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WMPAC goes outside

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WARREN MILLER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

BIG SKY – Amid the endless cancellations of social events, performances, and public gatherings over the course of this pandemic, it can be easy to assume that the entire entertainment world has gone dark.

That’s not the case.

The Warren Miller Performing Arts Center has planned a full winter season of performances, which is already underway.

“We’ve embraced a spirit of creativity and flexibility in planning this season,” said John Zirkle, executive director of WMPAC. “The experience may look different, but WMPAC is presenting performances that are just as compelling and high-caliber as any other year.”

Easily the most unique performance of the season (and of the center’s eight-year history) will take place over two days, Dec. 27 and 28. The show is called In a Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild, and will take place not in the theater but on the Big Sky Resort golf course. A nine-foot Steinway grand piano will be placed in the golf course’s driving range, around which a labyrinthine track will be custom-groomed by the Lone Mountain Ranch. Award-winning concert pianist Hunter Noack will perform at the center of the track while audience members explore the course via cross country ski or snowshoe. Each guest will be given a high-quality set of Bluetooth headphones, through which his concert will be streamed.

“It’s like nothing we’ve ever done before, but we’re beside ourselves. It’s going to be incredibly cool,” said Zirkle.

Noack has been performing piano in untraditional locations for years, and has been featured on CBS This Morning. “The music becomes a soundtrack to your experience in the landscape,” Noack said, and Big Sky’s stunning town center is a perfect location to explore the natural and musical world.

“We planned this event before we even realized that it was a full moon weekend,” said Zirkle. “We’re honestly pinching ourselves that we get to present Hunter’s talent in such an incredible setting, and the full moon will make it even more incredible.”

In-person tickets for the event are $25, and available at warrenmillerpac.org. Guests will provide their own ski or snowshoeing equipment and ski into the golf course from the access point of their choosing. Noack and his piano will be located on the driving range, near the center of the course, along with WMPAC staff handing out the wireless headphones. From there, the experience is up to the audience; they are free to explore the course

For those audience members who prefer to enjoy the concert from home, Noack’s performance will be livestreamed on WMPAC’s new streaming platform, wmpac.live. Virtual tickets are $10.

Ahead of In a Landscape, WMPAC will present a radio broadcast of Hamlet, performed by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. It’s the only performance of the center’s 2021 winter season that won’t have a live audience, and will be streamed exclusively on wmpac.live on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are more information are available at warrenmillerpac.org.

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