Wagner’s Lohengrin

International soloists join orchestra and Victoria Choral Society to present third act of Wagner’s opera

Victoria, BC – German composer Richard Wagner meets Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in the Victoria Symphony’s big season finale, May 11 and 12, 2019, at Victoria’s Royal Theatre. “We begin with the Prelude from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and flow directly into Sibelius’ glorious and uplifting Symphony No. 7, which was inspired by Tristan und Isolde”, says music director Christian Kluxen. “Then we conclude with a tour-de-force of opera soloists and the Victoria Choral Society for the epic and triumphant third act of Wagner’s Lohengrin”.

Love, betrayal, mysticism, transformation and royalty. These are themes that figure prominently in Wagner’s work. Lohengrin tells the story of a Grail knight sent by heaven, under a condition of anonymity, to be the champion for Elsa, a princess who stands accused of murdering her brother. Lohengrin succeeds in his challenge and he and Elsa fall in love and she vows never to ask his origins. Act three takes place after their wedding and begins as Lohengrin and Elsa are escorted to their bridal chamber with the iconic “Bridal Chorus” (“Here Comes the Bride”). In the privacy of their bedchamber Elsa begins to question her new husband, and, although he begs her to stop, she eventually breaks her oath, and thereby loses Lohengrin forever.

Victoria Symphony is delighted to welcome sopranos Aviva Fortunata and Kari Postma, singing the roles of Elsa and Otrud, tenor Cooper Nolan as Lohengrin, bass Robert Pomakov as King Heinrich, and a chorus from the Victoria Choral Society for this presentation. The opera is sung in German, with English surtitles.

Twice named one of CBC Top 30 Canadian Classical Artists under 30, Italian-Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata has been praised as being “blessed with a gorgeous voice of richness and amplitude.” She is in demand on opera stages across North America and recently sang the role of Leonore in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

Norwegian soprano Kari Postma has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in Scandinavia and Europe, including roles at the Komische Oper Berlin, the Norwegian National Opera, Royal Danish Opera and as a member of the ensemble at the Staatsoper Hamburg. Ms. Postma makes her Canadian debut singing the role of Otrud.

American tenor Cooper Nolan, praised for his “bright, shining, tenor” (Musical America) and his “powerhouse voice” (Opera News), is increasingly making a name for himself as an important interpreter of some of opera’s most demanding tenor roles. He makes his Victoria debut singing the title role of Lohengrin.

Canadian bass Robert Pomakov has performed on opera stages around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera. He is currently making his Vancouver Opera debut in that company’s production of Faust and will make his Victoria debut with the Victoria Symphony, singing the role of King Heinrich.

Conducted by Christian Kluxen, Wagner’s Lohengrin is presented Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm., at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria. Tickets are $33 – $86 and are available from the Victoria Symphony Box Office at 250-385-6815 or www.victoriasymphony.ca

Victoria Symphony Announces 2019/20 Season!

Victoria Symphony Announces 2019/20 Season – “Beethoven 250”: 9 Symphonies in 3 Weeks!

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Symphony launched its 2019/20 season today, unveiling concert details for Maestro Christian Kluxen’s third season as Music Director. Kluxen will conduct all nine Beethoven Symphonies over the course of three consecutive weeks in March 2020. This “Beethoven 250” Festival celebrates the composer’s 250th birthday. Says Kluxen, “His music is a universal force. Every note must be a new creation, show a way, comment on its surroundings and show us the bigger picture. Beethoven is the purest example of human struggle and final triumph. Beethoven is humanity.”

The season opens with international sensation Georgy Tchaidze tackling Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.3 (one of the most challenging of the repertoire) and concludes with the triumphant and glorious Mahler Symphony No. 3. In between, audiences will see an incredible lineup of returning artists including Canadians Angela Cheng and Lorraine Min as well as international artists Tobias Ringborg, Eric Lu and Stefan Jackiw making their first appearances in Victoria.

This season also introduces the overarching theme of Under the Northern Lights; a collection of concerts that feature masterpieces from Scandinavian composers mirrored by popular works from the classical repertoire and cutting edge new music. “Naked Classics” animateur Paul Rissmann returns to undress Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Concertmaster Terence Tam performs Lindberg’s mesmerizing Violin Concerto No. 1 and Principal Cellist Brian Yoon brings us Lalo’s Concerto for Cello.

Fresh off of successful Star Wars and Wizard of Oz performances, Sean O’Loughlin returns as Principal Pops Conductor of the VS, bringing in concerts featuring music from Frank Sinatra, James Bond and other spies, Celtic fiddler Maria Millar and the return of Cirque de la symphonie in Cirque Goes to the Theatre.

Other highlights of the season include collaborations with Ballet Victoria and the Victoria Choral Society, the Canadian Brass, music from Frank Zappa and a concert featuring 3D graphics.

This season will again feature the VS performing over 60 concerts in our theatres and throughout our communities. Several of our main stage concert series are changing venues as Masterworks Saturday, Masterworks Sunday, holiday specials (Handel’s Messiah, Canadian Brass and A Viennese New Years) and Concerts for Kids move to the Farquhar at UVic. Masterworks Monday and the Pops Series will remain at the Royal Theatre. Our New Music Festival and Explorations concerts will once again return to the Dave Dunnet Theatre.