November 23, 2006

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Holiday rock opera with lasers
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to the Verizon Wireless Arena
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

In what has become a holiday tradition for many families, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) begins its eighth year touring the nation for the holiday season.

Bringing more than just the common Christmas carol, TSO began its career doing a mere seven shows a year. Now, they’ve split the orchestra into two segments to cover both the east and west coasts, with more than a hundred shows this season.

“The live shows have often been described as Phantom of the Opera and The Who in concert with the lights of Pink Floyd, all at the same time. We probably have more lights than any other touring act that’s out there. It’s like one huge rock-opera show,” said Robert Kinkel, composer, co-producer and keyboardist with TSO.

The orchestra comes equipped with a six-piece rock band, an eight-piece string section, seven singers and a narrator.

Paul O’Neill, who formed the orchestra in 1996, along with Kinkel and Jon Oliva, named the orchestra after the Trans-Siberian railroad, the longest railroad in the world, running from Europe to Asia. The train connects many different cultures and, as Kinkel explains, this was something that O’Neill felt music was capable of doing as well.

According to Billboard, TSO ranks in the top ten for touring acts in the nation. Although they haven’t taken the tour internationally yet, there are talks about beginning an international tour after the release of the new album in 2007, Night Castle.

TSO will also begin touring during the summer season with the new release, a non-holiday collection – a big contrast with TSO’s popular Christmas collections. For the past eight years, TSO has kept the touring cycle to the holiday season.

“TSO brings a lot of traditional music and classical music along with some of our original stuff,” said Kinkel.

“It’s a good blend of a lot of different styles of music, from heavy rock and classical influences to children’s choirs and adult choirs; there’s even a bit of jazz and blues. It all kind of weaves together to give a really nice emotional curve to the story,” said Kinkel.

With more than two hours to entertain audiences, TSO performs the customary Christmas classics from their first CD, Christmas Eve & Other Stories, along with a narrator, which makes the first half of the show more than a musical concert.

The second half of the show a full-out rock concert, where TSO will play songs from all of their collections.

A little TSO
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday, Nov. 24. There are two show times: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. For each ticket bought, $1 will be donated to the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. Tickets cost $39.50 for upper section seating and $55.50 for lower and floor seating. There is a limit of eight tickets per person. To order tickets or for more information on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, go to www.trans-siberian.com.


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