RSO celebrates another year
author: quinn bell | a&c writer
Classical music is beauty for the ear / Courtesy of the Regina Symphony Orchestra
Regina’s symphony set for season
The Regina Symphony Orchestra’s opening performance on Saturday night began what will be a year-long celebration of an incredible anniversary: their 110th season.
The first of the Masterworks Series for 2018-2019, Opening Night with Tracy Dahl, was indeed a celebration of summer, of community, of life, and of music. Very much a feel-good evening, the program included Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring – two beautiful pieces which the brochure rightly calls “nostalgic.”
Summer of 1915 is a vocal piece with a beautiful narrative, and on Saturday it was performed by renowned vocalist Tracy Dahl, a Winnipeg-born soprano who has previously performed with the Metropolitan and the Canadian Opera Company. The song’s lyrics are drawn from a poem written by James Agee in 1938. They talk of rocking easily on front porches, of laying in the back yard on homemade quilts alongside a loving family, and of being thankful for life. That’s the sort of feeling which, I think, is quite common to experience at the RSO. Getting lost in beautiful music, it’s easy to feel thankful.
For anyone who has never gone to watch the Regina Symphony Orchestra perform, you should really give it a try. You don’t have to be loaded to go (there are $15 tickets available for students!) and you certainly don’t have to know much about music to enjoy yourself. Try it out as a date night — it’s a nice excuse to get smartly dressed and see someone special, and it can be super romantic.
I will give the warning that RSO nights are often really long. Like really long. This can make the night more special and meditative and worth your $15, but it can sometimes just feel like the world is dragging on. You need to go in with the right mindset, or at least the right people. For some, most classical music just won’t jive, and that’s okay, too. If that sounds like you, you probably will want to fall asleep at some Masterworks shows (it will be more out of relaxation than boredom, I hope). That’s not to say that Masterworks concerts can’t be exhilarating! It just might depend on how into the music you are.
A dislike or even a fear of classical music is not a reason to avoid the RSO, by any means. This season, they have some killer pops shows lined up: a Beatles Tribute in October, a night with Chantal Kreviazuk, a sexy Frank Sinatra show with Tony DeSare, and the very fun Canadian Brass in May. Perhaps the widest appeal comes in March, with a John Williams concert, who scored music for Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and many more films.
So, I hope you’ll go see the RSO sometime. I hope you find some peace in the music, some joy in getting dressed up a bit, and some good vibes from the crowd. Enjoy.