BPO Celebrates Halloween with Cirque do Soleil

On the weekend before Halloween fans of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra earned a big treat when the Cirque du Soleil joined the BPO for two full Halloween themed Classical concerts and a kid oriented shorter Spooktacular event.


The festivities kicked off on Friday morning with a coffee and doughnut social before the large crowd that included a number of groups including a high school orchestra from Pennsylvania.

The concert began with a performance of the Overture from “Phantom of the Opera” complete with the voice of the Phantom laughing.

BPO conductor John Morris Russell led the BPO in performances of the “Devil’s Dance” from the film “The Witches of Eastwick”, “A Night on Bald Mountain”, the “Dance of the Comedians” from “The Bartered Bride”, and “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.

BPO Pops conductor Stefan Sanders lent a hand conducting the “Funeral March of the Marionette” while Mr Russell introduced the contestants in the Costume Contest.

In a collaboration that began in the 90’s; Cirque du Soleil performers Christine Van Loo, Vladimir Tsarkov, Vitalii Buzo, Aleksandra Pivaral, Paul Korshunov, and Vitaly Pirkhodko awed the audience with their aerial stunts – including flying over the audience, tricks, juggling, contorting, and feats of strength while the BPO performed the “Dance Macabre”, “Lezghinka” from “Gayane”, the Waltz from “Masquerade”, “Flight from Neverland” from “Hook”,the “Dance of the Tumblers” from “The Snow Maiden”, the “Overture to Candide”, the “Ritual Fire Dance” from “El Amor Brujo”, the March from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, the Sabre Dance” from “Gayane”, and the Johann Sebastian Bach “Toccata and Fugue in D minor”.

The concert ended with the curtain call of the performers while the BPO played “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine”.

The BPO and Curque du Soleil gave an encore performance on Saturday night.

In a Sunday afternoon performance the BPO came dressed in costume for their annual Spooktacular. BPO Pops conductor Stefan Sanders pranced onto the stage dressed a a dancing hippo to lead the orchestra.



The Cirque du Soleil returned to awe and amaze the full house that included lots of children dressed in their Halloween costumes. Equally impressive were the shadows the Cirque artists portrayed on the walls of the Music Hall as they performed

After opening the concert with the “Dance of the Comedians” the BPO and the Cirque performed “Danse Macabre”, the “Dance of the Tumblers”, the Waltz from “Masquerade”, the “Devil’s Dance”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and the “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” The BPO also performed “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and the “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine”.


The afternoon of fun and music end with the BPO performing the “Funeral March of the Marionette” while the hundreds of children in costume marched across the stage.

photos by Sherrill Fulghum

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