Loading Events Visions of Hope – Santa Rosa Symphony Visions of Hope – Santa Rosa Symphony

Visions of Hope

Braceros [Laborers]: Cantata for Mariachi and Orchestra (composed by Enrico Chapela Barba) tells a story of romance and family loyalty amidst the 1942-1964 agreement between the US and Mexico for agricultural worker migration. Ottorino Respighi’s glittering tone poems, The Pines of Rome and The Fountains of Rome, cap our season finale with a cascade of sensual splendor in vignettes of the Eternal City.

This concert was rescheduled from May 2020.
Please note: This concert is not part of the 2021-2022 Season.

Special Event


Arturo Márquez Danzón No. 2
Enrico Chapela BarbaBraceros [Laborers]: Cantata for Mariachi and Orchestra (World Premiere)
Ottorino RespighiThe Fountains of Rome
Ottorino RespighiThe Pines of Rome


Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Sunday, June 12, 2022 | 3:00 pm

Monday, June 13, 2022 | 7:30 pm

Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 2:00 pm

Ticket Information

Ticket holders: If you had tickets to the original May 2020 date, your tickets were reissued in February 2022. Please contact Patron Services, if you did not receive yours or if you have a question or wish to make a change. (707) 546-8742

Concert Conversations with Francesco Lecce-Chong

Concert Conversations are general seating and free to Classical Series concert ticket holders. Approximately 30 minutes in Weill Hall.

  • Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 6:30 PM
  • Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 2:00 PM
  • Monday, June 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM

Plan Your Visit

Covid Protocols for This Concert

Please note: COVID-19 protocols are subject to change.

Masks are optional, but recommended.

Adults 18 +:
Photo I.D. and one of the following:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • Negative COVID PCR test (taken by a laboratory within 72 hours prior to performance)

The name on the document must match the photo I.D.

Ages 7-17:
No requirements.

Please stay home if…

  • You are sick or have any of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, chills, cough, shortness of breath, congestion, nausea, or vomiting.
  • You’ve been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms within the past 14 days.
  • You’ve been directed to self-isolate or quarantine by a health care provider or public health official.
  • You are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 PCR test.

Click here for Ticket Policies regarding COVID-19.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions from the following:

Classical Concert Series underwritten by Anderman Family Foundation 
Supporting Sponsors: County of Sonoma & Creative Sonoma
Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong underwritten by Norma Person, in memory of Evert Person
Guest Artist Mariachi Champaña Nevín Supporting Sponsors: Pacific Gas and Electric and Nancy and Robert Novak
World premiere underwritten by The Clarence E Heller Charitable Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts
Composer Enrico Chapela Barba underwritten by Pam and Tim Chanter
Discovery Open Rehearsal Series sponsored by The Stare Foundation and David Stare of Dry Creek Vineyard
Pre-concert Talks sponsored by Jamei Haswell and Richard Grundy
Season Media Sponsor: The Press Democrat

Programs, dates, artists, and prices are subject to change without notice. Tickets are subject to availability.
Visions of Hope Program Notes by Steven Ledbetter

Arturo Márquez

Danzón No. 2 for Orchestra
Arturo Márquez was born in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, on December 20, 1950. He composed his Danzón No. 2 in 1994. Francisco Savin conducted the first performance in Mexico City’s Netzahaucoyotl Hall on March 5, 1994The score calls for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, four percussionists, piano and strings.

Arturo Márquez studied the violin, piano and trombone in his teens, then piano and theory at the National Conservatory in Mexico from 1970 to 1975. After that, he studied privately in Paris and completed a master’s degree at the California Institute of the Arts in 1990. His major teachers were Federico Ibarra and Morton Subotnick.

The majority of his early works were multi-media creations, uniting music with theater, dance, cinema and photography, for which the music was often electro-acoustic combinations of an avant-garde character.

In the early 1990s, he stepped aside from the modernist track to play with popular dance styles in a series of seven compositions, for different instrumental combinations, under the generic title Danzón, which refers to a formal couple dance that grew out of 19th-century Cuban traditions of the contredanse and the habanera. By the 20th century, it began to interact with other Cuban dance types, and its popularity spread to Mexico as well. The couple undertaking the danzón performed an elaborate set of footwork on syncopated beats, sometimes stopping completely, in elegant frozen positions, to listen to an instrumental section. Gradually the danzón was involved in the mambo and the cha cha cha. The danzón continues to be danced in its traditional form by members of the older generation.

Arturo Márquez composed his first Danzón in 1992 for pre-recorded tape with optional saxophone. Soon the dancer Irene Martinez and the painter Andres Fonseca persuaded him to compose a Danzón for full orchestra. In preparation for the work, he traveled to Veracruz, where, in the port city saloons, the dance had first conquered Mexico. Then he continued his research in the dance saloons of Mexico City. The resulting lively dance composition, combining French, African, Cuban and Mexican elements in a rondo pattern of tremendous vigor and color, is Marquez’s best-known work.

Enrico Chapela Barba

Braceros, Cantata for Mariachi and Orchestra
Enrico Chapela Barba was born on January 29, 1974, in Mexico City, where he still lives. The work is a commission from the Santa Rosa Symphony, designed to draw upon his wide range of musical interests. These are the first performances.

Chapela’s music has frequently fused widely diverse traditions, including rock and electronic music as well as popular mariachi traditions from his native Mexico, which will be heard in this new piece with the Santa Rosa Symphony. His studies have ranged as widely as his musical interests. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in composition from the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Musicales, he studied classical guitar in England and received a Master’s from the University of Paris Saint-Denis.
His work has been widely performed in the Americas, Europe and Asia. He absorbed the major Mexican composers of the 20th century, Carlos Chavez and Silvestro Revueltas, but also studied electronic music in Paris. At the same time, he admires the philosophical-musical ideas of John Cage. He continues to teach at his alma mater in Mexico City.

Regarding his new mariachi-laced composition, the composer writes: When America was forced into the Second World War, workers were drafted into battle, leaving farm fields unattended. To prevent crops from rotting, the Mexican Farm Labor Program was signed in 1942. Also known as the “bracero” program, this binational treaty summoned Mexican workers to pick American crops. More than three million Mexicans entered the US to labor in the agricultural fields as guest workers under the agreement. The benefits of the program led to its annual renewal until 1964, when an excess of migrant labor and the introduction of the mechanical cotton harvester, along with the Farm Workers Association’s movement, led by Cesar Chavez, and the civil rights movement, rendered the program unviable. The plot takes place in 1964, the last year of the treaty.

Pedro wants to marry Consuelo. Her father Jorge, who needs to know more about how they plan to pay the bills, learns that Pedro will join the bracero program, and save his earnings for the wedding. This does not sit well with Jorge, who, when he was young, was one of the first workers to be hired at Pecos, Texas. He had a bad experience, given the existing segregation culture in Texas, as well as the meager working conditions. He gives voice to those workers that were mistreated by Mexican officials and agricultural bosses, and has little more to say than resentful complaints. In contrast, his wife Dolores points to the positive aspects he is ignoring in his bitter account, and has a kinder approach to parenthood towards their daughter Consuelo.

Nevertheless, Jorge is reluctant to let his little girl get married to a bracero worker, or even worse, to an illegal wetback, if the program gets canceled and the plan deteriorates into a life-threatening-desert-crossing undertaking. So, he recounts his own misfortunes as a young bracero, 20 years earlier. But Jorge’s story fails to discourage Pedro, who after learning from his own words that Jorge was a cotton-picking champion, and that he ran into significant troubles because of his addictive betting habits, Pedro challenges Jorge to a bet: if he comes back from the fields to beat the old man in a sun-to-sun-cotton-picking match, the reluctant father will have to consent to the wedding. Consuelo, who is not thrilled about watching her boyfriend bet their future with her seasoned father, finds his resolve very romantic and reads with passion the adventurous letters describing his progress at the agricultural farms of California… The term “bracero” comes from the Spanish word brazo (arm), and describes someone who works with his arms.

Ottorino Respighi

The Fountains of Rome
Ottorino Respighi was born in Bologna, Italy, on July 9, 1879, and died in Rome
on April 18, 1936. He composed his Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome) in 1916. The first performance took place in March 1917 at the Augusteo (Mausoleum of Augustus) in Rome, conducted by Antonio Guarnieri. The score calls for two flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets  and bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, triangle, cymbals, chimes, glockenspiel, two harps, celesta, piano, organ and strings.

Respighi wrote music of extraordinary color and orchestral brilliance, partly, no doubt, a consequence of his having studied orchestration with Rimsky‑Korsakov during the years he served as principal violist in the orchestra of the St. Petersburg opera. After returning, he made composition his principal activity. Respighi wrote eight operas, as well as other stage works. He was interested in early music, and this led to a number of “archaizing” works like the Piano Concerto in the mixolydian mode and a Concerto gregoriano for violin, not to mention his better-known arrangements of Ancient Airs and Dances and The Birds, both derived from older lute and keyboard compositions.

But the works that remain far and away the best known of Respighi’s entire output are the three orchestral suites depicting aspects of his adopted city, Rome. He composed The Fountains of Rome in 1916, The Pines of Rome (the most popular of them all) in 1924 and the Festivals in 1928‑1929. In the course of the dozen images presented musically in these three scores, Respighi draws inspiration from the Rome of classical antiquity, of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the modern day. Some movements depict natural beauties, others paint the customs and life of the Roman streets and plazas.

From the days of the ancient Romans, the provision of water into a city the size of Rome has been one of the civil engineering wonders of the world. Different regions of the city received their water via aqueducts coming from mountains in various directions from the city, often dozens of miles away, and to this day Romans argue cheerfully among themselves about the advantages of their various “waters,” which surge forth from a series of exquisite fountains. Respighi’s musical tribute to this aspect of Roman life is also a character piece tracing the Roman day from dawn to sunset, the composer having chosen to present each linked with “the hour in which their character is most in harmony with the surrounding landscape, or in which their beauty appears most impressive to the observer.”

The four “scenes” run directly from one to another. The Fountain of the Valle Giulia at dawn, or Julia Valley, is a pastoral scene. The breezes cause the leaves in the trees to rustle as a herd of cattle passes slowly by. A sudden summons on the horns immediately conjures up The Fountain of Triton in the morning. The triton, in Bernini’s great 17th-century stature, is seated on an open scallop shell, his head far back as he drinks from a conch shell. The sheer virility of the figure is celebrated in the horn calls, while the fantasy that envelops it figures in the lively main theme in the woodwinds. The Trevi fountain in the afternoon evokes the most famous of all the Roman fountains, the one into which visitors throw coins with the wish to return to Rome. Respighi’s music takes us to a site that, even when Nathaniel Hawthorne visited more than a century ago, was one of the liveliest daytime scenes in Rome:

for the piazza is then filled with stalls of vegetable and fruit dealers, chestnut-roasters, cigar venders, and other people whose patter and wandering traffic is transacted in the open air. It is likewise thronged with idlers, lounging over the iron railing, and with forestieri [foreigners], who come hither to see the famous fountain.

The music grows quieter as evening falls, and we end the day strolling to the Fountain of the Villa Medici at sunset. The fountain in front of the Villa Medici is a modest broad basin, spurting a single jet of water upwards, but it rests high above the city (not far from the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo with a spectacular view to the west). At sunset, the water in the fountain will mirror Michelangelo’s great cupola on St. Peter’s, across the Tiber in the Vatican. Oboe and English horn recall the pastoral mood of the opening, a tranquility that seems unlikely in one of the world’s great capitals, yet one attainable here, where the sunset view has changed surprisingly little in four centuries. Birdsong dies away, and the stillness of the dark closes the day.


© Steven Ledbetter (stevenledbetter.com)