Off-Broadway smash hit comes to local theatre

 

LLWW Poster sm

Ask a woman about a personal triumph or tragedy in her life, and chances are she’ll remember the clothing she was wearing at the time. That’s the basic premise of SOAP’s next comedy, Love, Loss , and What I Wore by sisters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and based on the best-selling  picture-book memoir by Ilene Beckerman. The Ephron sisters are noted for their quick-witted rom com films, When Harry Met Sally, Julie and Julia, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

But the play is not about  “fashion”, far from it.  It’s  about memory and relationships, about emotions and how old emotions can be relived through items of clothing  hanging in a woman’s closet. The result is a funny,  poignant, and ultimately uplifting collection of stories, all of them true.

Jen Jensen directs a cast of five women (Linda Lobb, Christine Rothwell, Penelope Johnson, Robin Stille , and Tracey Granger) who reminisce their way through a series of monologues, dialogues, and rapid fire vignettes. Assuming a variety of characters and voices, the women recall touchstone moments in a woman’s life, told through her clothing: a childhood dress, the embarrassment of  fitting a first bra,  a prom gown and the beau who went with it, the pain and sexiness of high heeled shoes, finding the right dress to marry the one you love, why women adore black, and the love-hate relationship with a purse.  Scenes vary from serious to sexy to just plain silly.

Tying the 28 scenes together is Gingy (Linda Lobb),  a straight-talking senior who uses tongue-in-cheek humour to retell her life story through her clothes. On the way, she inspires four other women to join in with anecdotes of their own, following a roughly chronological format from childhood, through loves and losses,  to career and motherhood, and on to the golden years.

The show is especially recommended as a hilarious evening out for moms and daughters, sisters, and women’s groups.

Hint for guys: Valentine’s Day is coming up and a pair of tickets to Love, Loss, and What I Wore could be just the “ticket” for your own romance! And if she wants to drag you along instead of her girlfriend, be flattered!

While the estrogen level may be high onstage, the show promises to be both an eye-opener and a source of amusement for men. What do women really do in the department store change-room?  What is she really thinking when standing in front of the closet for minutes on end? Why do women wear boots year-round? Why is what she wears  so important to her anyway? The show reveals many of women’s secret fears and private joys, using clothing as a metaphor for memory.   Women may laugh with the characters, while  men laugh at them, but laughter is guaranteed for both genders!

Love, Loss and What I Wore will be produced on consecutive weekends in March:

March 1  & 2 at Summerland Centre Stage
March 8 & 9 at the Osoyoos Minitheatre
March 15 & 16 at the Oliver Seniors Centre 
 

Tickets go on sale Monday January 28.   Adults $18 and  Seniors(65+) /Students $15. Visit Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), Dragon’s Den (Penticton) or The Sweet Tooth (Summerland) to purchase yours.

For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or the producer at 250-498-3597.

Concert season opens with lyric soprano

Submitted by Marion Boyd, SOCS

Last year at this time the South Okanagan Concert Society was reassuring citizens they could look forward to world class concerts despite the massive fire that consumed the local high school and auditorium. Switching to the temporary venue of the Oliver Alliance Church, a concert series was specifically designed to take advantage of the acoustics in a smaller, more intimate setting. It was a huge success.

This year, while construction of the new auditorium is underway, the concert society has again shaped a series to bring delight to a community rising above its grievous loss. Flex pass tickets are on sale now at Beyond Bliss (Oliver) and at Imperial Office Pro (Osoyoos). The four admission pass costs only $60. The four admissions are entirely flexible and can be used together or in any combination. Single admission is $20. Young people 17 and under are welcome to attend the concerts free. All the concerts will begin at the new start time of 7:30 pm.

Here’s what we have in store for you! On Friday, November 2 the stunning soprano, Tracy Fehr (pictured above), will offer a programme to showcase her classically trained lyric voice. Expect operatic arias, German lieder, arrangements of African-American spirituals and musical theatre hits. Dennis Nordlund will provide the piano accompaniment.

Friday, November 30th a complete change of pace will occur when the 2011 Canadian Grand Master Fiddle champion, Daniel Gervais, performs. He has been playing violin since age 5 and moves comfortably from fiddle styles to classical violin. No wonder one of his CDs has the title “Endless Possibilities”.

 

 

Some familiar faces appear for the Friday, February 8th concert, Duo Rendezvous. Jasper Wood, violinist, has enthralled the audience before and when he joins with the charismatic Daniel Bolshoy on classical guitar the outcome will undoubtedly be musical magic. Last year Daniel’s virtuosity and his charming ability to communicate with the audience created a coterie of new local fans.

 

 

 

The series will conclude on Thursday, March 7th , when the Concert Society takes a firm step out onto a limb. This concert is like no other. Woody Holler and his Orchestra are purveyors of western swing. They love to explore the crossover between jazz and western and produce “gypsy jazz from the saddle”. Raised on cowboy songs and later trained in classical voice and opera, Woody’s voice plus violin, guitar and bass create arrangements rich with virtuosity and style.

This is a series guaranteed to chase away any winter blues with music, music, music!

Sage Valley Voices sing the 70s

The Sage Valley Voices are hard at work practicing for their upcoming concert “The Golden Decade of the Seventies”. This concert has something for everyone – a little country, theatre songs, movie music, and those great songs you heard on the radio – so don’t miss it !

Saturday May 5 
7:00 p.m.
Sunday May 6 
2:30 p.m.
$10 at the door
Oliver United Church
Admission includes refreshments
Donations to the Oliver Food Bank welcome!

Penderecki Strings Captivate

by Stuart Culver

From first to last note, the Penderecki String Quartet held the audience in their spell in the last concert of the year, Feb 24, for the South Okanagan Concert Society. Opening with Beethoven’s String Quartet in G major, they performed the sprightly dance-like introduction with a delicate formality, in keeping with its nickname, ‘The Compliments Quartet’, portraying the exaggerated courtesy of an 18th century drawing salon. The second movement features a languorous melody leading to bursts of song, cut by expectant silences. The galloping rhythms of the Scherzo moved to a faster tempo in the final movement where each instrument in turn picked up the melody, ending with the fierce energy we associate with Beethoven.

The second composition, De Profundis, by young Canadian composer Norbert Palej, was commissioned and premiered by PSQ. Jerzy Kaplanek, 2nd violin, spoke of the composer’s impetus, drawing inspiration from Psalm 130 and Oscar Wilde’s ‘De Profundis” written in Reading Gaol. Violent percussive and staccato effects built on dissonances and the sheer physicality of the violinists drew enthusiastic applause from the Oliver audience; the musicians told us that not all audiences are as accepting of innovative styles. The piece started on a shattering unison note and ended on a single dying note, after high bird-like trills, reinforcing the notion of rising from the depths of despair. Perhaps appropriate as Oliver prepares to welcome a prison.

Debussy’s String Quartet, his only one, offered a contrast to the first half. The violinists switched positions and 2nd Jeremy Bell told about the influence of the Javanese gamelon which Debussy heard at the 1889 Paris Exposition. A simple melody recurred in different ways: the dream-like quality quickly moved from soft to strident, with ever changing rhythms and harmonies. The soft, sad and slow intro of the cello in the final movement built to a crescendo of excitement and ended with a whisper.

But the audience wanted more and the musicians obliged with an unbelievably fast little piece, with bow percussion by Erwin Schulhoff, a Czech composer. Truly, the Penderecki musicians demonstrate “a remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” Globe & Mail).

Another successful year has ended for the South Okanagan Concert Society. The 2012-13 season is planned, with the AGM on April 10 at Quail’s Nest Arts Centre. Early-bird discount tickets (bargain prices, free for students) are available now at Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and Beyond Bliss in Oliver.

Final concert will cap a great concert series

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Mark your calendar for Friday February 24th, when the Penderecki String Quartet performs in the final concert of the South Okanagan Concert Society winter season. In the second decade of an extraordinary career, this celebrated chamber ensemble’s performing schedule takes them annually to the great concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East. Making up the prestigious quartet are Jeremy Bell, violin, Jerzy Kaplanek, violin, Christine Vlajk, viola, and Paul Pulford, cello. The quartet has collaborated with many eminent ensembles as well as with artists such as James Campbell and Janina Fialkowska who have thrilled audiences here in past years.

The concert will be at the temporary venue of the Oliver Alliance Church just north of Oliver at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. This is the time to use up any remaining admissions on your flex pass and to bring your cheque book to catch the Early Bird prices for next season. Single admissions are $20 and students 17 and under are admitted free. This is a great opportunity to introduce the young musicians in your family to world class live music.

Sometimes people ask me why I love the concert series music so much. I decided to ask members of the audience what draws them. Here is what Brita Park told me:

“I’ve got this image of my recently immigrated parents in the early 50’s. My Dad had been working two jobs (16 hours a day) and had finally earned a bit more than was required for the daily food to feed a family of eight. My mother’s immediate thought was “New shoes for the kids!”. Too late! To her dismay, my father came home without the extra money. Instead he carried a beautiful record player and proudly chose one record from a stack of new LPs. The lively strains of a Strauss waltz filled the house, drifted over the porch and the orchard below. Father gallantly twirled my mother around the living room and we children joined in.

“Later my mother admitted that it was my father who had gauged the family needs correctly, not she. Our old shoes would have to do. It was the beautiful shared music of Strauss, Chopin, Mozart, Bach and Mendelssohn that lifted the family up, accompanying, sustaining, and delighting us through all our years of growing up.”

So come and share the beautiful music of the Penderecki String Quartet with others who love music. Allow yourself to be lifted up, sustained and delighted. Don’t be afraid of winter roads. Call Maureen at 250 495 7978 if you want to arrange transportation in the van. Join us. Come!

Bolshoy deemed “brightest and best” in classical guitar

review by Bob Park

The solo guitar performance by Daniel Bolshoy was billed by South Okanagan Concert Society’s executive as an event “not to be missed.” And were they ever right about that! It had been 25 years since the concert society last had a classical guitarist on stage. Last Friday night they made up for that “oversight” by bringing us the brightest and best.  

There are always potential challenges inherent in planning any concert. For this one, consider this: 200 people in a “substitute concert hall”, a whole program of music by composers that 99 percent of the audience had never heard of, and a single, quiet, unamplified, acoustic guitar.  How would it go over? The short answer: extremely well!

Daniel Bolshoy had us spell-bound throughout the evening. He worked magic on his newly acquired high-tech German-made guitar, of which even the slightest whisper of a strum could be heard at the back of the hall. The audience listened, as with bated breath, not wanting to miss a single phrase, a single note. Rare are performers who perfect the vibrato, slides and changes of tone on the guitar so as to create and maintain a singing quality. Daniel Bolshoy is such a performer.

He drew us into to the lyrical world of Sainz de la Maza, Karmon, and Barrios and, after two hours of pure delight, left us on our feet, asking for more.  Daniel’s program began with a musical tribute by the composer, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, to a series of poems by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, “Platero y Yo”. A man and his donkey: the simple joys of life and memories. Daniel’s gift to us, we were soon to discover, was not just his beautiful playing. He also has the ability to set us up for the music by telling us lively little stories about the composers at the time that  each piece came into being.  We were fascinated. And we listened. The first half continued with five more compositions by Sainz de la Maza, including a  variety of evocative titles.  When Daniel introduced “Homage to Toulouse-Lautrec” by referencing the recent hit movie, “Midnight in Paris,” the audience nodded and smiled. The first half concluded  with Sainz de la Maza’s best known piece: Campanas del Alba, “Bells at Dawn”.  The rapid fire guitar-playing technique called “tremolo”, which allows a guitarist to imitate a singing vocal line, came off  so smoothly that the audience sat hushed for a moment, not wanting to break the lyrical spell.

The second half of the program began with “Next Year”, a series of 5 short pieces written for Daniel by the American composer Michael Karmon.  Each depicts a different aspect of life in Jerusalem, combining a sense of history, awe and modern realities of the 3,000 year-old city. Unusual, fascinating music, creating a taste for more. The program concluded with works by arguably the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, the Paraguayan-Guarani Indian composer Augustin Barrios Mangore.  Daniel explained how this composer’s music, so popular among guitarists today, languished in obscurity due to the overarching influence of Andres Segovia—the dominant classical guitar recitalist of the time. Out of jealousy, Segovia bad-mouthed Barrios at every opportunity. Barrios, a poverty-stricken, homeless, musical genius spent a life-time travelling all over Latin America, giving concerts and composing, but never getting the financial backing or promotional support he needed to achieve the success he was due.  A full, but in many ways also a tragic, life. Now, just as every pianist knows and admires Chopin, so does every guitarist know and admire Barrios.  It feels like a vindication when someone like Daniel shares the music by this genius with audiences far and wide.

The last piece in the program, “La Catedral”, presents enormous challenges to any performer. Daniel, with the exceptional powers of concentration and outstanding technical skills needed for the long and difficult stretches in the piece, did full justice to Barrios. A triumphant end to the program. We were treated to two encores, before the enthusiastic audience finally let Daniel leave the stage.  Barrios’ last composition, “An Alm for the Love of God”, was followed by Sainz de la Maza’s arrangement of Steven Foster’s well-known “Swanee River”, which combined shades of Ravel, Django Reinhardt, and Debussy. For me, it was a perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Judging by the strength of the standing ovation and by the record-setting CD sales in the foyer, Oliver concert-goers agreed!

The South Okanagan Concert Society has one more concert lined up for this season.  Music lovers, mark your calendars! The Penderecki String Quartet will be playing on Friday, Feb.24th at 7:30 at Oliver Alliance Church, whose support to the temporarily “homeless” SOCS has been tremendous, and is much appreciated by one and all. Early Bird ticket sales for next year will again be available.

Bolshoy deemed "brightest and best" in classical guitar

review by Bob Park

The solo guitar performance by Daniel Bolshoy was billed by South Okanagan Concert Society’s executive as an event “not to be missed.” And were they ever right about that! It had been 25 years since the concert society last had a classical guitarist on stage. Last Friday night they made up for that “oversight” by bringing us the brightest and best.  

There are always potential challenges inherent in planning any concert. For this one, consider this: 200 people in a “substitute concert hall”, a whole program of music by composers that 99 percent of the audience had never heard of, and a single, quiet, unamplified, acoustic guitar.  How would it go over? The short answer: extremely well!

Daniel Bolshoy had us spell-bound throughout the evening. He worked magic on his newly acquired high-tech German-made guitar, of which even the slightest whisper of a strum could be heard at the back of the hall. The audience listened, as with bated breath, not wanting to miss a single phrase, a single note. Rare are performers who perfect the vibrato, slides and changes of tone on the guitar so as to create and maintain a singing quality. Daniel Bolshoy is such a performer.

He drew us into to the lyrical world of Sainz de la Maza, Karmon, and Barrios and, after two hours of pure delight, left us on our feet, asking for more.  Daniel’s program began with a musical tribute by the composer, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, to a series of poems by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, “Platero y Yo”. A man and his donkey: the simple joys of life and memories. Daniel’s gift to us, we were soon to discover, was not just his beautiful playing. He also has the ability to set us up for the music by telling us lively little stories about the composers at the time that  each piece came into being.  We were fascinated. And we listened. The first half continued with five more compositions by Sainz de la Maza, including a  variety of evocative titles.  When Daniel introduced “Homage to Toulouse-Lautrec” by referencing the recent hit movie, “Midnight in Paris,” the audience nodded and smiled. The first half concluded  with Sainz de la Maza’s best known piece: Campanas del Alba, “Bells at Dawn”.  The rapid fire guitar-playing technique called “tremolo”, which allows a guitarist to imitate a singing vocal line, came off  so smoothly that the audience sat hushed for a moment, not wanting to break the lyrical spell.

The second half of the program began with “Next Year”, a series of 5 short pieces written for Daniel by the American composer Michael Karmon.  Each depicts a different aspect of life in Jerusalem, combining a sense of history, awe and modern realities of the 3,000 year-old city. Unusual, fascinating music, creating a taste for more. The program concluded with works by arguably the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, the Paraguayan-Guarani Indian composer Augustin Barrios Mangore.  Daniel explained how this composer’s music, so popular among guitarists today, languished in obscurity due to the overarching influence of Andres Segovia—the dominant classical guitar recitalist of the time. Out of jealousy, Segovia bad-mouthed Barrios at every opportunity. Barrios, a poverty-stricken, homeless, musical genius spent a life-time travelling all over Latin America, giving concerts and composing, but never getting the financial backing or promotional support he needed to achieve the success he was due.  A full, but in many ways also a tragic, life. Now, just as every pianist knows and admires Chopin, so does every guitarist know and admire Barrios.  It feels like a vindication when someone like Daniel shares the music by this genius with audiences far and wide.

The last piece in the program, “La Catedral”, presents enormous challenges to any performer. Daniel, with the exceptional powers of concentration and outstanding technical skills needed for the long and difficult stretches in the piece, did full justice to Barrios. A triumphant end to the program. We were treated to two encores, before the enthusiastic audience finally let Daniel leave the stage.  Barrios’ last composition, “An Alm for the Love of God”, was followed by Sainz de la Maza’s arrangement of Steven Foster’s well-known “Swanee River”, which combined shades of Ravel, Django Reinhardt, and Debussy. For me, it was a perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Judging by the strength of the standing ovation and by the record-setting CD sales in the foyer, Oliver concert-goers agreed!

The South Okanagan Concert Society has one more concert lined up for this season.  Music lovers, mark your calendars! The Penderecki String Quartet will be playing on Friday, Feb.24th at 7:30 at Oliver Alliance Church, whose support to the temporarily “homeless” SOCS has been tremendous, and is much appreciated by one and all. Early Bird ticket sales for next year will again be available.

Solo guitar to work its magic Friday January 27

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Excitement ! Delight! A tiny bit of smug pride! Glee! That’s how the South Okanagan Concert Society executive is feeling as they announce Daniel Bolshoy, solo guitarist, will be on stage at the interim Oliver Alliance Church venue Friday, January 27th at 7:30 pm. Daniel has been a mega hit with his charismatic stage presence, his charming ability to communicate with the audience and the ability to coax utter magic from his guitar. The lucky coincidence that he has recently been appointed to head the guitar department at the newly created Vancouver Symphony School of Music means he is living for one year in Vancouver and close enough to be lured to the Okanagan.

The intimate atmosphere and acoustics of the Alliance Church venue are perfect to showcase a fine musician known for the expressiveness of his style. Critics say Daniel “immerses himself in his music, physically projecting the depth of its emotion while his virtuosity flows as if it were an instinctive force.”

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. The best buy is a flexible pass for four admissions for only $60. The admissions can be used separately or in combination. Single admission is $20 and young people age 17 and under are welcome to attend concerts free.

Call Maureen at 495-7978 to arrange for transportation by van if you are worried about winter driving conditions and know you can’t miss this performance.

Daniel Bolshoy is a Russian-born, Israeli-raised Canadian and a renowned guitarist who is regularly praised for engaging the audience between pieces with biographies to introduce composers, and more importantly, with the story behind the piece itself. He has an uncanny intimacy with his instrument and an aggressive multi-layered quality to his style so that with closed eyes it is easy to imagine more than one player on stage.

Daniel’s recitals are frequently broadcast on the CBC. He appears on four CD recordings and he teaches guitar at Concordia University in Montreal and offers master classes internationally. He will soon be touring Russia and he continues to perform in Canada’s most prestigious venues, including the Glenn Gould Studio, the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, the National Art Centre and Vancouver’s Chan Centre.

One warning. There will only be one performance. When the Kallisto Trio held the audience breathless at their performance before Christmas and the word of that incredible concert spread through our towns, those who missed out lamented their loss. Daniel Bolshoy is capable of creating another magical evening to refresh the soul. Be careful. Don’t be one of those who only wishes they had been there. Be one of those sitting enthralled as his music works its magic.

Editor’s Note: This talented young performer is sure to appeal to the child or teen in your life. Planning to go? Bring along your favourite young person (s) for free!  Let them catch the excitement of a live concert!

Wild Guys ready to perform November 25 – December 3

“It’s sure different with just the four guys on stage,” says actor Tom Szalay, commenting on the first South Okanagan Amateur Player’s production to feature an all-male cast. Szalay is referring to The Wild Guys, a Canadian comedy by Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw. It opens the weekend of November 25 and 26 at OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos, and continues on December 2 and 3 at the Oliver Seniors Centre.

“We guys definitely need more beer events after rehearsals to better develop our manly characters, ” he says, grinning, and with tongue firmly in cheek.

Above Photo: “Men’s sensitivity weekend” junkie Robin (Craig Bjornson, left) teaches Andy (Tom Szalay) how to get in touch with the natural world using meditation.

The four male co-stars are Craig Bjornson, David Badger, Patrick Turner, and Szalay. They play a new age hippie, a high powered lawyer, a grocer and a sales executive who all venture into the Alberta bush on a men’s sensitivity weekend. What begins as a simple hike to a cabin for some steaks, fishing, and heart-to heart talk becomes a hilarious survival weekend when the foursome lose their way and discover supplies have disappeared. Bjornson enjoys the home-grown feel of the script: “I like that it is a Canadian play with references and locations that an audience will recognize.”

Above Photo: Stewart (Patrick Turner, right) is more interested in relaxing with a beer. 

Each character has his own mid-life crisis, facing issues of career advancement, romance and marriage, aging, and mortality. Szalay describes his character as “a geeky know-it-all who only thinks he has it all together!” Turner’s grocer is “stuck in a rut at the Lone Pine Co-op and would like some advancement. But he’s really just a small town boy.” Badger, playing an abrasive lawyer with all the perks of his lifestyle, eventually confides his insecurities. Bjornson says his tree-hugging character is “a soul of the earth kind of guy but he spends way too much time trying to change the world”, only to discover what needs to change is himself. Huddling around a campfire, the men eventually pour out their secrets, some poignant, some wry, some funny. 

The revelations may bring a tear or two to the audience, but the laughs follow right behind. Physical comedy, sight gags, pop culture references, and poking fun at male stereotypes will all guarantee lots of chuckles.

Above Photo: Starving Andy scarfs down some saskatoon berries he’s collected in his hat  while Randall (David Badger, left) watches greedily.

 

While the cast breaks manly stereotypes onstage in The Wild Guys, ladies working behind the scenes break stereotypes of their own in key jobs as producer, stage manager, lead hand (set), sound and lighting. Director Ted Osborne enjoys the challenge of balancing the testosterone onstage and the estrogen backstage. “Yep,” he laughs, “It’s that age old story where guys on stage just want to bluster ahead and “get the job done” and the female crew backstage want to organize and adjust. Now, keeping that working in harmony can be a challenge alright!”

 Photo: Lawyer Randall loses patience with crystal gazing, tree-hugging Robin.  

 

Tickets for The Wild Guys are $15 adults and $12 seniors / students and are available at Sundance Video (Oliver), Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and at the door.

Photo: Andy earnestly tries to explain the principles of the men’s sensitivity movement to Randall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOAP’s spring production may reverse gender worlds. The troupe plans to produce the all-female, hit Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia. Females wishing to audition, and guys wishing to work backstage are invited contact SOAP at SOAP@telus.net or 250-498-3597.

Photo: Randall and Robin share some deep secrets at the campfire. Come find out what they are !

Never in My Wildest Dreams

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself writing the following words, but here they are! I just heard an exquisite performance of Mendelssohn’s Scherzo played by Alexander Sevastian on the accordion. Yes. You read it right. The accordion. And yes. I said exquisite.

Sevastian, born in Minsk, Belarus, and a Canadian citizen since 2005 is a three time first prize winner of the world International Accordion Competition. He has the dexterity worthy of a concert pianist and a Masters degree (performance) from Moscow. Over the past five years he has toured Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Estonia and Guatemala. Now he will perform on Friday, October 28th in Oliver under the auspices of the South Okanagan Concert Society.

Many of you are aware the Oliver school and auditorium burned down recently. Sevastian will perform at the new time of 7:30 pm at this season’s temporary venue, the Oliver Alliance Church , 36853 99th Street which is just off Highway 97 at the northern ‘Welcome to Oliver’ sign.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. The best buy is a flexible pass for four admissions for only $60. The admissions can be used separately or in combination. Single admission is $20 and young people age 17 and under are welcome to attend concerts free.

If you are one of those who can’t associate “exquisite” with “accordion” I invite you to visit www.stationbleue.com/artistes.e/sevastian_al.php and see how Sevastian can create a whole orchestra in one instrument. Whether it is Rossini’s La Danza or Mozart’s Organ Fantasia, Sevastian is able to delight with his music as well as his stage presence. His program exhibits a broad versatility some of it perhaps inspired by Quartetto Gelato. He has been touring internationally with this group since 2002. They also were on stage in Oliver in the past. If you missed them and want to explore their style, check out www.quartettogelato.ca.

Sevastian has performed concerts in 30 Russian cities as well as concerts in Belarus, the Ukraine and other parts of Europe. His Kossak Variations by Victor Gridin will bring anyone with a drop of Russian blood to their feet in a standing ovation.

Don’t be shy. Try something unusual in the world of music and discover the appeal of a champion accordionist

Concert Season ready? Yes Yes Yes!

submitted by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

When the recent massive fire consumed the Oliver Venables Auditorium, citizens felt bereft. So much was destroyed and many wondered if the South Okanagan Concert Society would be able to bring world class concerts to the community this year. The answer to that question is YES! YES! YES!

The Concert Society knew that the renovations started at the auditorium before the fire would not be completed for this season. There was time to plan and to arrange for a temporary new venue at the Oliver Alliance Church. A concert series was designed specifically to take advantage of the acoustics in a smaller, more intimate setting . As the series took shape we knew we had a winner to bring delight to a community suffering a grievous loss.

Flex pass tickets are on sale now at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and at Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos. A four admission pass costs only $60. The four admissions are entirely flexible and can be used together or in combination. Single admission is $20. Young people 17 and under are welcome to attend the concerts free. All the concerts will begin at the new start time of 7:30 pm.

So this is what we have in store for you! On Friday, October 28th, Alexander Sevastian, who hails from Belarus and became a Canadian citizen in 2005, will make you believe his accordion is a whole orchestra in one instrument. His dexterity is worthy of a concert pianist. It is hardly a surprise that he has captured first prize three times at the International Accordion Competition.

On Friday, November 25, 2011, the Kallisto Trio of Fabiana Katz, Catherine Laub and Karen Mang will perform a cappella with flawlessly tuned voices blending into one. They are known for classical mastery, Pop personality and Latin spice. Kallisto draws inspiration from every era of music history. The trio brings music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic periods to life and then shifts effortlessly to jazz standards, pop hits, world music and gospel.

Solo guitarist, Daniel Bolshoy, will be on stage Friday, January 27, 2012. He has been a mega hit with his charismatic stage presence, a charming ability to communicate with the audience, and the ability to coax utter magic from his guitar.

The critics say this young man “immerses himself in his music, physically projecting the depth of its emotion while his virtuosity flows as if it were an instinctive force.”

He has recently been appointed to head the guitar department at the newly created Vancouver Symphony School of Music.

The series will conclude on Friday, February 24, 2012 with a performance by the Penderecki String Quartet. In the second decade of an extrordinary career, this celebrated chamber ensemble’s performing schedule takes them annually to the great concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East. Making up this prestigious quartet are Jeremy Bell, violin, Jerzy Kaplanek, violin, Christine Vlajk, viola and Paul Pulford, cello.

This is a series with the transformational power to turn the grief of a community into joy through music.

Think you know accordion? Think again.

Think you know accordion? Probably not like this! Think a whole orchestra in one instrument and dexterity worthy of a concert pianist.

The South Okanagan Concert Society presents
Alexander Sevastian, solo accordionist
Friday, Oct 28, 2011
Oliver Alliance Church
Tickets : $60 regular flex pass, $20 single ticket
Available at Beyond Bliss (Oliver)
and Inperial Office Pro (Osoyoos) 

This concert will blow you away — guaranteed!

Alexander Sevastian has won four International Accordion Competitions including the Oslofjord in Norway (1998), The Cup of the North in Russia (2000), the Anthony Galla-Rini Accordion Competition in the U.S.A. (2001) and The Coupe Mondiale in the U.S.A. (2007).

Alex was born in Minsk, Belarus and began his studies on the accordion at the age of seven. In 1991 he attended the Glinka Musical College in Minsk. His advanced studies took him to the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters in Performance degree in 2002, studying with renowned performer and pedagogue, Friedrich Lips.

Alex began his professional career in Moscow in 1996, performing with the Russian Radio Orchestra, which he toured with as a soloist throughout Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Alex also was a very active recitalist and chamber musician. Highlights of his career include appearances in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Glinka Capella Hall (St.Petersburg), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), and the Metropolitan Museum (New York). Recent solo engagements include recitals in Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, U.S.A. and Canada as well as appearances with several symphony orchestras.

Alex and his family moved to Canada in April 2001. He joined the renowned Quartetto Gelato in 2002. In May 2003 he completed his advanced performance studies at the University of Toronto. In the fall of 2005 he became a Canadian Citizen. Alex made his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in April 2008.

Turn up your speakers and listen to some of his virtuosic playing at http://www.quartettogelato.ca/alex.php  and the amazingly fast Minka Variations at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5JE6s9FeGc . Then pick your jaw up from the floor and go out and buy your tickets!

What’s up later in the South Okanagan Concert Society season?

Fri. Nov 25: Kallisto Trio, a capella female trio
Fri. Jan 27: Daniel Bolshoy, solo guitarist
Fri. Feb 24 : Penderecki String Quartet

Series financially supported in part by the Oliver Community Arts Council

Closeup on The Odd Couple

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are into production! The Odd Couple by Neil Simon runs for two weekends: April 29 -30 at the Osoyoos Mini Theatre and  May 6 – 7 at the SOSS Venables Theatre.  Slobby divorcee Olive Madison reluctantly invites neat-freak Florence Unger to share her apartment. The gals re-enter the dating scene when they double-date the Costazuela brothers.

Tickets $15 and $12 available at Sundance Video (Oliver) Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and at the door. Curtain rises at 8:00 p.m.

Here are some shots from their performance.

Photo 1: Colleen Misner, makeup and hairstylist, turns Tom Szalay into “tall dark and Spanish” suitor Manolo Costazuela. Next on the regimen: black hair dye and a double-breasted suit for Tom.

Photo 2: Leslee Hatherly (Florence Unger) touches up Paul Everest (Jesus Costazuela).  Next up for Paul: tons of dark makeup and a suit to transform him into a Spanish gentleman.

Photo 3: Olive Madison (played by Aimee Grice, second from left) complains about her new roomate Florence Unger to her Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends: Vera (Lynne Richards), Mickey (Diane Gludovatz), Renee (Linda Venables) and Sylvie (Jen Jensen).

Photo 4: Jesus Costazuela (Paul Everest) greets Florence Unger (Leslee Hatherly) while his brother Manolo (Tom Szalay) and Olive Madison (Aimee Grice) look on.

Photo 5: Manolo (Tom Szalay, left) and  Jesus (Paul Everest, right) comfort Florence (Leslee Hatherly, centre) as she reminisces over her family photo album.

Photo credit: Penelope Johnson