Neville Bowman as Theodore Gericault from a scene of “Raft: a Rock Opera”. Image contributed

Neville Bowman as Theodore Gericault from a scene of “Raft: a Rock Opera”. Image contributed

Okanagan rock opera hits the stage again

Okanagan-written and produced, “RAFT a rock opera”, hits the Kelowna stage this month

When it first hit the Kelowna stage in 2015 it wowed local crowds and now it’s back to do it again.

Okanagan-written RAFT a Rock Opera is taking over the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts from Sept. 13 to 16, 2017.

“It is homegrown and wonderful. The cast is phenomenal. I got involved again because I fell in love with it,” said Christine Daley, production/stage manager for the show, who also worked on the original production.

“We feel so many people missed out on this wonderful opportunity two years ago. We had to do it again.”

The musical is the brainchild of Randall Robinson and Pat Brown.

It is being called an ‘epic rock musical’ that chronicles one of the worst naval disasters in French history.

Through the incompetence of her arrogant captain, the Medusa reportedly ran aground in 1816. At that time there were not enough life boats so 151 sailors were set adrift on a makeshift raft.

“Condemned, as it would turn out, to unthinkable depravity and suffering,” reads the musical’s description.

Two years later an eccentric French painter, Theodore Gericault, read a factual account of this tragedy and painted Le Radeau De La MeduseThe Raft of the Medusa, a painting that became an icon of French Romanticism.

The rock opera tells the story of the tragedy through Gericault’s eyes.

Since its debut in 2015, it was taken to the O-Zone Theatre Festival in Salmon Arm where it won trophies for best musical ensemble, best musical direction (Robinson) and best costume design (Anne Ramey).

Related: Okanagan Zones wrap with gala award ceremony

“The adjudicator in Salmon Arm said this was the ‘next Canadian rock opera’, that it is going to just rock the world, so to speak,” said Daley.

“If I were to see this on Broadway I would equate it with something like RENT, it has a great story and the music just tells the story. It is a rock opera, it’s an opera. If you loved RENT or The Phantom of the Opera or Les Misérables, this can run parallel, it is just unknown. The music is worthy of recognition.”

Eventually the show’s creators hope the rock opera gains traction outside of the Okanagan and lands on even bigger stages.

Neville Bowman has reprised his role as the tortured artist, Theodore Gericault. and two other cast members from the original production have taken on new lead Roles—Penticton’s Dustin McGifford as Henry Savigny and Penticton’s Annie Scott as Alexandrine De Saint Martin.

“I’ve been involved with musical theatre for 40 years and it rocked my world,” added Daley.

Tickets are $30 (adults) and $25 (students, seniors) and are available online now at rotarycentreforthearts.com or by phone at 250-717-5304.

For additional more information visit: www.raftofthemedusamusical.com.


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Cal Mieklejohn from Penticton, who portrays Uncle Jean Baptiste De Saint- Martin, in front of the original RAFT at the Louvre. Image contributed

Cal Mieklejohn from Penticton, who portrays Uncle Jean Baptiste De Saint- Martin, in front of the original RAFT at the Louvre. Image contributed

Okanagan rock opera hits the stage again

Just Posted

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred at Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers by Carol and Robin Edwards, is currently the No. 1 ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S. and has drawn an invitation to the world’s most famous dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club event in New York, next month. (Photo submitted)
Lavington-bred cocker spaniel to strut stuff at Westminster Kennel Club

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred by Carol and Robin Edwards, is the No. 1-ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S.

There are currently 15 Kid’s Don’t Float PFD loaner stations located throughout the Shuswap, with three more planned to go up this year. (Shuswap Watershed Council image)
New life-jacket stations planned for Enderby, Eagle Bay

National Lifejacket Day prompts reminder to boaters that accidents can happen

Armstrong Regional Co-op board members Brett Kirkpatrick (left) and Robbie Hoyte (right) flank Scott John of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society. The co-op donated $2,500 to the society for its Save the Towne Theatre campaign. (ARC photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap cooperative contributes to Vernon theatre campaign

Armstrong Regional Co-op kicks in $2,500 for Okanagan Screen Arts Society’s Save the Towne Theatre campaign

Geoff Mulligan (left) receives a Ribbons of Green Commendation award from Harold Sellers, Ribbons of Green Trails Society president. (Ribbons of Green photo)
Volunteer puts Vernon trails on the map

Geoff Mulligan earns commendation from Ribbons of Green Trails Society for volunteer work

Coldstream Fire Department is on-scene Sunday, May 16, battling a fire in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Coldstream fire crew tackles orchard blaze

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 is bundled up for the cold weather as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Cold front hits southern B.C., snow possible in mountain passes: Environment Canada

Much of B.C.’s southern interior will see temperatures plunge from highs of 30 C reached over the weekend

File photo (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Overturned kayak in Kelowna creek prompts police response

Kelowna RCMP is looking to speak with anyone who may know the individual associated with the kayak

Penticton city parks staff were busy this week using the beach grater to sift through sand, getting the shores ready for beach season. When it comes to beach clean up they are collecting run-off debris, pulling weeds and picking up litter. (Penticton photo)
Hottest day of the year, so far, in the South Okanagan

Penticton city park staff cleaned up the beaches getting ready for the season

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
B.C. boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue of child at Shuswap beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

This is what the glowing boulders look like at night at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in the Okanagan

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Search continues for diver who went missing in Okanagan Lake

Emergency crews continue to search for the 52-year-old who didn’t resurface Saturday

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Most Read