Arts & Culture, Nightlife

Get fancy with Sac Philharmonic & Opera

Shea GuntherMaher

An evening at the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera is no ordinary night out in downtown Sac – nor should it be. To witness exceptionally talented musicians give life to intricate masterpieces, to drink in ethereal melodies and wonder at the composer’s storytelling – these elements create a dazzling and humbling experience, opening you up to beauty in a way that only art can. 


I was recently invited to attend Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera’s Dvorak concert with star cellist, Joshua Roman, and capture the experience on Twitter as a #SacPhilOpera Insider. Let’s see… a night to dress up, get lost in the sound waves of haunting cello, and meet the distinguished artist backstage? Uh, YES PLEASE! First things first, I did some research – aka previewed his cello magic on YouTube and stalked him on Twitter. Turns out Joshua Roman was the youngest principle cellist ever appointed to the Seattle Symphony, and his cello,”Midge,” loves riding trains. Right on.

Joshua-Roman-by-Hayley-Young-4Saturday night at the Community Center Theatre was all sorts of fancy. I attended a pre-concert talk (available to anyone willing to come an hour early – totally worth it) to hear Joshua Roman and conductor Edwin Outwater share interesting background on the famous Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, and the stories behind his masterful Cello Concerto and famous Symphony No. 9, “New World.” Favorite tidbit: Dvorak was madly (and tragically) in love with his sister-in-law and his compositions are a longing tribute to her, the one who got away. That’s the juicy stuff right there!

Before the show started, I toured backstage and met Joshua Roman. The 33-year-old star cellist was instantly warm and gregarious. Best part: he snapped a pre-concert selfie with us AND posted it on his Twitter. #Nailedit.

Then, from the second tier, I witnessed the stunning musical event. Cello is said to be the instrument that most resembles the human voice as it lends itself toward emotional solos and brooding notes of struggle and heartache. I couldn’t agree more, and learning a bit about the composer added depth to the experience. Dvorak’s cello masterpieces drew me into his love-lorn story with tender melodies and soulful echoes, leaving me in wonder at his masterful ability to translate human emotion into sound.


For a dazzling experience at Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, check out their 2016-17 classics series and pops series. If you move fast, you might be able to snag tickets to THIS WEEKEND’s Pops Series performance of Star Wars: A Tribute to John Williams! That’s right, the epic and adventurous musical score from Star Wars will resonate throughout the theatre. Jump on those TIX here!