Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor Naomi Woo.
Also referred to as the Spring Festival, local performers and an international celebrity share the Centennial Concert Hall stage in a program featuring beloved traditional works and new ones, presented in both Mandarin and English.
“What’s really fun is that there is going to be a lot of variety,” says Naomi Woo, noting the plethora of performers and styles on the program.
“It is very much a celebration with the Chinese community in Winnipeg, in recognition of the breadth of that community, the breadth of kinds of music that people in the Chinese community in Winnipeg play, and also the various places that people in the Chinese community in Winnipeg are from,” she explains.
Vocalist Paul Ong, pianist Angela Ng, Sound of Love Women’s Choir, Manitoba Great Wall Performing Arts Dance Ensemble and the Red Crowned Crane Chinese Music Band are some of the performers, joined by Horizon Choir, under the artistic direction of Johanna Hildebrand.
The Canadian-born, Chinese comedian and television personality Mark Rowswell – better known as “Da Shan” – serves as narrator. Known as the “most famous foreigner in China,” his involvement is a big deal, notes Woo.
“In fact, the number of people who have reached out to me and said ‘oh my gosh. I didn’t know you were working with Da Shan?!’”
The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra also welcomes Chinese-Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin. The award-winning writer has penned a new symphonic work set to premiere at the concert, specially written for this celebration.
“It’s always really special and exciting to have the opportunity to bring something to life for the very first time,” says Woo.
“I think this is particularly relevant to do on the new year. A time when, in Chinese culture, we’re meant to do things that are brand new, not bring any of the bad luck from the previous year.”
The WSO’s Lunar New Year Celebration takes place on Saturday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m.
For more details and tickets, visit: www.wso.ca