Concert Details

Maestro Bramwell Tovey:
A Gala Celebration

  • Bramwell Tovey

Join the VSO, Maestro Bramwell Tovey, and an all-star roster of guests for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of Maestro Tovey’s unprecedented 18-year tenure as VSO Music Director. Bramwell will be joined at the podium by former Assistant Conductors Tania Miller and Gordon Gerrard.

Maestro Tovey’s first foray to Canada came in 1983 when he led the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet on a tour of Canada, so it is only fitting to begin the evening with ballet music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

There follows a parade of guest artists with whom Maestro Tovey has worked extensively over the years, each presenting a “party piece.” What could be more brilliant than coloratura soprano Tracy Dahl singing Glitter and be Gay from Bernstein’s Candide? Massenet’s moving Méditation from Thaïs will be the gift of violinist Jessica Tovey, who made her VSO debut under her father’s direction earlier this year at the VSO Symphony Ball.

Maestro Tovey has demonstrated his support of Canadian composers in many ways over the years. Former VSO Composer in Residence Rodney Sharman is recognized with the inclusion of his choral work titled Love, sung by the choir Chrysalis, led by Graeme Langager.

Former VSO concertmaster Mark Fewer will draw from his diverse repertoire (no fiddlin’ around - he plays everything from Bach to Jazz and Blues) with the Toccare from the Violin Concerto by John Adams, plus a surprise or two!

The world of opera and operetta supplies a sequence of show-stopping highlights, featuring mezzo-soprano Judi Forst and tenor David Pomeroy. Included will be music from the world’s best loved opera, Bizet's Carmen, plus Offenbach’s La Grand duchesse de Gerolstein, the Danse Bacchanale from Samson et Delilah by Saint-Saëns, and the triumphant Nessun dorma, from Puccini’s Turandot.

The party atmosphere continues in the second half, with Tracy Dahl performing Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss. Graeme Langager and Chrysalis perform a moving setting of the Sarah Teasdale poem There will come soft rains, set by Ivo Antognini; and hometown piano favourite Jon Kimura Parker (who toured to the U.S. with the VSO in 2013), will be featured in music from Gershwin’s Concerto in F.

Since the mid ‘80s, Bramwell Tovey's career has been closely associated with the music of Leonard Bernstein. We'll mark Bernstein's centennary with the sparkling Overture to Candide and the hilarious ( and somewhat ribald!) duet We are Women from that show, with Judi and Tracy featured as The Old Lady and the Cunegonde.

There are a few surprise guests in store as well, as Bramwell can rarely resist an open piano bench! To close, tenor David Pomeroy returns with the poignant song of parting from Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt. In the closing aria, O Freund, ich werde sie nicht wiedersehn the heartbroken character Paul exclaims “Life and death must part from each other. heart is torn from heart. Wait for me in heaven's plain, for here on earth we shall not meet again.

Join the festivities in the lobby post-concert, with cupcakes and bubbly. It's a Gala Celebration, at the Orpheum Theatre, on May 31st beginning at 8PM, and you'll want to be part of it!


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Performance Dates

  • Thursday, May 31, 2018

    8pm Orpheum Theatre