Here’s the story — of ‘Peter and the Wolf’

As kids, many of us envied the maternal powers that Florence Henderson embodied as American’s favorite television mom, Carol Brady.

Who didn’t want to get tucked in by Mrs. Brady to hear a bedtime story?

San Franciscans will get the chance to experience that childhood fantasy when Henderson narrates Prokofiev’s much-loved children’s tale, “Peter and the Wolf.”

The actress, singer and arts advocate joins the San Francisco Youth Orchestra today for two afternoon concerts, which happen to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the group. One of the Bay Area’s premiere audition-only ensembles, the youth symphony’s members range from ages 11 through 20.

“I just think what a brilliant idea he had, to introduce children to classical music and different instruments simply by the way he plays it,” Henderson said, describing the composer’s intent in creating the classic piece.

Each animal Peter encounters is represented by a specific instrument. Peter is the strings section, and the bird is a flute. For those who need a refresher, things run amok when Peter accidentally leaves his grandfather’s garden gate open, and the animals on his property march into the woods, where the wolf lives.

The version being performed today features the traditional ending in which Henderson pleads for the audience’s assistance to get a poor duck out of the wolf’s belly.

“We do that by quacking real loud,” she said.

Though these performances mark the first time Henderson will narrate with a full symphony as her backdrop, she is no stranger to symphonies, especially San Francisco Symphony. She made friends with SFS a few years ago via her good pal Carol Burnett, at which time the idea to cast her as the narrator began to unfold. But a scheduling conflict delayed her debut until now.

Under the baton of her friend, conductor Benjamin Schwartz, Henderson is pleased to bring her interpretation to the famous work. But she added, “The one thing I’m most worried about is making sure I come in at the right places.”

Rounding out the program is a sing-along of beloved traditional holiday tunes.

CONCERT

Florence Henderson narrates ‘Peter and the Wolf’

Presented by: San Francisco Symphony

Where: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco

When: 1 and 4 p.m. today

Tickets: $15 to $45

Contact: (415) 864-6000 or www.sfsymphony.org

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott listens at a rally to commemorate the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside City Hall on Monday, June 1, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Will the Biden Administration help SF speed up police reform?

City has struggled to implement changes without federal oversight

Lowell High School (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students, families call for culture shift at Lowell after racist incident

District to explore changes including possible revision of admissions policy

Alan Wong was among California National Guard members deployed to Sacramento to provide security the weekend before the presidential inauguration. (Courtesy photo)
CCSF board member tests positive for COVID-19 after National Guard deployment

Alan Wong spent eight days in Sacramento protecting State Capitol before Inauguration Day

Due to a lack of votes in his favor, record-holding former Giant Barry Bonds (pictured at tribute to Willie McCovey in 2018) will not be entering the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the near future.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Ex-Giants star Barry Bonds again falls short of Hall of Fame

After striking out yet again in his bid to join Major League… Continue reading

San Francisco firefighter Keith Baraka has filed suit against The City alleging discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation.<ins></ins>
Gay black firefighter sues city for discrimination

A San Francisco firefighter who says he was harassed and discriminated against… Continue reading

Most Read