Palm court in session

The Palm Court Light Orchestra presents the first concert of its 2011/12 Silver Jubilee Season on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 4, 2:30 p.m. at the Charlie White Theatre.

The Palm Court Light Orchestra presents the first concert of its 2011/12 Silver Jubilee Season on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 4, 2:30 p.m. at the Charlie White Theatre.

The concert entitled Roses of Picardy takes its name from Haydn Wood’s famous First World War song. Conductor and founder Charles Job describes the concert as the perfect afternoon of music in the true palm court style. It evokes a more genteel time when people sipped tea at the Empress Hotel or sat around the bandstand in Beacon Hill Park.

Joining the orchestra in this journey back in time will be British mezzo soprano Sarah Fryer.

Fryer has many important performing credits to her name including appearances at the Aldeburgh, Dartington, and Three Choirs Festivals. Fryer made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 1993 singing in Wagner’s opera Parsifal under the New York Met’s conductor James Levine. She has also appeared with the London Symphony, the Mexican State Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Halle Orchestra. She has recorded Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Bournemouth Symphony on the Naxos label. In Canada Fryer has appeared with the symphonies of Kitchener-Waterloo, Regina, Vancouver, Victoria, and the Calgary Philharmonic.

For her performance with Palm Court Light Orchestra Fryer will sing Eric Coates’ Bird Songs at Eventide, May Brahe’s Bless This House, and Sigmund Romberg’s Lover Come Back to Me.  She will also include Che Faro and Blow the Winds Southerly, made famous by the legendary Kathleen Ferrier.

The orchestra will present a grand smorgasbord of Palm Court favourites drawn from the last 25 years and the orchestra’s five commercial CD recordings. They include the waltz Fascination, marches Amparito Roca and Blaze a-Way, and radio tunes such as In Party Mood. With titles like The Grasshopper’s Dance, In the Moonlight and Sketch of a Dandy the concert has a hint of the exotic.

In 1920 these images were indeed exotic as were the potted palms, tiger skin rugs, rattan furniture and elephant tusks. The music and images of the Empire provide a glimpse into what it was like to have been a member of Victoria’s high society during Edwardian times.

Tickets for the Palm Court Orchestra’s Silver Jubilee Season are available at the Mary Winspear Centre Box Office 250-656-0275.

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