The Guelph Symphony Orchestra

Waterloo Region Record - - NIGHTLIFE -

Buckle up and get ready to go for a ride – this is NOT your par­ents’ symphony!

The Guelph Symphony Orchestra in­vites the com­mu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the hol­i­days with per­for­mances that are both world-class and as unique as Guelph it­self. Un­der the lead­er­ship of Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Ju­dith Yan, this year’s per­for­mances hon­our the city’s pas­sion for the arts by com­bin­ing tra­di­tional and non-tra­di­tional com­po­nents of a sym­phonic pre­sen­ta­tion. Truly, there is some­thing for ev­ery­one at the GSO’s hol­i­day shows!

The first per­for­mance on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 13 is en­ti­tled “A Hol­i­day Cel­e­bra­tion”. Not be­ing the ‘typ­i­cal’ hol­i­day show, the per­for­mance in­cludes a num­ber of dif­fer­ent – and com­ple­ment­ing – com­po­nents. Au­di­ences will be treated to a screen­ing of the an­i­mated clas­sic “The Snow­man” fea­tur­ing boy so­prano Simion An­to­niu Ciobanu. Peo­ple of all ages will ap­pre­ci­ate the story, the mu­sic and the op­por­tu­nity to view it on-screen while the mu­sic is be­ing per­formed live.

An­other in­cred­i­ble com­po­nent of the show is the per­for­mance of some of the more rare pieces from the Nutcracker. Th­ese in­clude the bat­tle scenes be­tween mice and cats, and the tree grow­ing scene – both of which are a large un­der­tak­ing, and spec­tac­u­lar. They are ex­cit­ing to watch and chal­leng­ing to per­form, but un­der Yan’s wing the orchestra takes the mu­sic and breathes a new and in­vig­o­rat­ing life into it.

The au­di­ence is also treated to a per­for­mance by spe­cial guest Harpist Shar­lene Wal­lace, who is an ab­so­lute won­der to watch. Her award-win­ning play­ing is sure to de­light and cap­ti­vate the au­di­ence, as she does when­ever she plays.

“Kids” of all ages will be happy with the re­turn of the ever-pop­u­lar tra­di­tional Carol Sing-a-long. The crowd will be rife with the spirit of the hol­i­days and be sure to be leav­ing the the­atre with a song in their hearts and their heads. This is the show of 2015, and what a great way to end the year’s per­for­mances!

The GSO then re­con­venes on Fri­day, Jan­uary 1, 2016 at 3pm with the show “New Year’s Day In Vi­enna”, this year fea­tur­ing three in­cred­i­ble guest singers: So­prano Karine Boucher, Tenor Charles Sy and Bari­tone Iain MacNeil. They will per­form a se­lec­tion of Vi­en­nese waltzes and polkas in­clud­ing mu­sic by Jo­hann Strauss, Franz Le­har and W.A. Mozart. It is a time-hon­oured Vi­en­nese cel­e­bra­tion, per­formed by lo­cal and guest mu­si­cians in a way that is both tra­di­tional and ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one.

With a nod of her head, a flick of her ba­ton, or a flash of her smile, Yan is able to get the best out of her mu­si­cians. She helps them dis­cover the un­der­ly­ing pas­sion in the ev­ery piece, and each per­former re­sponds by play­ing to the best of their abil­ity. She in­fuses the room with the be­lief that mu­sic is a com­mon lan­guage that should be ac­ces­si­ble to and par­tic­i­pated in by ev­ery­one.

Thanks in large part to Ju­dith Yan, th­ese shows are dy­namic and en­joy­able, and will in­vig­o­rate pas­sion for the arts in our com­mu­nity.

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