Fly through the classics with a special bird

It’s not every day the Okanagan Symphony gets to perform with a giant bird –– yes, a bird, of the beak and wing variety –– but that’s what will happen when Platypus Theatre and the symphony present How the Gimquat Found Her Song.

  • Feb. 15, 2011 8:00 a.m.
Peter Duschenes stars as the magician who takes a bird on a journey through music in How the Gimquat Found Her Song

Peter Duschenes stars as the magician who takes a bird on a journey through music in How the Gimquat Found Her Song

It’s not every day the Okanagan Symphony gets to perform with a giant bird –– yes, a bird, of the beak and wing variety –– but that’s what will happen when Platypus Theatre and the symphony present How the Gimquat Found Her Song.

The Gimquat is a very rare and sassy bird, who has a thing for music –– from Bach to rap –– and she is about to fly into a theatre near you.

The first of the OSO’s Family Matinee Young People’s Concerts, the award-winning production takes the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday.

The one-hour show is designed for young people between the ages of two and 12 and their families, yet has considerable appeal for all ages, said the OSO’s general manager Scott Wilson.

“At once a concert, a story of self-discovery and a vivid, effortless lesson in the history of western music told in Dr. Seuss-like verse, this modern classic continues to garner rave reviews and keep audiences of all ages spellbound,” he said.

Told through a world of wizardry, magic spells and travelling through time, How the Gimquat Found Her Song involves two actors and the orchestra.

Platypus artistic director Peter Duschenes, who wrote and co-created How the Gimquat Found Her Song, also stars in the show.

He plays the role of Griffle the Great, the magical musical wizard who meets the sad and songless Gimquat, and soon the two are off on a tumble through time in search of the missing music.

Together they visit a cathedral, a lively renaissance marketplace, and the eras of Bach, Mozart, Berlioz and Brahms through to present-day hip hop music, with the orchestra performing along the way.

In Vernon, the show will feature a cameo appearance by 10-year-old Beairsto elementary school student Justin Moore, who will sing Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous aria, Bist du bei mir (“If you are with me.”)

The son of local opera singers, Paul and Melina Moore, Justin recently made his debut with the symphony at its performance of The Snowman in December.

With more than 200 live shows with orchestras from around the world, How the Gimquat Found Her Song has also entered living rooms around the country with the televised version, featuring the Toronto Symphony, which was originally broadcast by TV Ontario in 2006.

It won an award of excellence at the 2007 Accolade Television Awards and Best Children’s Program at the prestigious 2008 Banff World Television Festival.

The film is now on DVD and will be available after the concert in Vernon, with the actors on hand for signing.

How The Gimquat Found Her Song plays at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $30/adults, $21/seniors $17/youth and $50 for a family of four (two adults, two children) available at the Ticket Seller box office in the centre.