Melville Boys in pictures

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“Ah, country life!”  Meet Owen Melville  (Brohm Dason), a  carefree younger brother who enjoys life’s simple pleasures: fishing, boating, beer, and  pretty girls. He’s been looking forward to enjoying all of them at a weekend holiday at the cabin. If only it weren’t for …

MB13Lee Melville (Craig Bjornson), his uptight older brother. Youthful Owen is a constant irritation to the responsible Lee. Lee would prefer a quiet (and sober) weekend at the family cottage. He also needs to have a serious conversation with his younger brother, if only he can keep Owen’s attention – and eyes – from wandering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WMB7hen Owen spontaneously invites two attractive local women to join them for the day, comedy and chaos erupts. Lee is married, and unwilling to flirt. Owen is … well… looking for harmless fun, regardless of the circumstances. He sets his sights on Loretta (Sarah Williams), herself a younger and irresponsible sibling.

MB11However, Lee soon finds himself drawn to Loretta’s older sister , Mary (Robin Stille). She can relate to the whole “older sibling” thing. And she also knows a thing or two about life’s complicated questions: love, loyalty, courage, fear, and starting over.

MB1MB8Lee doesn’t mind that Mary is a darn good poker player, or that she’s a lousy cook.

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It’s his infuriating brother he can’t talk to … or can he?

The South Okanagan Amateur Players present The Melville Boys, a Canadian comedy by Norm Foster. Friday April 24 and Saturday April 25, OSS Theatre, Osoyoos. 8:00 p.m. Friday May 1 and Saturday May 2, Frank Venables Theatre, Oliver. 8:00 p.m. Advance Tickets $18. Door: $20. Available at Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), Sundance Video (Oliver), Dragon’s Den (Penticton).  Info: soap @ telus.net , 250-498-0183

Photos : Tom Szalay

Profoundly missed

jennifer 1Jennifer Mapplebeck (1938 – 2015)

The arts council has been deeply saddened by the sudden passing of one of its tireless volunteers, Jennifer Mapplebeck, on Wednesday April 8, 2015. Among her many responsibilities was serving on the Board of Directors for over a decade, rental agent for the Quail ‘s Nest Arts Centre, Community Christmas Concert  committee, and Nominations committee. She also served as the representative for the South Okanagan Amateur Players (member group). She quietly offered her service by cleaning the centre, putting up posters, and countless other thankless jobs that simply “needed doing”.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday April 18, 2015 at St. Edward’s Anglican Church, 5954 Nicola Street, Oliver, BC (corner of Fairview & Nicola). A reception at the Seventh -day Adventist Church next door will follow.

Our condolences to Jennifer’s husband Brian, daughters Celia and Kathryn, and their families.

Jena = passion + technical mastery

Jena and Kelly

By Val Friesen

Music lovers enjoyed a superb evening on Friday, April 10th, when lyric soprano Jenavieve Moore and her accompanist, Victoria pianist Kelly Charlton, performed a program of arias, lieder and art songs in the Venables Theatre.

Jenavieve’s mastery of technique and beautiful tone were evident from the very first piece, a magnificent aria from an early Mozart opera, “Mitridate, Re di Ponto,” (written when he was 14!). Jena emotionally inhabits the persona of the young queen, Aspasia, who is torn between love and duty, and presents her to us. Beautiful.

This was followed by three whimsical Poulenc songs, the rather haunting “Die Loreley” by Franz Liszt, and then a set of five Richard Strauss lieder. These latter pieces set poetry to music, are filled with images and emotions that touch the soul, particularly when the music so completely matches the mood of the poetry, and most particularly when sung with the sensitivity and perceptivity of a gifted singer such as Jenavieve Moore. And much credit to the overall effectiveness must be given to pianist Kelly Charlton, a truly consummate musician. How incredible that he and Jena had never worked together before, and had only a few hours of rehearsal time to prepare this marvellous program.

Kelly Charlton took the stage following intermission to play two Brahms pieces, the deeply reflective Intermezzo in E major, followed by the turbulent Capriccio in D minor. Thank you, Kelly.

Having given us songs in German and French, Jena now sang Prokofiev’s “Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova Opus 27” in Russian. The poet was no stranger to multiple romances, and her poems are filled with the sunlight, darkness, secrets (those grey eyes!), bleakness, and telling images drawn from nature and her own intimate experiences that Prokofiev vividly explores in his music. Jena brought them to life for us.

A soulful aria in English from Stravinsky’s opera “The Rake’s Progress” was followed by the concluding piece of the evening, John Duke’s delightful little art song, “Penguin Geometry.”

The audience was then invited to meet the artists and renew acquaintances in a reception in the atrium of the Venables Theatre.

Thank you for a wonderful evening, Jena and Kelly! We have the South Okangan Concert Society to thank for bringing Jenavieve Moore home to us from her ongoing studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and her busy performance schedule around the world. Very best wishes for ongoing success in your exciting career, Jena.

And by the way, Early Bird prices for next season’s SOCS flex pass ($60) are available until April 30th. Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos.

Photo Credit : Bob Park

Great cause — new show!

by Aimee Grice, Producer

v2V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos volunteers have been working tirelessly once again to campaign against gender based violence. As we near the end of our 2015 campaign, I would encourage all of you to take a moment to reflect on the significance of this movement. The V-Day organization, founded by Eve Ensler has benefited countless women and girls, by raising over 100 million dollars for grassroots organizations around the world. I feel that if we have the ability, we have the responsibility to take a stand and say no to violence against women! The first step to stopping the violence is spreading awareness. The V-Day global movement uses live theater as a vehicle to inform as well as entertain, allowing the audience to take an active role in sayting no to violence again women and girls. The statistics are staggering and horrifying. If you haven’t been a victim yourself, you likely know a woman or girl who has.

We’re getting quite close now, only about a week left until V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos presents their 2015 production of The Vagina Monologues. Back by popular demand, we have returned to an audience favourite! In 2013 we sold out and had to turn people away at the door, so this year we’ve added a second performance! Performances take place on April 10th and 11th at 7pm, at the Osoyoos Secondary School Theatre. Tickets are available at Innervisions, Sundance Video and The Bargain! Shop in Oliver and at Jojo’s Café and Art Therapy Corp in Osoyoos. Prices are $18 in advance and $20 at the door, but don’t leave it to chance: buy your tickets now! There are brand new monologues this year as well as some of your favourites! We have such a strong cast of dedicated women this year, come out and support local theater and take a stand against gender-based violence! Please share and spread the word about this powerful production, and come out and enjoy the show!

“Imagine” humming along at this concert

by Marion Boyd

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” and lead you to your calendar to mark the dates for the Sage Valley Singers Beatles Concert coming up on Saturday, April 25th at 7 pm and Sunday, April 26th at 2:30 pm.   Performances are at the Oliver United Church and $10 tickets are available at the door.   Yummy refreshments will be offered after each performance and a time to sit with friends and reminisce about the days when the music of the Beatles filled the air.

“Imagine” John Lennon’s vision of the world we still long for.  Consider John and Paul McCartney’s big question,  “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty four?   Imagine a day when you thought 64 WAS old!?

The Beatles completely changed the popular music scene with more complex rhythm and complicated harmonies.   Whether it was their “Ticket to Ride” or “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, they enthralled a generation and spoke to them in words that still hold true.   “All You Need is Love” or “Can’t Buy Me Love” came out of a Hard Day’s Night.   “Michelle” spoke to the allure of the exotic.   When you hear Sue Morhun’s solo introduction of “Yesterday” all your troubles will feel far away.   Some of you will also remember a yesterday in this community when Sue played lead roles in the many musicals performed before packed crowds in the old Venables Auditorium.

The favorite songs of the Beatles concert will be a mixed slate of individual solos (Hayley Shannon will belt out “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.  Cindy Gilbert will present “In My Life”, for example) and there will be a variety of small group numbers too such as  “And I Love Her” and “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.”

All this is led by the irrepressible Lori Martine who never tires in her efforts to make music available to all age groups in this community.   She will bring along some of her school choir to add extra spice to the Beatles event.

Lori has a right hand girl,  Sandy Andres, to provide piano accompaniment.   Sandy’s musical talent and ability to both lead, correct and cover mistakes inadvertantly made by our various vocalists knows no bounds.    How can we not adore her?!

I urge you to come out to the concerts on April 25th or 26th and revel in this very accessible music.   You can warm up your own vocal chords a bit too and plan to join the choir with some “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” and “Yellow Submarine”.   Don’t be shy.   It’s fun!!!    Proceeds from the door go to worthwhile community programs like the local soup kitchen.  Food bank donations are welcomed.

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Musical ladies of the valley

by David Badger, Medici’s

Meta 3 Aimee GriceOn Friday April 24th at 7:30 p.m., springtime’s hottest all-star music revue takes to the Medici stage with 4 acts from the Okanagan Valley’s most talented women of music.

What a night!! Packed with talent, wonderful music and 4, that’s right FOUR, yes 4 great acts! How many?……4!!! There is a ton of talent in the Okanagan Valley and these women of music are among the very best of them.

The great big voice of Aimee Grice (pictured) and the sweet sounds of Saradaye Lean with her wonderful ukulele will open things up.

Ursula Fox surprised us one Friday night when she sat down at the piano and ripped off a boogie woogie tune that brought the house to its feet. She has whipped up a program of great piano tunes and will be our second performer on this great night of Okanagan stars. The Americans have Jerry Lee and we’ve got a killer of our own right here in the valley.

I have had the great pleasure of listening to Hilary Drummond on several occasions both with her band and on her own right here at Medici’s. Carol Sheridan kicked it hard on stage in the park last summer on the Divas Night and will team up with Hilary. Both these talented ladies will do a few of their own and then team up to bring the third act home. Excellent guitar licks and fine, fine vocals will be on the menu.

Our closing act will be the one and only Mikie Spillett. Mikie is the consummate pro when it comes to performing. She’s been at it since she was a kid and ranges all the way from country to mainstream rock. Mikie is going too close out the night and put a cap on what should be a perfect evening…..Will there be any men on the stage at all??…of course! We need back-up musicians, sound techs, roadies and of course some token male to be your emcee.

Tickets will be $20 each and we have had tons of requests to get them ready for sale, so here they come. Friday, April 24th. Our doors will open at 6:30 and the queens of the valley will start to rip it up at 7:30. Medici’s at 522 Fairview Road…250-498-2228…do not miss this!!…reserve your seat….quick!!

QuintEssence “menu” missed the “meat”

q1by Val Friesen

A menu for a musical feast! QuintEssence, a Vancouver-based vocal quartet plus pianist offered a literal “menu” of operatic favourites on Friday evening to a packed Frank Venables Theatre. This final program in the South Okanagan Concert Society’s 2014-15 season, from drinks and appetizers right through to the dessert choices, had zero calories. But there were some problems.

The evening kicked off with “Drinks,” a champagne toast: Verdi’s famous Brindisi from La Traviata. Some rather shrill soprano vibrato and smudgy tenor notes there, so not exactly a propitious start. Some people left—not because they hate opera, quite the opposite. They emailed me about it.

Second piece, although it was not on the “menu” ( nor was it identified, just dropped on the table, so to speak), a funny little drinking song, was thrown in. Then a rather cute vodka chaser, Vanka Tanka (throughout the evening, the English translations were projected on a back screen). However, the advertised third item on the “Drinks” menu was omitted. No explanation, just not delivered. Waiter?!

The first “Appetizer,” an Offenbach operetta favourite,Belle nuit, featured a quite lovely duet by soprano Robyn Driedger-Klassen and mezzo Barb Towell. This was followed by another French aria for soprano, Gounod’s Je veux vivre. (Pianist Tina Chang did a splendid job as orchestra throughout the evening. Our new Steinway piano sounds wonderful, too.)

The four “Main Course” offerings were drawn from some of the finest moments of Essential Opera: fromCarmen, the Flower Song (sung by tenor Frédérick Robert) and the famous Toreador Song (baritone Peter Alexander), then the soulful tenor-baritone duet from The Pearlfishers. The two artists obviously enjoyed singing this piece.

But the fourth item on the main course menu, the Quartet from Rigoletto, perhaps the best known of all opera quartets, and the Porterhouse steak item on the whole menu, was simply dropped, no explanations, and we got a serving of wieners instead of steak—the “upbeat and silly” (their words) quartet from Martha. So this was the third menu item change with no explanation. Waiter!?

Following intermission, the audience got to choose not one but three dessert pieces. This was a bit of fun for the audience, as the pieces were chosen by applause and a human applause meter. Two of the three pieces chosen allowed first the soprano, then the tenor, to provide what for me were the best performances of the evening.

The soprano piece, “Ain’t it a pretty night,” from the American composer Carlisle Floyd’s opera, Susannah (misspelled in the program guide, as was Bizet’s first name and Habanera and La Bohème). Soprano Robyn Driedger-Klassen deftly caught the bleakness of an innocent girl who is targeted as a sinner in a small mountain town of Tennessee. The audience held its breath. Moving, although the mood was somewhat altered in the louder, and might I say shriller, sections.

Tenor Frédérick Robert similarly created the perfect mood for “Lonely House” from Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. It was obvious how much more comfortable these two artists were through their body language alone as they sang in English. They got it, they projected it, we felt it.

Not so much in the third piece chosen by the audience, the quartet from La Bohème, which caught next to none of the profound pathos or irony of the piece.

To close the evening QuintEssence provided Liquors and Cognac with “Somewhere” from Bernstein’s West Side Story, but then asked the audience to sing along with them in the Log Driver’s Waltz. Some tried, but how do you sing along with a basically unfamiliar piece? If you really wanted us to sing along, QuintEssence, give us something we know.

Applause. Finish. But no, an encore, which though not announced, was the Champagne song from Die Fledermaus, and nicely sung. But then, another little bit that didn’t sit well with me. They wanted to video the audience appreciation of their show to send forward to their next venue, Salt Spring Island. They could have videoed the genuine reaction as they had the iPhone ready at the end of their act, but no, it had to be staged. But no standing ovation. No “tip.”

Many of the chosen program pieces are among those that form the heart of opera, transcending the often superficialities of sets, costuming and stupid plots, because they are brilliant; the music, words and drama magically uniting as they bring joy, yearning, betrayal, and other profound emotions to the heart. There wasn’t much of that here. So, one star—and that goes to the marvellous accompanist, Tina Chang. I’d be at the front of the line if she gave a recital here. But I don’t think I’d care to visit the QuintEssence restaurant again. Too much of a Joe’s Grill masquerading as Bishop’s for me.

As an addendum, American superstar soprano Renée Fleming said in an interview recently: “There’s no substitute for going into a hall and having a shared cultural experience—something you can talk to people about, something you can feel. You know, I want to learn something, or feel something. I want something to make me feel deeply. And it’s the arts that can do that…”

We here in Oliver have a beautiful performance hall where that can happen, thanks to groups like the South Okanagan Concert Society, among others. It was such a pleasure to see a full house for this concert. And by the way, while this was the final of the quartet of concerts offered by the Society this season, a very special fifth concert featuring our own soprano with class, Jena Moore, will be held on Friday, April 10th at 7:30.

See you there.

Jena PosterWhen the executive of the South Okanagan Concert Society sat down to plan for the concert season, it suddenly seemed possible to bring lyric soprano, Jenavieve Moore, home.   She was out there, equally at ease on the opera or the concert stage, performing in London and Germany and Shanghai and “sending chills through the audience with her brilliant performances”.   Here we had a fabulous new theatre and we could bring Jena, as she is known locally, back to her home community.  The date was set.   Jena will perform Friday, April 10th at 7:30 pm at the Venables Theatre.   Tickets for $20 (a fraction of the price she commands in Europe) are available at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos.

Many of us remember the little girl who loved to play both flute and piano as well as sing her heart out.  She was the child who won a string of gold medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music.  When she was accepted to study at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music in London, we all celebrated her success.   No longer that little girl, Jenavieve has matured into a beautiful young artist with an elegant soprano voice that masterfully executes the coloraturas and trills required to make her mark on the world stage.   The South Okanagan Concert Society felt it was time to bring Jena home and help her share her exceptional talents with the people who cared for her, supported her and encouraged her during her growing up years.

Jena really stands as an inspiration to every kid in town who wants to aim high.  She is living proof that a small town girl with small town support can reach goals and dreams of the highest order.    She hasn’t forgotten the local Kiwanis who covered the costs of trips so she could compete at higher levels after winning the local contests.   She hasn’t forgotten the way members of the Oliver United Church spontaneously donated $20 bills towards her further musical education after she sang for them.

The Arts Council presented Jena with various grants through those early years. The council also hosted and supported Jena’s last Oliver appearance, in the summer of 2011, with a standing-room only fundraising concert that raised $1000 from the council, $1250 in audience donations, and some private benefactors for ongoing support. For a full review of that concert, go to http://oliverartscouncil.org/?tag=jena-moore

Teachers including her own mother (Dorothy Moore), Antonia Mahon from Leir House, Sue Gay of Oliver and later Rosalyn Franz of Kelowna all contributed to Jena’s musical development.  She now holds two Performance A.R.C.T. diplomas from the Royal Conservatory in piano and flute as side lines to her vocal career.

Jenavieve has won so many awards it would take pages to name them all.   Most important is that she will simply be home and she will sing her heart out once again for the community that holds her dear.  Come out and welcome her!    She will be accompanied on piano by Kelly Charlton currently a senior member of the Piano Faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Can icon be saved?

Haynes smallODHS Annual General Meeting highlights Haynes Ranch Legend

Oliver, BC; March 24, 2015:  Can we still save some of the iconic Haynes Ranch Buildings? Why should we go to the effort?

Photo: Haynes Barn and Blacksmith building, circa 1982 (OLP.983.263.4)

Join the Oliver and District Heritage Society at their 35th Annual AGM where historian Randy Manuel will recount the compelling story of this remarkable Haynes family and their legacy, one that began in the early colonial settlement period and is still with us today in government, in ranching and in land development.  The Haynes were more than just an ordinary family.  Father, sons and daughters experienced not only great joys but also great sorrows in the years that followed their arrival with a loss of a mother, a child, a home and then an “empire”.

The shadow of that ranching “empire” is still evident today in the skeletal remains of the buildings perched on a sandy dune on Road 22.  These ruins hold a lifetime of memories and of times long past.  Are any or all of the structures worth saving? Can they even be saved and, if so, what for?  Dave Mattes of the Haynes Ranch Preservation Committee will follow Randy’s presentation with an update on efforts underway to try and save the mortise and tendon barn, possibly for wildlife habitat.  It is a fascinating proposal the working group is pursuing, a combination of historic and natural heritage preservation.

Randy is the 4th generation of the Manuel Family to live in the Okanagan. His great grandfather ran the Hotel Penticton and his grandfather was a railway engineer on the Kettle Valley Railway. Given his strong personal connection to history shaping events in the region, Randy traded a career in the retail world for one in the heritage field. For nearly 20 years he was the director/curator of the Penticton Museum and Archives and, in the process, established the S.S. Sicamous Restoration Society, the Kettle Valley Steam, Railway, the City of Penticton’s Heritage Committee and, following his retirement, he took a lead role in saving the 1921 three story Pen High brick school house as the home for the now successful Okanagan School of the Arts. Historic storytelling is in his blood.

reworked logoThe 35th Annual AGM for the Oliver and District Heritage Society will take place 7 p.m. Thursday April 16 at the Quail’s Nest located at 5840 Airport Street. Everyone is welcome but only those with current membership in the ODHS will be eligible to vote during the meeting. Memberships will be available for purchase prior to the meeting or can be purchased by visiting the Museum (474 School Ave.) or the Archives (430 Fairview Rd.) during open hours. Please feel free to call 250-498-4027 or e-mail info @ oliverheritage.ca with any questions.

Bringing Jena home

Jena Moore Heidelbergby Marion Boyd

When the executive of the South Okanagan Concert Society sat down to plan for the coming season, it suddenly seemed possible to BRING HER HOME.  Here we had a fabulous new theatre and one of our own, lyric soprano Jenavieve Moore, has been studying at the prestigious Guildhall School in London and performing in the UK and Europe “sending chills through the audience with her brilliant performances”, Her “elegant soprano voice masterfully executing the coloraturas and trills in Mozart’s…” and on and on.   It was time to bring this beautifully matured young artist back to her home community and help her share her exceptional talents with the people who cared for her, supported her and encouraged her during her growing up years.

Jena Moore VerdiMany of us remember the little girl who loved to play both flute and piano as well as sing and who won a string of gold medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music.   When she was accepted to study at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music in London we all celebrated her success. Jenavieve is a poised and mature artist equally comfortable on the opera and concert stage.   She is regularly featured on BBC Radio, got rave reviews when she stepped in with only a few hours notice to sing the soprano solo in Verdi’s Requiem in Barbican Hall, and has upcoming engagements in Shanghai and a Mozart Oratorio to perform in Switzerland and Germany.  She is living proof that a small town girl with small town support can reach goals and dreams of the highest order.  She stands as an inspiration to every kid in town who wants to aim high.

The concert society is flying Jena home and if we sound a little sentimental, please forgive us!   She will be performing at Venables Theatre on Friday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.   Tickets for only $20 are on sale now at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos.