It was 101 years ago this May that Stravinsky's ballet Rite of Spring was performed at a new theater on Paris's Champs-Elysees. Whether it prompted a full scale riot, as legend has insisted, is best known to the audience. Police records of the time are missing from the Paris files.
What is known is that there had been ample discussion of Stravinsky's previous works: his Petruchka, for example. And Diaghilev, whose Ballet Russes performed it, was hoping for a scandal. Good for ticket sales, even then.
The question of the audience's behavior remains. Some accounts have objects being thrown at the orchestra and dancers, others say the police were called. There is no doubt, however, that there was a great deal of vocal disapproval and approval.
The audience was a mix of Paris's elite and common folk.
Regardless of what happened in May of 1913, the performance of Stravinsky's fascinating Rite of Spring December 6th at the Flynn will be the second time it has been performed by the VSO.
The pre-concert discussion at 7 will feature percussionist Tom Toner who will discuss the robust role his section will have in the performance.