The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presented A Night at the Opera on Saturday, March 16th at the Red Deer Polytechnic Arts Centre, showcasing some of opera’s greatest musical masterpieces. Featuring soprano Helen Hassinger, this concert included classic works that thrilled everyone in attendance – if they weren’t fans of opera on their way in, they were by the time they left!

A Night at the Opera began with Gioachino Rossini’s legendary Overture to The Barber of Seville, famously parodied by the 1950 Looney Tunes cartoon “The Rabbit of Seville”. More than one audience member whispered “Bugs Bunny!” during the performance, which was a fantastic way to kick off the show.

Helen Hassinger then joined the RDSO for arias (songs) by Puccini, Catalani, and Mozart. This music was brilliant and virtuosic, and the ovation given by the audience was a sign of just how impressive and impactful opera can be

The second half of A Night at the Opera was devoted to Respighi’s Gli uccelli (The Birds), a large-scale collection of music based on different types of birds, their behaviours, and their calls. Once again, the musicians of the RDSO were on full display, and this colourful composition was brought to life in a display of skill that was deserving of the tremendous applause that concluded the concert.

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra thanks concert sponsors Ann and Kevin Waschuk, as well as Servus Credit Union and the Red Deer & District Community Foundation. Special thanks are also extended to Helen Hassinger, the musicians of the RDSO and, of course, the audience and volunteers that made this event a success.

Join the RDSO on Saturday, April 27th as they continue their 2023-24 season with Let’s Cellobrate! a performance by Rosa Barocca and cellist Elinor Frey in celebration of their 2023 Juno Award-winning recording. This concert will sell out – visit www.rdso.ca or call (403) 346-0021 to get your tickets today!

  • Matthew Whitfield

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