The Red Velvet Violin in its original form is a forty-minute symphonic puppet show for children, a collaborative work commissioned by the Davis Schools Orchestral Music Association. The project was part of an annual outreach concert to inspire young children to take an interest in music. In February 2014 the work was premiered in Davis, California for over 2,000 elementary school children in four concerts, as well as a fifth open to the public. The performance was given by the Davis High Symphony-Orchestra under the baton of Angelo Moreno, with its story writer Anna Moreno (Angelo's mother) narrating. Art Gruenberger and the Puppet Art Theater Co. directed and performed the puppetry. In 2023, the work was given a second round of outreach performances with revisions by the composer in Davis. It was a joy and a privilege to collaborate with all of them.
Set in Italy, The Red Velvet Violin is a story about a young shop assistant named Saverio who, with the help of his friend Maria Elena, discovers a magical piece of wood that helps him achieve his dream of becoming a violin virtuoso. However, when tries to use his magic violin for the purpose gaining fame and fortune, the violin has other plans. It's a playful story about the power of love and music.
II. Saverio and his Magical Dream
III. Saverio makes the Violin
IV. First Tune on the Violin and the Curse
V. The Dungeon and the Lifting of the Curse
VI. One Last Chance
VII. Maria Elena and Saverio