This weekend, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra presents a few of their favourite things in a Pops’ showcase featuring the best of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Conducted by maestro Julian Pellicano, the WSO will be joined by the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music Musical Theatre Ensemble plus a stellar cast of soloists including Andriana Chuchman, Aaron Hutton and Gregory Dahl.
Donna Fletcher serves as both soloist and director of the ensemble.
“We’re very much looking forward to it,” says Fletcher, noting the few — if any — live performance opportunities students have had over the past two years. “For a lot of these students at the Faculty of Music, they haven’t performed on stage at all. So this is their first time performing and it’s with the symphony — how much more wonderful and joyful can that be?!”
Considered to be one of the greatest musical partnerships of the 20th century, Rodgers and Hammerstein revolutionized the musical genre and are “truly iconic” for many reasons, says Fletcher.
“They advanced the form of musical theatre by creating what is now called the ‘integrated musical,’” she explains. By intertwining the story and musical numbers, the plot became one and the same; whereas previously in the vaudeville, music hall and burlesque traditions, the song and dance numbers were divorced from the story standing on their own as spectacle.
In a program that features “the best of the best,” audiences will hear numbers from Oklahoma, Carousel, State Fair, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
“It really is that gorgeous music of the golden age (of Broadway),” says Fletcher. “It’s just going to be fun for the theatre goer and the music aficionado alike.”
My Favourite Things: The Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein takes place March 18-20, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 pm with a matinee Sunday at 2 pm. For tickets (in person or online), visit: www.wso.ca