LSM Newswire

Monday, October 5, 2009

Symphony Nova Scotia performs Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Halifax, NS – 200 years after composer Felix Mendelssohn’s birth, Symphony Nova Scotia performs his complete A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Thursday, October 8 at 7:30 pm at the Dalhousie Arts Centre’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

Symphony Nova Scotia has never before performed the full version of this masterpiece, written by Mendelssohn in two instalments in 1826 and 1842. Ultimately intended as musical accompaniment to the play of the same name by Shakespeare, it includes some of the most recognizable melodies ever written, including the famous Overture, Scherzo, and Wedding March.

The performance will include narration by local actress Margot Dionne, as well as performances by two young sopranos, Jillian Bonner and Katrina Westin (both voice students at Dalhousie University) and a women’s chorus featuring members of the Halifax Camerata Singers and the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.

“To perform the Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been a dream for me,” says Symphony Nova Scotia Music Director and conductor Bernhard Gueller. “I can hardly believe that we’ve managed to bring all the elements together to make this a reality. It is such a complex work with choir and two soloists and the narrator. I know the accomplished Margot Dionne will bring some of the most beautiful English ever written to life again."

“From an actor and narrator's point of view, this is a thrilling collaboration – the stuff that dreams are made of!” adds Dionne.

This performance will also feature another British masterpiece, Benjamin Britten’s A Suite on English Folk Tunes, as well as a free pre-concert chat at 6:45 pm in the Arts Centre Sculpture Court, just outside the auditorium.

Get your tickets now! Prices range from $29-49 (HST included), or you can pick up a subscription package and save up to 30%. Under age 30? Pay only $15 with your TD Under-30 Access Pass, now available at the box office. For tickets and more information, call 494.3820 or visit our website at

About Margot Dionne
Margot Dionne, a classically trained actor and eight-year veteran of the Stratford Festival, has performed and taught theatre across North America. Currently a faculty member at Dalhousie University’s Department of Theatre, she has previously narrated A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Canadian Opera Company.

About Jillian Bonner
Saint John soprano Jillian Bonner is entering her third year of a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Dalhousie University, studying voice with Marcia Swanston. She has performed with Opera New Brunswick’s Young Artist Series, with the Early Music Studio of Saint John, and in the Dalhousie Opera Workshop production of Orpheus in the Underworld this year.

About Katrina Westin
Halifax soprano Katrina Westin is commencing her third year of a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Dalhousie University and studies voice with Marcia Swanston. She has appeared in Dalhousie Opera Workshop productions as Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) and Public Opinion (Orpheus in the Underworld), and as Mabel in the local Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of The Pirates of Penzance.

About the Women’s Chorus
This performance features women from the Halifax Camerata Singers and the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus.

The Halifax Camerata Singers is Atlantic Canada’s leading chamber choir. Since its founding in 1986 by Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey, the Nova Scotia ensemble has distinguished itself in performing choral repertoire from all periods and styles.

The Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus was also established under the leadership of Jeff Joudrey, with the intent of providing a highly trained symphonic chorus for performances with Symphony Nova Scotia. Chorus membership includes auditioned singers from around the province, as well as the Halifax Camerata Singers as the core choir.

About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the country. Visit to learn more, listen online, or subscribe today!

Symphony Nova Scotia is grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts, Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture, and Heritage, and the Halifax Regional Municipality for their continued support.

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