An escape from the smoke and heat of summer is being offered with dozens of concerts taking place this month.
Vernon Proms presents its annual festival, underway until Aug. 29 in Kelowna and Vernon, featuring concerts of chamber, baroque, medieval, jazz, musical theatre, opera and folk.
The festival has three vocal events in a row this week – all in Vernon. Local trio Voix Du Coer, who were entertaining senior’s residences during the pandemic, will be at Trinity United Church Thursday, Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. by donation. You will hear opera arias and art songs with Jay LaFlamme (soprano), Peter Johner (tenor), Denis Letourneau (violin, tenor) and Angela Sommer (piano).
Opera Kelowna visits Vernon Proms with its Opera Under the Stars program of favourite arias and ensembles sung by four, accompanied by Jennifer Tung and lead by Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Opera Kelowna’s Rosemary Thomson Friday, Aug. 13 at Trinity United, 7:30 pm (tickets are $25 and $30).
The next event is Oh Alfred! – an opera commissioned by the Proms to young Kelowna composer Antony Knight Sunday, Aug. 15 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, by donation. Based on George Elliot’s horror novella The Lifted Veil, the plot is spooky and terrifically entertaining.
“It’s funny, it’s thought provoking, it’s dumb, it’s passionate, it’s everything you need in an evening of theatre and it’s in English,” Knight said. “The singers are absolutely fantastic, all of which are fresh graduates of the UBC opera program. Whether you are an opera fanatic or have never seen one before, Oh Alfred! is a great opera for anyone.”
A full program of events is available at vernonproms.ca.
“I am sure we all are exhausted with this year’s heat waves, widespread fires, endless smoke, and pandemic. That’s when music and art are indispensable: they can help to heal our tired souls,” Vernon Proms founding and artistic director Natalia Polchenko said. “I am thankful for a plethora of streamed online music offerings. But I am missing live music so much! All the musicians are missing their live audiences as well. I hope that this year’s Proms can bring the much-needed escape from all the latest worries and mark return to normalcy.”
To keep everybody safe, the organizers request everybody to wear a mask until seated and when moving around.