Opera Kelowna artistic director Alexandra Babbel will host a masterclass as part of Vernon Proms July 2. (Darren Hull photography) Opera Kelowna artistic director Alexandra Babbel will host a masterclass as part of Vernon Proms July 2. (Darren Hull photography)

Vernon Proms back for year three, seeking singers

Month long classical and early music festival will see performances, workshops across Vernon in July

Emily Baker

Special to The Morning Star

Vocal music lovers — the Vernon Proms will be filling your neighbourhood with song this July, and invites you to join the celebration.

With early music, opera, solo recitals, workshops, master classes and more, the music festival will have Vernon buzzing with classical vocal music all month long.

“With so much to offer for vocalists and vocal music lovers alike, it is no wonder that the Vernon Proms quickly becomes Vernon’s signature summer event,” said event organizer Natalia Polchenko. “Early music, choral music, opera, show tunes, and folk songs from around the world will have your entire July filled with song.”

For singers wanting to develop their own vocal skills, a master class with Opera Kelowna’s artistic director Alexandra Babbel July 2 and a free weekly choral workshop series, So You Want To Sing A Fugue, with choral conductor Terry Pitt-Brooke are valuable opportunities.

Babbel’s masterclass will be open to vocalists of all levels, from beginners to advanced singers, and instruction time for each participant will be either 20 minutes ($30 tuition fee) or 40 minutes ($50 tuition fee). Vocal technique, resonance, breath support, diction and more will be covered to suit the individual needs of each participant.

Pitt-Brooke, who works with Vernon’s Counterpoint choir and the Opera Kelowna chorus, will be leading a free four-week choral workshop on Wednesdays throughout July from 6-8 p.m.

The Vernon Proms has another wonderful performance opportunity for vocalists and vocal music lovers, a 24 Italian Songs and Arias recital July 2, which is free for the public. If you are a singer of any level interested in participating, we have a couple of spots left for those who would like to sing at this recital. For more information, please contact us at vernonproms@gmail.ca.

“We are always encouraging local musicians of all levels, and would love to hear from you,” said Polchenko.

Finally, all local singers are invited to come along to our casual Classical Singers’ Club evening of tea, cookies, and shared songs July 10 at Gallery Vertigo. This will be a free gathering to be continued monthly.

For those hoping to enjoy vocal music, there are five concerts for listening pleasure.

Vernon’s own soprano Siobhan Raupach and her classical guitarist husband Kevin Robinson will present The Last Rose of Summer, a recital through the ages from Renaissance songs through to popular show tunes, July 13.

Enjoy Russian and Ukrainian arias, romances and folk songs in a recital by Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Tetyana Asadcheva and St. Petersburg Conservatory-trained Russian pianist Irina Gaivoronskaia July 28.

A Baroque comic opera double-bill, presented by the fully costumed Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra and soloists on July 21, will be sure to amuse with Bach’s lighthearted Coffee Cantata and G. L. Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress).

An All-Bach concert June 27 will feature two cantatas – Ich Habe Genug, a masterpiece for a solo bass voice and strings featuring bass-baritone Alex Wedensky and a choral cantata BWV 150.

At the final concert of the Proms July 30 at Polson Park, Opera Kelowna will present beloved opera arias and ensembles performed by the pupils of its Summer Intensive Training Program and members of the Opera Kelowna chorus.

The Vernon Proms will also be offering plenty of instrumental music.

Tickets are available through the Ticket Seller, www.ticketseller.ca, 250-549-7469, with a 25 per cent discount for all seven ticketed concerts, 15 per cent off for five to six concerts and 10 per cent off for 3-4. Purchase tickets ahead of time for one of 50 designated cushion seats. The price is the same for general seating.

For more information, visit www.vernonproms.ca or visit Vernon Proms on Facebook.


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