Dennis Letourneau and Susan Schaffer will perform in the Homage to the Genius: All Bach concert at All Saints Anglican Church July 27. (Eric Draht photography)

Final week underway for Vernon Proms

Classical festival wraps up this weekend with free concert in Polson Park

The Vernon Proms Classical Music Festival has entered its final week.

The highlights of the week are All-Bach concert Friday, July 27, 7 p.m. at All Saints Church, and a free concert by Opera Kelowna Summer Intensive Program’s pupils at Polson Park Monday, July 30, at 6 p.m.

“Homage to the Genius: All-Bach concert includes some of the most glorious music by J.S.Bach, though can any of his music be less than glorious?” Natalia Polchenko, festival organizer, said. “The Proms is lucky to have gathered an amazing Baroque chamber ensemble of OSO players — concertmaster and violinist Susan Schaffer, Denis Letourneau on violin, Ashley Kroecher on viola, Olivia Walsh on cello, Akane Setiavan on oboe, Karmen Doucette on bassoon, Cuyler Page on dulcian and Jim Leonard on harpsichord and organ.”

Related: Vernon Proms back for year three

The musicians will play a stunning oboe concerto and several smaller pieces, including an organ solo and a strings’ duet.

“You will hear heartbreakingly beautiful Ich Habe Genug (I am content, BWV 82) – a masterpiece cantata for bass (Alex Wedensky), oboe, two violins, viola and basso continuo,” Polchenko said. “A chamber choir will join the instrumentalists to perform a first known church cantata.”

Written by Bach when he was only 22-years-old, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich,(For Thee, O Lord, I long, BWV 150; soloists: Eeva-Maria Kopp as soprano, Alex Wedensky as bass-baritone, Conagher Jones as tenor, Natalia Polchenko as alto).

“This cantata is said to be a cause for Bach to have a fight with his bassoonist, who was not performing a challenging bassoon obbligato up to Bach’s standards. No pressure, bassoonist Karmen Doucette,” Polchenko jested, adding that they will also play this concert Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m. in Kelowna’s St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Tickets are $30 adult and $25 senior or student at www.ticketseller.ca or at the door.

The final concert of the festival will be a free outdoor concert at Polson Park prepared by Opera Kelowna.

“Hear young and upcoming opera singers performing beloved arias and ensembles from operas by Mozart, Rossini, Handel, Bizet and others,” Polchenko said. “Bring your lawn chairs and picnic basket and get ready to be entertained in style.”


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