Then & Now 2/16: Circus!

John Corigliano

On this date in 1938, the American composer John Corigliano was born, and in 2005, this date marked the premiere of his Symphony No. 3, called “Circus Maximus”.  Corigliano offered this explanation: “The Circus Maximus of ancient Rome was a real place. The largest arena in the world, it entertained over 300,000 spectators daily for nearly a thousand years. Chariot races, hunts and battles satisfied the Roman public’s need for grander and wilder amusements as the Empire declined. The parallels between the high decadence of Rome and our present time are obvious. Entertainment dominates our culture, and ever-more-extreme ‘reality’ shows dominate our entertainment. Many of us have become as bemused by the violence and humiliation that flood the 500-plus channels of our television screens as those mobs of imperial Rome who considered the devouring of human beings by starving lions just another Sunday show.”

Well, there’s some circus entertainment in Sarasota right now (not quite as violent as what John Corigliano described though).  Circus Sarasota presents "Synergy” running now thru March 5 under the Big Top at Nathan Benderson park.  Tickets and information are at

Air Date: 
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 8:00am