Concert Details

A Canada Day Celebration

  • Marion Newman

  • Bramwell Tovey

  • Conductor / Performers

    Bramwell Tovey Conductor

    Marion Newman mezzo-soprano*

    Click on the conductor or performers' names to read their biography

  • Repertoire

    O Canada

    Godfrey Ridout
    Fall Fair Overture

    Sir Ernest MacMillan
    Fantasy on Scottish Melodies
    (A St. Andrew’s Day Medley)

    Ancestral Voices*

    Carmen Suite
        March of the Toreadors
        Prélude & Aragonaise
        Danse Bohème

    Enigma Variations: Nimrod                 

    1812 Overture 

VSO Music Director Bramwell Tovey conducts the VSO’s annual Canada Day Celebration concert in the breathtaking setting of Whistler. This concert features music by two of the most celebrated Canadian composers of all, Godfrey Ridout and Sir Ernest MacMillan, as well as a piece written for First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, Ancestral Voices. You will also hear Bizet’s exciting Carmen Suite, Elgar’s beautiful Nimrod from his Enigma Variations, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in all its glory.

Ancestral Voices - Bramwell Tovey

I. In Arcady
Text from John Keats (1795-1821)

In Arcady 
In the dales of Arcady, 
what men or gods are these? 
What maidens loth? 
What mad pursuit? 
What struggle to escape? 
What pipes? What timbrels? 
What wild, wild ecstasy? 
So happy, happy melodist 
unwearied, forever piping. 
Ye soft pipes play on, 
forever and ever piping, 
piping, piping. 
In the dales of Arcady 
what men or gods are these?

II. The Last Bison
Text from Charles Mair (1838-1927)

Strange men, who ravaged our domain 
and ringed us around with fire. 
Pale enemies who slew with equal mirth 
the harmless or the hurtful things of earth. 
So yielded our vast multitude 
and scattered to barren wastes 
for still the spoiler sought 
and still he slew us there. 
My spirit fain would rise and prophesy. 
My vision sweeps the prairies wide. 
Naught but vacant wilderness is seen 
and grassy mounds where cities once had been. 
The earth smiles as of yore, 
the skies are bright, 
cattle graze and bellow on 
the plain. 
And nations roam o’er native wilds again. 
My burden ceased 
and now, with head bowed down, 
midst the gath’ring shadows 
I die. 

III. The Letter
Text from Canadian government archives

Dear Sir, 
Sow the seeds 
and separate, isolate, educate, assimilate 
and separate, isolate, educate, dominate, assimilate 
Sow the seeds 
and forcibly, effectively 
kill the Indian in the child. 
Yours respectfully, 

IV. Bring Light to the Truth
Text from Canadian government sources and the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples

Bring light to the truth. 
What happened to you? 
What happened and why? 
The burden, 
the burden has been on your shoulders for much too long. 
A sad and terrible legacy. 
Who died? 
How did they die? 
Where are they buried? 
Why did they die at all? 
Bring light to the truth. 
What happened and why. 
They had no right to dignity. 
No right to live. 
To live in freedom, 
in peace and security. 
The right to life. 
Bring light to the truth. 
In Arcady, 
what men or gods are these? 

(texts for Ancestral Voices -  Music by Bramwell  Tovey).
Premiered June  10, 11 & 12, 2017,  by Mezzo-soprano Marion Newman and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor.

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Click on a highlighted date for concert details

Performance Dates

  • Saturday, Jul 1, 2017

    8:30pm Whistler Olympic Plaza