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

Art + Fare fundraiser boosts Gallery’s family programs

Sept. 21 event at the Union Club features art for sale, gourmet food and musical entertainment

FIRST REVIEWS: Victoria Fringe Festival starts with a bang

We review the first wave of shows from the festival, as part of our ongoing series

Mathieu Poirier: Craft beer and carnivores collide at Brewery and the Beast

Popular event continues to grow, spreading out at Royal Athletic Park

Behind Bars: Variety the name of the game at The Churchill

Bar manager Tyler Rowe enjoys helping promote Victoria spirits and beers

Enjoy a Night Under the Stars to help sick kids

Harvest on the Harbour offers locally sourced gourmet meal, plus live entertainment on Sept. 20

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Margaret Atwood talks Handmaid’s Tale sequel at UVic

Sold-out Sept. 27 event illustrates iconic Canadian author’s popularity in literary haven of Victoria

For the Love of Fibre: Fibrations 2019 wrapup

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Tour de Victoria: Giving you the down low on detours around the region

Thousands of cyclists participating in ninth Tour de Victoria on Saturday

Christopher Auchter’s story headed to the international stage at Toronto International Film Fest

Old Massett totem pole raising revisited in Christopher Auchter’s documentary Now Is The Time

Saanich Peninsula student scores only scholarship for Canadians offered by top U.S. music school

Stelly’s grad Isaiah Carvalhal-Smith and his electric bass off to Boston after successful audition

Yellow Wolf Powwow draws dancers from across Canada

Saanichton event a celebration of Indigenous culture

Most Read