The Baltimore Symphony is about to become one of the very few, if not the first, major classical orchestras in the United States to officially appoint a playwright in residence.

This weekend, Didi Balle will preside over the third of her "symphonic plays" to be performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The form, which Balle invented, combines a live orchestra, a conductor who delivers a scripted narrative and professional actors.

In a news release, conductor Marin Alsop said that the appointment formalizes a relationship between Balle and the symphony that began in 2008.

The orchestra commissioned Balle's "Wagner: A Composer Fit for a King," which will be performed Friday and Saturday in honor of the 200th anniversary of composer Richard Wagner's birth. The symphonic play explores the backstage drama behind the making of the monumental "Ring" cycle and Wagner's relationship with his fanatical patron, King Ludwig II of Germany.

For details, visit bsomusic.org or call 410-783-8000.

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

  • Text NIGHTLIFE to 70701 to sign up for Baltimore Sun nightlife and music text alerts