Saturday, July 20, 2024

8 must-see concerts ‘Symphony in the Summer Festival’ is bringing to Vancouver Island

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Is there anything better than music filling the warm summer air on Vancouver Island?

Victoria Symphony’s annual Symphony in the Summer Festival will return this July, running from July 24th to August 3rd, bringing the sweet sounds of symphony to music-lovers and concert-goers alike.

Presented by Huntingdon Hotel & Suites, the festival will feature eight performances, including two FREE concerts, around five of Vancouver Island’s most beautiful locations—and you’re not going to want to miss it.

Even better? We’ve partnered with Victoria Symphony to give away a festival pass for two to the Symphony in the Summer Festival—you’ll find those contest details below!

Here are eight must-see concerts ‘Symphony in the Summer Festival’ is bringing to Vancouver Island:

Bach’s Orchestral Suite in D

Baroque specialist Julia Wedman leads Bach’s much-loved Air on the G String, plus Handel’s explosive Royal Fireworks, and a concerto inspired by bird song. Wedman also shines a light on Maria Grimani (the first woman to have her opera staged at the Vienna Court Theatre) and Anna Maria “dal Violin,” a student of Vivaldi who went from an orphan to become a famed violin soloist.

Julia Wedman, violin/leader

Mark McDonald, organ

  • Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Avenue
  • When: Wednesday, July 24th, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $47.50, general admission – available online here

Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony

VS Associate Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia evokes the sights and sounds of Italy, as captured by Felix Mendelssohn in a musical postcard brimming with Neapolitan flavour! Respighi serves up ‘old wine in new bottles,’ in a charming suite inspired by dances from the Italian Renaissance. Baroque dances also flavour Britten’s Simple Symphony, while Mozart’s dramatic depiction of Don Juan seduces concert goers.

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor

  • Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Avenue
  • When: Thursday, July 25th, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $47.50, general admission – available online here

Mozart and Martinis

Start your weekend right with a cocktail, appetizers, and the excellence of the VS in the most intimate and informal of settings. One of the Symphony’s signature events, this highly social gathering takes the music you love outside the concert hall, offering an entirely different concert experience.

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor

  • Where: The Atrium, 800 Yates Street
  • When: Friday, July 26th – 5 p.m.
    • Doors open at 5 p.m.
    • Cocktail hour from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    • VS Orchestra at 6 p.m.
  • Tickets: $59.50, includes a drink of your choice and appetizers – available online here.

VS at Qualicum Beach, presented by Quality Foods

VS makes a welcome summer trip to Qualicum Beach! Associate Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia entices concertgoers with Mozart’s dramatic depiction of Don Juan. The fireworks continue with music of Handel, as well as Respighi’s suite inspired by Renaissance dances. Britten’s Simple Symphony revisits the baroque in playful fashion, while Mendelssohn evokes the sights and sounds of Italy in a symphonic postcard brimming with Neapolitan flavour!

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor

  • Where: Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street
  • When: Sunday, July 28, 2 p.m.
  • Tickets: $45, general admission – available at The Mulberry Bush Book Store (130 W 2nd Ave, Qualicum Beach)

VS & Pacific Opera Victoria at The Butchart Gardens

A signature musical event of the summer! The VS Orchestra, led by Associate Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia performs at the beautiful Butchart Gardens alongside soprano Lucia Cesaroni, baritone Justin Welsh, and young violin soloist Elana Lin.

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor
Elana Lin, violin
Lucia Cesaroni, soprano
Justin Welsh, baritone

  • Where: The Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Avenue
  • When: Thursday, August 1st, 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: Included in price of admission to The Butchart Gardens, which can be purchased in advance or upon arrival at the venue. 

Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is an undisputed masterpiece of spiritual and emotional depth, at times intimate and reverent, grand and dramatic, thrilling and sensual. Brilliant instrumental writing paired with impressive choruses and solos create an opulent tribute to the Virgin Mary, a testament to Monteverdi’s attention to the expressive power of music.

In this performance of this rarely-performed work, Alexander Weimann leads ten international soloists and a collection of 17th-century instrumentalists, including the peerless Bruce Dickey on cornetto.

Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Alexander Weimann, conductor

  • Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Avenue
  • When: Friday, August 2nd, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: $58, general admission – available online here.

Free concerts

VS Pops at the Cameron Bandshell

VS offers two free full orchestral concerts at the Cameron Bandshell in beautiful Beacon Hill Park. Take a bench seat, or bring a picnic, and enjoy an early evening concert featuring excerpts from our 2024/25 Pops Series including selections from The Sound of Music, E.T., The Mission, Wicked, and more!

Toot a trumpet! Visit a violin! Cuddle a cello! Arrive early to enjoy the Instrument Petting Zoo starting at 4 pm. The Instrument Petting Zoo gives children of all ages the opportunity to try a musical instrument. It’s a relaxing and fun way to spark a child’s interest in music and gives them a firsthand try at many different instruments. Our capable student volunteers will guide your child to the right way to hold, blow, or bow each instrument.

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor

  • Where: Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park, 100 Cook Street
  • When: Friday, August 2nd, 5 p.m.
  • Tickets: FREE! 

VS & Pacific Opera Victoria at the Cameron Bandshell

This Open Air concert features excerpts from Victoria Symphony’s upcoming Masterworks Series and Pacific Opera Victoria’s 2024/25 Season, plus special pre-concert activities to be announced.

Giuseppe Pietraroia, conductor

Lucia Cesaroni, soprano

Justin Welsh, baritone

  • When: Saturday, August 3rd, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park, 100 Cook Street
  • Tickets: FREE!

 


 

CONTEST

To win a festival pass for two to Symphony in the Summer Festival, including:

  • 2 tickets to Festival Opening Concert: Bach’s Orchestral Suite in D on Wednesday, July 24th, 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral
  • 2 tickets to Mozart and Martinis on Friday, July 26, 5 p.m. at the Atrium
  • 2 tickets to The Butchart Gardens: VS and Pacific Opera Victoria at Butchart Gardens on Thursday, August 1st 8 p.m. (can arrive anytime and enjoy the gardens first)
  • 2 tickets to Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 on Friday, August 2nd 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral

Please do one or more of the following:

  1. LIKE Victoria Symphony on Facebook and comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)
  2. FOLLOW Victoria Symphony on Instagram and comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)
  3.  SHARE this post on Facebook and/or Twitter and leave a comment below telling us once you have. (1 entry)

Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until Friday, June 21st. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter.

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