Planes, trains and highway noise are bearable sounds of everyday life, unless they come during the delicate second movement of Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony. So it was incumbent for The Smith Center to sport the latest in sound-design technology.
Now that The Smith Center for the Performing Arts has opened its doors, it marks the metaphorical world premiere of a symphony written to incorporate public and private funds, working in concert in a way even a master composer would appreciate. The $470 million Smith Center symphony began in the mid-’90s when a group of community leaders gathered to discuss “building a world-class performing arts center.”
Followers of the arts already know plenty of music, drama and dance will be on the menu at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. But they may not know that charcuterie, jambalaya and Louisiana-style fried chicken will be on the menu as well.
Downtown businesses are eager to make a connection to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, offering dining and hotel rooms. There also is a quest for a physical link from Symphony Park to amenities downtown.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre are looking forward to a long, beautiful relationship with The Smith Center, a new audience and each other. Among the most obvious changes will be the sound of the performances. Audiences won’t believe their ears.
The sketch looks like decorative sheet music, sound transcribed into color and given shape. It’s one of two works artist Tim Bavington created for The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, both of which are inspired by composer Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”
Editor’s note: The Review-Journal asked several individuals and organizations to provide their perspectives on The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, which held its opening gala Saturday.
They spoke of that other Las Vegas, joked about it, but it seemed so far away. Though it was a black-tie gala that aimed to be inclusive, it was, more importantly, a night to feel as grand and important as the new building it celebrated.