Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Platypus Theatre – Presto Mambo!

March 9 @ 3:00 pm

A concert about the music of the Americas takes an unexpected turn when Max—an energetic but impulsive young boy—makes his way onto the stage to “help” the orchestra. Soon Max is on a whirlwind adventure that takes him from the concert hall to the vibrant lands of Latin American culture where—with the help of his new friend, Mambo the dog, the orchestra, and the audience—Max learns the magic of Latin rhythms and how to “dance” with the music. Audiences rise to their feet, dancing to the rhythms of Latin America in Platypus Theatre’s most interactive show to date.

Arrive early! Join us for an Instrument Petting Zoo starting at 2:00 pm in the Lobby. Children of all ages will have the opportunity to get to know the cello and violin.

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor

Giuseppe Pietraroia is Associate Conductor for both the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera. As a guest conductor he has been engaged by l’Orchestre Métropolitain, Orchestra London, Vancouver Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Okanagan Symphony, Regina Symphony, Kingston Symphony and Thunder Bay Symphony.

His extensive opera engagements with Pacific Opera include productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia, La traviata, La bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Norma, Rigoletto, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, La Cenerentola, Tosca, and Let’s Make an Opera/The Little Sweep. In addition, he has conducted productions for l’Opéra de Montréal, l’Opéra de Québec, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Edmonton Opera, Opera New Brunswick, Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, and l’Institut Canadien d’Art Vocal.

With Victoria Choral Society, where he was Music Director for seven seasons, Maestro Pietraroia conducted performances of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Victoria Symphony, a choreographed production of Orff’s Carmina Burana in collaboration with Ballet Victoria, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, and the Duruflé and Fauré Requiems.

Maestro Pietraroia has recorded a cd with soprano Marie-Josée Lord and l’Orchestre Métropolitain for the ATMA label, which won a Felix award granted by l’ADISQ and was also nominated for a JUNO award.

Giuseppe Pietraroia is the recipient of the George and Jane Heffelfinger Pacific Opera Victoria Artist of the Year Award and the Canada Council’s Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestral Conducting.


Platypus Theatre

Since 1989, almost one million young audience members have been introduced to classical music through Platypus Theatre. After more than 650 performances with more than 75 orchestras worldwide, Platypus has established itself as one of North America’s premiere music education theatre companies. Original and engaging storylines are presented in an intelligent and interactive way, with music always taking the lead role. Children laugh, sing and empathize with the characters while learning musical concepts, styles, and much more. In 2006, one of Platypus’ most cherished productions How the Gimquat Found her Song was produced for TV and went on to win several awards including Best Children’s Program at the prestigious Banff World Television Festival. In 1991, Platypus was the subject of a nationally broadcast documentary on CTV, followed by a PBS full-performance broadcast in 2000. During its 25th anniversary year, Platypus premiered its eighth original production, Presto, Mambo!, in partnership with four orchestras across Canada. Other Platypus Productions include Emily Saves the Orchestra, Rhythm in your Rubbish, Bach to the Future, Charlotte and the Music-Maker, Flicker of Light on a Winter’s Night, and Peter and the Wolf.

Peter Duschenes, Artistic Director, Actor and Writer

Thousands of young classical music fans have Peter to thank for introducing them to symphonic music. He co-founded the Platypus Theatre touring company in 1989 to make orchestral music accessible for youth, and more than three quarters of a million concert-goers have benefitted from his creativity. As an awardwinning playwright, Peter’s writing credits include all eight Platypus productions and the television adaptation of How the Gimquat Found Her Song. In addition to his roles in Platypus shows, he has also acted and directed with companies across Canada and the United States. When Peter isn’t busy helping the Gimquat find her song, he and his wife Sarah are helping their children, Magda and Theo, find their socks.

Samantha Bitonti – Actor

Samantha is thrilled to be joining the Platypus team for the 2022-2023 season! Combining her love of clown, puppetry, music, and Theatre for Young Audiences, Samantha is eager to bring to life your favourite characters from How the Gimquat Found her Song, Presto, Mambo! and Rhythm in your Rubbish. Samantha calls Montréal home, and loves to spend her days playing Shakespeare with Repercussion Theatre, and cultivating creativity for kids aged 4 to 99 as a drama teacher with Geordie Theatre School. It’s no wonder bringing something classical to the hearts and minds of young people is right up her alley! Asking questions and getting to the heart of a story is what she’s all about: believing firmly that curiosity and connection lead to joy and abundance. Samantha loves acting, singing in the car, her friends and family, her cat Tilly, and ice cream. See you at the theatre!

Wendy Rockburn – Stage Manager

Want to know who and what goes where and when and how? Wendy’s the one who has it well under control. Since 2005, Wendy has expertly juggled all of the details for Platypus Theatre productions, from monster’s heads to lighting cues. Not only does she manage the Platypus touring company’s stage, but she also works with theatres all over Eastern and Central Canada. And as often as possible, she jets off to far places to photograph the world, most recently in the far reaches of Mongolia. Wendy has also been known to skydive over the desert in Namibia or outrace a gaucho in Argentina. Her favorite part about Platypus shows is watching the kids follow every turn in the story in rapt attention. And the climax of the Gimquat still makes her cry, even after all of these years. No wonder we’re wild about Wendy!


March 9
starts at 3:00 pm


Victoria Symphony


Farquhar at UVic
University Farquhar Auditorium, Ring Road
Victoria, BC V8P 5C2 Canada
+ Google Map