Victoria Symphony conductor in residence Joey Pietraroia finds a classic album at Ditch Records. He’ll lead the orchestra in performance of The Best of Queen along with tribute musicians from Jeans ‘n Classics, April 5-7 at the Royal Theatre. Don Descoteau/Monday Magazine

Vic. Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classics will rock you with the Best of Queen

Post-Bohemian Rhapsody, Pops Series concerts bring British band’s music back into spotlight

By Joseph Blake

Monday Magazine contributor

Victoria Symphony conductor in residence Joey Pietraroia grew up in Montreal listening to his three older sisters’ pop records by The Beatles and The Monkees, but he recalled it was his cousin who had a lot of records by Queen.

“I’ve always liked Queen,” Pietraroia explained recently in advance of the Victoria Symphony Pops concert Best of Queen, scheduled for three shows April 5, 6 and 7 at the Royal Theatre.

“When I was in Grade 7 or 8, one of my teachers incorporated Queen’s music into a theatre piece, and I found that very interesting. The music of Queen is classic. It’s an iconic band … of its time, but also timeless.”

Rami Malek’s Oscar-winning performance as Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in the acclaimed film Bohemian Rhapsody has renewed public interest in the band and classic rock hits like “We Will Rock You,” “We Are The Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a song that had already experienced a cinematic second life in Wayne’s World.

“We started planning this concert over a year ago,” Pietraroia reflected, “long before any of us were aware of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.”

For the concert, Pietraroia and the Symphony are teaming up with Jeans ‘n Classics. For over two decades this Ontario-based company has offered orchestral scores and a large roster of veteran rock musicians in over 40 unique tribute productions ranging from the music of ABBA, Bowie and U2 to Prince, The Who and Michael Jackson. The last time Jeans ‘n Classics came to town they produced a Beatles pop concert with Pietraoria and the Symphony.

British-born, Ontario-based lead vocalist Michael Shotton performs the Mercury part in Jeans ‘n Classics’ current Queen tribute. He has played with Boston, Rik Emmett, and The Spoons and led many other solo projects during a busy three-decade career. Veterans Katalin Kiss and Stephanie Martin serve as backing vocalists in a band that also includes guitarist Adam Martin, keyboardist Kevin Adamson, bassist Mitch Tyler, and drummer Jeff Christmas.

“It’s a chance to see the Symphony in another light,” Pietraroia enthused. “The orchestrations add another dimension in sonority and layered textures. For any Queen fan, this concert with the orchestra will be an exciting event.”

The concerts happen April 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and April 7 at 2 p.m. Visit rmts.bc.ca or call the box office at 250-386-6121 for tickets and more information.

Warm up by seeing the film … If you’re looking to further feed your love of Queen, four 2019 Oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, digitally remastered, continues nightly through April 4 at the National Geographic IMAX Theatre in the Royal B.C. Museum. Visit imaxvictoria.com for tickets and other details.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Deep Island connection for indie rockers Half Moon Run

Montreal-based band brings their dreamy sound to Victoria for Jan. 14 show at the Royal

Have your New Year’s Eve set? Try out these musical gala options

Greater Victoria venues featuring local bands to ring in 2020

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series, Resident Alien

Island town will play the role of Patience, Colo. in the series

Jim Cuddy Band members turn trio for next Victoria show

Jan. 11 stop at the McPherson Playhouse part of the Countrywide Soul tour

The Strumbellas grow their award-winning sound organically

Juno-winning band makes a rare West Coast appearance at the Royal Theatre for Jan. 9 concert

Fashion Fridays: A masterclass on H&M knitwear

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

B.C. family’s ‘Feud’ game-show trip was ‘meant to happen’ after father’s death

Surrey resident Atish Ram’s departed father ‘loved game shows’

‘Jurassic World 3’ will film in Metro Vancouver under working title ‘Arcadia’

Filming is set to take place between Feb. 24 and March 6, 2020

Bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician triples in second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Yellowpoint holiday spectacle returns this weekend

Musical variety show offers a wide range of genres, along with many of your seasonal favourites

Most Read