LSM Newswire

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The VSO presents Die Fledermaus with the UBC Opera Ensemble!


Vancouver BC – The final Pacific Arbour Tea & Trumpets concert of the season features the concert version of composer Johann Strauss Jr.’s most popular piece Die Fledermaus. Conducted by Maestro Bramwell Tovey, narrated by Christopher Gaze, and featuring the UBC Opera Ensemble, this 2pm matinee performance takes place on Thursday, May 15th at the Orpheum Theatre.

Created in 1995 by Professor Nancy Hermiston, the UBC Opera Ensemble draws its performers from advanced students in the UBC School of Music and young professionals. The ensemble tours regularly throughout Canada and Europe allowing its students to gain international experience. Having performed excerpts from The Merry Widow together in the 2006-2007 season, the VSO is delighted to be collaborating once again with this ensemble.

The Pacific Arbour Tea & Trumpets series presents six matinee concerts throughout the Season, all on Thursday afternoons at the Orpheum. These concerts feature light classical repertoire with host/narrator Christopher Gaze of Bard on the Beach fame, and are social events in themselves: a small army of VSO volunteers coordinates the serving of tea and cookies an hour before each concert throughout the Orpheum lobby for 2,500+ people each concert. A great way to spend Thursday afternoons, the Tea & Trumpets series has been one of the VSO’s most successful series concepts of the last twenty years.

A Synopsis of Die Fledermaus:

Gabriel von Eisenstein has been sentenced to a week's imprisonment for a minor offense. Before he goes to jail, his friend Dr. Falke persuades him to go to a ball being given by Prince Orlofsky. Three years earlier, Falke, dressed as a bat for a fancy-dress ball, was made to walk home in broad daylight as a joke by Eisenstein. Ever since that incident, he has been plotting his revenge. Rosalinda believes her husband is leaving for prison and invites her lover, Alfred, over for a rendezvous. The prison governor soon arrives to arrest Eisenstein and assumes Alfred to be him. Alfred allows himself to be taken off to prison as Eisenstein in order to protect Rosalinda’s reputation.

At the ball given by Prince Orlofsky, Rosalinda’s maid, Adele, wearing one of her mistress's gowns, has arrived. Eisenstein flirts outrageously with her, watched by his wife, whom Falke has disguised as a Hungarian Countess. Eisenstein then turns his attentions to the mysterious Countess, who manages to get a hold of his watch during their amorous tête-à-tête. The ball ends in praise of champagne and swearing of eternal friendship. The clock strikes six in the morning and Eisenstein begins his journey to prison.

Eisenstein arrives at the prison to begin his prison sentence. He is shocked to find he is being impersonated by Alfred and becomes infuriated when he realizes his wife has a lover. Rosalinda counters with the watch the 'Countess' obtained at the ball and his flirting with their maid Adele. Falke arrives just in time to explain it was all a joke in order to get his long awaited revenge. Champagne is blamed for the confusion and they all drink to celebrate reconciliation.

CONCERT INFO

Pacific Arbour Tea & Trumpets Series

Die Fledermaus

Thursday, May 15, 2pm, Orpheum Theatre

Bramwell Tovey conductor

Christopher Gaze host

UBC Opera Ensemble

Strauss Die Fledermaus

Ticket prices $35 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available)

Tickets Available at VSO Customer Service, 604.876.3434; Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone, 604.280.3311; online at www.vancouversymphony.ca

Series Generously Sponsored By:

Pacific Arbour

BIOGRAPHIES

Bramwell Tovey, conductor

A musician of striking versatility, Bramwell Tovey is acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Tovey’s career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective.

His tenures as Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras have been characterized by his expertise in the opera, choral, and British repertoire. Tovey recently garnered a 2007 Grammy Award and a 2007 Juno Award for his recording with violinist James Ehnes and the Vancouver Symphony. Recently named Principal Guest Conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, he works frequently with the Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, among many others. He has presided as host and conductor of the New York Philharmonic’s Summertime Classics series at Avery Fisher Hall since its founding in 2004.

A champion of contemporary music, Tovey developed the highly regarded New Music Festival in Winnipeg, during his tenure as Music Director. As a composer, he was honored with the Best Canadian Classical Composition Juno Award in 2003 for his Requiem for a Charred Skull. Upcoming new works include a co-commission for the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics’ respective 2008 summer seasons as well as a full-length opera for the Calgary Opera, The Inventor, to premiere in January of 2011.

Tovey has been awarded honorary degrees, including a Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music in London, honorary Doctorates of Law from the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, and Kwantlen University College, as well as a Royal Conservatory of Music Fellowship in Toronto. In 1999, he received the M. Joan Chalmers National Award for Artistic Direction, a Canadian prize awarded to artists for outstanding contributions in the performing arts.

Christopher Gaze, host

Christopher Gaze is best known as Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Christopher hails from England where he trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He came to Canada in 1975 and has performed in virtually every major centre across Canada and the USA, including three seasons at the Shaw Festival. He moved to Vancouver in 1983 and founded Bard on the Beach in 1990. In addition to directing and acting with Bard, Christopher is the popular host of many Vancouver cultural events and often shares his insights on the theatre and Shakespeare with school groups, service organizations and local businesses. Christopher was recently honoured with an induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal, an Honorary Doctorate from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, the BC Community Achievement Award and the 2007 Medallion from the Children’s Theatre Foundations of America.

UBC Opera Ensemble

The UBC Opera Ensemble, under the direction of UBC Voice and Opera Division Head Nancy Hermiston, draws its performers from advanced students and young professionals. The ensemble tours regularly throughout Canada and Europe, produces two fully staged and costumed productions at the beautiful Chan Centre, as well as the lively and informative Opera Tea Series and the David Spencer Endowment Encouragement Fund Concert. Students participate in all aspects of the productions alongside professional singers, conductors, musicians, designers and technicians.

This year’s productions include Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, Puccini’s La Bohème, and Bach’s Johannes Passion (St. John’s Passion). In addition to its regular productions, the Ensemble is a frequent collaborator of such organizations as Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

-VSO-

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