As a young girl, I would go to the Orpheum to see movies and I felt so small as I climbed all the burgundy carpeted steps to enter the theatre. Coming down the stairs, I felt like a princess descending the palace stairs to greet my subjects.
Now as an adult, I attend the Orpheum to admire the VSO and appreciate classical music. I've always been rather ignorant of classical music and didn't know a piece by Rachmaninoff from a piece by Mozart. However, since attending the "Classically Speaking" series this year, I've found a new regard for classical music.
Tonight we heard pieces by Sybelius (Finnish) and Grieg (Norwegian). I didn't think I'd know any of the music so wasn't particularly excited about going and almost cancelled out. Wow, I'm sure glad I didn't! Even though I didn't recognize the names of the pieces, I did recognize the music! And it was fantastic! First came Sibelius' "Legends: The Swan of Tuonela" which soared in its beauty. Later, the orchestra played his "Karelia Suite" which was equally as good. My favourite tonight was Grieg's "Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1" which I recognized but had never realized that was what it was.
The Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra joined the VSO for the 2nd half of the concert and I gave up counting how many musicians were on stage after I reached 60 and that wasn't even half! The VSO's conductor, Bramwell Tovey, treated the audience to an encore tonight as it was the last evening of the series. To our utter delight the orchestras played "Finlandia." There was an electricity in the air with that many violins, cellos, oboes, French horns, trumpets, trombones, etc. playing such a thrilling piece. The audience was practically screaming with delight! What a wonderful evening!
Visitors to the city of Vancouver should definitely take the tour of the Orpheum Theatre to hear about its history and to admire the ceiling of the concert hall. Your mouth will be gaping open at the architecture.