying Proms, Dr. Kasparov’s suite, Heavenly Slug: Orchestral Suite after Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi, will be premiered to the accompaniment of an original Polikparpov Po-2 and a genuine Yakovlev Yak-3M, both resident to the Military Aviation Museum.