The West Coast Wire

World renowned opera tenor returns to Corner Brook

David Pomeroy to perform at Rotary Arts Centre on May 11 and 12

- STEPHEN ROBERTS stephen.roberts@saltwire.com

David Pomeroy’s powerful, soaring voice will be captivatin­g Corner Brook audiences this week.

The operatic tenor hailing from St. John’s is returning to Corner Brook to perform with Brian Way, Wendy Woodland and the Silvern Voices choir at the Rotary Arts Centre for two shows on May 11 and 12.

Pomeroy has been acclaimed by the New York Times as “a powerful, agile tenor” and has performed on some of the world’s most important stages.

Per the Rotary Arts Centre, he “made his Metropolit­an Opera debut in the title role of Faust, followed by the title role of Hoffmann opposite soprano Anna Netrebko under the baton of maestro James Levine, and now receives star billing across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.”

For David Smallwood, CEO of the Rotary Arts Centre, it is special to have someone like Pomeroy come to Corner Brook to perform.

“We’re deeply honoured and Corner Brook should be deeply honoured to have somebody like David Pomeroy coming to town to just sing, share his talents and open a few eyes,” he tells West Coast Wire.

During each show, Pomeroy will perform some familiar arias from well-known operas.

He will be joined by local talent for each evening. Way will provide piano accompanim­ent, Corner Brook soprano Woodland will perform some duets with Pomeroy, while the Silvern Voices, a youth choir from Stephenvil­le conducted by Katie Barrett, will join as special guests.

According to Smallwood, they will also be celebratin­g the closure of the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, after nearly 14,000 performanc­es. The final performanc­e was on April 16.

Individual­ly and collective­ly, they will perform songs sung by the Phantom and Christine from the Phantom of the Opera. According to Smallwood, these songs are very operatic in nature.

“It will be a lovely evening of some well-known opera tenor solos and sopranos solos, some tenor/soprano duets and a section devoted to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera,” he states.

Smallwood says there are two reasons they wanted to bring Pomeroy back to Corner Brook. One is simply that he believes Corner Brook loves opera. He feels there’s a niche market for opera in the community, himself included.

“A lot of people, myself, my family included, love opera, love hearing it, watching it and never singing it I’m afraid,” he says with a laugh.

Secondly, Pomeroy has roots in Corner Brook. His grandfathe­r, Ignatius Rumboldt, was born in Curling. Rumboldt was a choir director, organist and educator who, in 1975, was named to the Order of Canada for his contributi­ons to his province as a musician and broadcaste­r.

He was a full-time music specialist at Memorial University in St. John’s for many years. In 1975, with the opening of the college in Corner Brook, he returned home for two years where he served as musical director.

“I and about 150 other people sang with Ignatius in probably the best choral traditions that Corner Brook has ever seen,” recalls Smallwood. “Anyone who knew Ignatius has connection to David because of his relationsh­ip.”

Smallwood adds, “he’s also a really nice guy and loves performing, and we love to hear him, so that’s enough to bring him back.”

For those unfamiliar with the musical form, Smallwood believes it’s something everyone should experience.

“The first time I heard opera, and I was much younger than I am now, I got goosebumps,” he says. “It affects people in different ways.”

He notes centuries ago, it was a form of music that everyone experience­d.

“It was really the main form of entertainm­ent in the big cities of the world,” he explains. “Long before there was such a thing as musical theatre, long before Broadway, long before downtown Toronto, was opera and it satisfied everybody’s desire for music, for grandeur, for pomp and circumstan­ce.”

He suggests anyone who wants to familiariz­e themselves with the music to Google or go to YouTube to watch performanc­es from Madama Butterfly, or performanc­es from Pomeroy.

For tickets for the show, visit rotaryarts­centre.ca

 ?? FILE ?? Newfoundla­nd and Labrador born opera tenor David Pomeroy will be performing at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook on May 11 and 12.
FILE Newfoundla­nd and Labrador born opera tenor David Pomeroy will be performing at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook on May 11 and 12.

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