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'Shackleton's Incredible Journey' immerses audiences in music and history

A new multimedia production is coming to Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor on Friday.

'Legends & Mysteries: Shackleton's Incredible Journey' is the outcome of a collaboration between the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Great Lakes Center for the Arts' Next Gen program, which hosts free arts experiences for area students.

It's the first event of its kind for the two organizations, and Next Gen Director Rachel Systma-Reed says it has already inspired work on future collaborative, student-focused events.

"When we 'art together,' we can create opportunity on an entirely new level," Systma-Reed says.

The concert tells the story of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton's leadership as he saw every member of his shipwrecked crew rescued after nearly two years stranded on the ice.

The program includes portrayals of the journey through live performances by Little Traverse Civic Theatre actors and original video footage of the expedition.

The GLCO will also perform works by Beethoven, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Elgar, Britten and more, evoking images of the sea and Shackleton's dutiful optimism.

The event wasn't just designed as an artistic experience, though.

GLCO Interim Executive Director JD Friley says the organizations carefully curated the event to provide students with a compelling educational experience.

“The co-presentation of live video, theater and exhilarating orchestral music enables associative learning by helping to connect ideas and experiences that promote intellectual curiosity,” Friley says.

And they'll certainly have the chance to spark that curiosity - more than 500 local students will attend Next Gen's student-only matinee concert on Friday.

Friday evening's 7 p.m. concert is open to the public.

GLCO Music Director and Conductor Dr. Libor Ondras will give a pre-concert talk at 6 p.m.

Get tickets, which are free for veterans, active service members and students 18 and under, on the GLCO's website.

Kacie Brown was IPR's Digital Content Manager until 2023.