Images of Maria von Trapp, the operatic Phantom and Lion King will swirl in many listeners’ minds when the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra performs a pops concert Saturday, Jan. 25.
The On Broadway show at the Red Deer College Arts Centre will include a variety of evocative medleys from such mega-watt musicals as Les Miserables, by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
Music director Claude Lapalme said he picked from a wide range of compositions — from recent Broadway spectacles, including Elton John’s The Lion King and Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked, to Leonard Bernstein’s classic West Side Story and Frederick Lowe’s My Fair Lady.
Crowd-pleasers from Pasek and Paul’s The Greatest Showman, and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music are also on the program.
But when asked his favourite, Lapalme admits he’s partial to the old chestnuts — particularly the alpine odyssey, The Sound of Music, by Rogers and Hammerstein.
“It’s excessively popular, but it deserves its reputation. It’s a lot of fun,” said the conductor, who likes nothing better than a good tune.
The ability to write a timeless melody is “a gift — like being able to (draw) good caricatures,” explained Lapalme.
“No amount of schooling will help you learn how to write a tune. It’s rooted deeply in your imagination.”
He believes the composer Richard Rogers had this gift in droves — as so did Cole Porter, whose Kiss Me Kate medley will also be performed.
Lapalme noted Porter had the double gift of being able to craft witty lyrics to go with his music — a pithy reminder of those frothy Art Deco days of martinis and pencil moustaches.
While music in this pops concert isn’t as difficult as recently performed compositions by Prokofiev or Dvorak, there will be some challenging medleys delivered by the 40-plus RDSO musicians, including one from The Greatest Showman.
Lapalme said the main idea behind this concert is to have audience members humming as they leave the theatre.
“We want to leave them overwhelmed by the tunefulness of everything.”
For ticket information, please visit rdso.ca.