The Guelph Symphony Orchestra
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.