A Russian Fantasy – 29th July 2012

NRSO Concertmaster, Alison Fletcher, plays the voice of Scheherazade

Legend has it that a Persian king, angry with his former wife for betraying him, took savage revenge on women.  He would marry a new virgin each night, only to have her executed the following day.

This continued until “Scheherazade”, the daughter of a nobleman, offered herself to the king.  That night, she started telling him a story, but left it unfinished as dawn began to break.

The king, curious and mesmerised, spared her life that day to hear the ending of the story.  On the second night, Scheherazade concluded her first story then started the next one, again leaving it half way through, prompting the king to spare her life another day to hear the ending.

And so she continued, tale after tale, night after night, for One Thousand and One Nights.  By that time she had given birth to three sons with the king, and he had fallen in love with her and made her his queen.

This month, “Scheherazade” will be celebrated with works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer who portrayed a selection of her captivating stories through the sounds of orchestral music.

Performed by Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Barry Singh, this symphonic suite features their very own Concertmaster, Alison Fletcher, as the violin soloist and the voice of Scheherazade.

“She must have a beautiful voice,” Alison said of the legendary queen, “as she was trying to keep the king happy and save her own life with bedtime stories!”

Alison Fletcher played her first concert violin solo at age seven.  She graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music and currently teaches violin, piano and flute.  She has been the Concertmaster of the NRSO for several years.

When not playing music, Alison cares for her two young children and her husband, and sometimes delivers calves on the farm.

To hear Alison Fletcher play the voice of Scheherazade, along with music by two other great Russian composers Borodin and Tchaikovsky, join the NRSO for “A Russian Fantasy” on Sunday 29th July, 2.30pm at the Tweed Civic and Cultural Centre.