You never really outgrow fairy tales do you?
So come along with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and immerse yourself in the music (and stories) of some of the most engaging fairy tales of all time as the SSO presents "Once Upon a Time" as its Season 15 opener, conducted by maestro William Rowson, on Saturday, October 5.
Maurice Ravel loved reading fairy tales to the children of his close friends (a confirmed bachelor, he had no children of his own) and he often made up tales on the spot! He composed Mother Goose Suite in 1908 as a four-hand suite for solo piano, later arranging it for orchestra and then transforming it into a ballet.
Narrating tales from the Suite will be actor Stephen Russell, who has played in theatres across Canada, including 35 seasons with the Stratford Festival.
Mother Goose Suite comprises five movements: Sleeping Beauty's Pavane, Little Tom Thumb, Laideronnette ("Little Ugly Girl"), the conversations of Beauty and the Beast, and the Fairy Garden. In one of the
movements you will hear the celeste, a keyboard instrument with a distinctive sound (think the Harry Potter theme).
Remember the perils of Hansel and Gretel encountering the evil Gingerbread Witch, who is determined to eat them? Excerpts from Engelbert Humperdinck's opera (including Hansel and Gretel Overture and Evening Prayer and Pantomime) will refresh those memories. Guest sopranos Katy Clark and Leanne Kaufman will add richness with their performances.
Felix Mendelssohn's Incidental Music from A Midsummer Night's
Dream will include Nocturne and the familiar Wedding March. Mendelssohn's composition "perfectly captures the spirit and essence of Shakespeare" wrote Marin Alsop, American conductor and violinist.
Jacques Offenbach's opera, The Tales of Hoffman, is based on the complicated stories of German Romantic author and composer E.T.A. Hoffman. The Orchestra's performance will include a soprano solo,
Les Oiseaux dans la charmille
(The birds in the arbor, nicknamed "The Doll Song"), one of the opera's most famous arias.
The concert will close with
Song to the Moon
, from his highly successful Czech opera Rusalka, featuring a soprano solo.
The concert begins at 7:30pm Saturday, October 5, in Avondale United Church, 194 Avondale Avenue, Stratford.
Tickets are available at Fanfare Books and Blowes Stationery in Stratford and at Lyric Flowers in St. Marys, as well as online and at the door. Adult: $40; student: $10. Children under 12 are admitted free.