Thursday, October 3, 2013

Popular Pleasures Series - Vancouver Island Symphony

Popular Pleasures - Passport to Great Entertainment
The Vancouver Island Symphony - from cirque to movies to rock and roll – for the whole family
By Rosemary Phillips

It’s hair-raising! Spine tingling! It’s rapturous, exciting, thrilling and yet totally embracing. It’s this year’s exciting Popular Pleasures series being presented right in the very heart of Nanaimo by and with the Vancouver Island Symphony under the baton of the illustrious Pierre Simard. And tickets are on sale now (for the series, individual performances and family 4-packs). 

There’s no need to go to New York or Toronto of L.A. The shows are coming to YOU - starting with Christmas like no other as Cirque de la Symphonie returns to Nanaimo with their Christmas Cirque Spectacular; then bringing on the red for Valentine hearts and the Hollywood Red Carpet experience comes Movie Music Mania; and, presenting music that everyone of every age around the world will recognize, it’s the brilliant Jeans’N Classics Band joining the VI Symphony and Symphonic Chorus for The Best of the Beatles.

Christmas Cirque Spectacular
Three shows - Friday, December 6, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 7, 3:00 and 7:30 p.m.

What Tchaikovsky does for the ears, Cirque de la Symphonie does for the eyes in their return visit to Nanaimo (after last year’s sold out performances). In this colourful festive celebration, world class aerialists, acrobats, dancers, contortionists and jugglers present breath-taking, jaw-dropping performances above and on stage while the VI Symphony performs all-time Christmas favourites - highlights from the Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Sleigh Ride, Polar Express Suite, Little Bolero Boy, and Deck the Halls.

“I always love coming to BC,” says Shana Lord, a fearless aerialist and mother of two little children who has family on Vancouver Island. Before heading to the world spotlight Shana was a national elite gymnast from Vancouver and with Cirque du Soleil. In Nanaimo Shana will soar above the audience to the beautiful Skater’s Waltz, and with Russian trapeze artist Alexander (Sasha) Fedortchev, she will float in the air to the Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker. She adds, “I just love the feeling of flying over the orchestra.”

Says producer Bill Allen, “This program is a lot of fun and includes quick change acts, a spinning frame and cube, hula hoop, ball - and more.”  Both Bill and Shana agree - this is a Christmas Cirque Spectacular that will thrill the whole family – especially the young.

Movie Music Mania
Two shows - Saturday, February 15, 2014, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Walk the Red Carpet, just like in Hollywood, and enjoy the limelight as you enter the world of Movie Music Mania. Relive the mood, action, scenery, images, characters and storylines as amazing musical scores from Academy Award-winning and nominated composers like John Williams, Howard Shore, John Barry, James Newton Howard and Ennio Morricone, unfold like great symphonies. Expect the unexpected. Be prepared for a sensational musical experience as you discover that music does make the movies! It’s pure Hollywood magic featuring the VI Symphony and Symphonic Chorus – and surprises!

The Best of the Beatles
Two shows - Saturday, April 26, 2014, 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The talented Jeans’N Classics Band presents the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album and popular hits: (Just like) Starting Over, Across the Universe, Eleanor Rigby, My Sweet Lord, Woman, Because, The Long and Winding Road, and Let It Be. With its experimental innovation and influences, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became a global hit, and has been and still is considered the most important rock and roll album ever made.

Says lead vocalist Jean Meilleur, “In our history books the Beatles will be a massive root in the tree of popular music. Their music crosses every border and transcends every generation. This music has been compared to classical in the way it is written and the chord progressions - it’s music that will last forever, like Beethoven.”

Adds guitarist and Jeans’N Classics founder Peter Brennan, “The Beatles were the big initial influence for me, for sure.” While the Jeans’N Classics Band travels across North America performing the music of various artists from Led Zeppelin to Chicago, says Peter about The Best of the Beatles, “This is one of my favourite shows, my favourite eras.”

Join Jean, Peter, members of the Jeans’N Classics Band, the VI Symphony and Symphonic Chorus (all conducted by the dynamic Pierre Simard) for this multi-sensory experience in which the orchestra will sound like - a pop band! And wear your jeans!
TICKETS: Tickets for Popular Pleasures (the series, individual performances and family 4-packs) are available now by calling 250-754-8550.
For more information visit - Passport to Entertainment - Keeping Music LIVE!
Cirque de la Symphonie (
Jeans',N Classics Band (

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