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Colorado Symphony Orchestra's all-Wagner season finale at Boettcher Concert Hall

As the Colorado Symphony Orchestra continues on without a music director, Austrian Christian Arming is slated to guest-conduct the season finale concerts this weekend. The all-Wagner greatest-hits program includes selections from Lohengrin, Flying Dutchman, Die Meistersinger, and Die Walkure, which is part of the Ring Cycle.

The orchestra will bring in American (and aptly named) soprano Amber Wagner, New Zealand tenor Simon O'Neill and Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson for the performances Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. While performances of Wagner's works have been consistent, the glitzy new Metropolitan Opera production of the entire Ring Cycle over two years -- four operas that run for approximately fifteen hours total, which reportedly cost about $16 million, according to the New York Times -- has made him one of the most-discussed composers today.

The Colorado Symphony will be putting on a concert, not an opera, so don't expect over-the-top sets. But the program is a good primer on a composer who has greatly influenced the music that is produced today. Those clashing chords affectionately termed atonal? They have their roots in Wagner.

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