Romance is in the air for the final season of Downton Abbey. And Vancouver Island’s Palm Court Light Orchestra will fill UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium with the sounds of romance for the Downton Abbey Valentine, featuring the music which would have been enjoyed by both the upstairs gentry and the downstairs staff, including songs by Haydn Wood, Ivor Novello, and a sing-along from the British Music Hall
You do not have to be a Downton Abbey fan or viewer to enjoy the Feb. 12 concert – for like all the Palm Court concerts, it will be charming, tuneful and light-hearted.
The guest artist for the concert is mezzo soprano Rebecca Hass, who has appeared with Canadian Opera, San Francisco Opera, Pacific Opera, Victoria and the Toronto cast of Phantom of the Opera. Hass is no stranger to CBC listeners as she has hosted CBC radio programs including Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and North by Northwest. In addition, she has taught at the Canadian College of the Performing Arts and the University of Victoria. Hass will also provide the narration for the concert.
Palm court music was popular in the early part of the 20th century in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It could be heard in high-class hotels and spa resorts, as well as in the bandstands in the park and on the piers in seaside towns. Today the repertoire ranges from Gilbert and Sullivan to Rodgers and Hammerstein, from George Gershwin to Leroy Anderson, and from Johann Strauss to John Philip Sousa.
The Palm Court Light Orchestra is celebrated for its sensitive and affectionate performance of light orchestral music, well-crafted melody, and exquisite playing. The music creatively bridges the gap between traditionally serious symphony works and the world of symphony pops. Audiences are struck by the old world charm and elegance of the performance and the timeless repertoire.
The Downton Abbey Valentine performance is set for Feb. 12 at 7.30 p.m. in the Farquhar Auditorium. Tickets are available at the UVic Box Office at 250-721-8480.