When the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra began planning its 2021/22 season, the stakes were high. They knew with the success of its livestream series last season, and the chance for audiences back in the concert hall, they had to go big. The invitation had to be something they couldn’t refuse.
“We want our audience to reconnect with themselves, with friends and reconnect with the music.”
“There’s nothing that compares to the thrill of a live orchestra in full flight,” says executive director Mark Turner. “We want our audience to reconnect with themselves, with friends and reconnect with the music.”
The SSO’s opening night return to TCU Place is brimming with vocal and instrumental performances that are instantly recognizable. From the passion of Bizet’s Carmen to the unbridled joy of Bernstein’s Candide and West Side Story, guest conductor Leslie Dala says this program is filled with crowd-pleasers.
Guest conductor Leslie Dala says opening night for the SSO will be filled with crowd pleasers. (Michael O’Shae)
“This program is one hour and 15 minutes of pure pleasure for everyone,” Dala explains. “These are pieces we’ve all heard somewhere before, in commercials, cartoons and soundtracks. They are a part of our lives. There’s real power in that popularity.”
“I’m ready to bring all the energy I’ve been storing up to the stage; there’s no holding me back!”
Internationally celebrated artist and Saskatoon’s own Danika Lorèn will perform alongside the orchestra. Lorèn is one of the most requested guest artists the SSO has ever featured.
Soprano Danika Lorèn says she can’t wait to celebrate this passionate music at home. (Danika Lorèn)
“It’s always such a pleasure to come home to sing, but after almost two years it’s really special,” she says. “I’m ready to bring all the energy I’ve been storing up to the stage; there’s no holding me back!”
The SSO continues its commitment to safety this season. In-person performances at TCU Place and at smaller venues like St. John’s Cathedral will require masking. A proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for all musicians, staff, volunteers, and audience members to attend. There will be scattered seating within the concert hall.
In 2020/21, people from all over the world tuned in to see the SSO perform. This season, many performances will be broadcast digitally through the SSO’s new ConcertStream.tv site. The orchestra is also bringing back 25 Below. The program brings a new generation to the symphony through affordable concert tickets starting at $15 for anyone under 25.
From the irreverent “Queen of Classical Music” Thorgy Thor and Disney’s Frozen to classics like Beethoven’s 5th and Swan Lake there’s something for everyone in this season helping us all reconnect with the music.