Introduction to the symphonic matinées for young audiences/families

Are you looking for an innovative concert that is sure to educate and move your audiences as well as raise their awareness while making them discover the symphony orchestra from every angle?

What would you say to a show in which music and theatre mesh perfectly together to highlight all of the orchestra’s musicians and their conductor?

Buzz Brass has two distinctive symphonic matinées to offer you, each of which proves to be more colourful than the other!

DURATION
55 minutes

AUDIENCE
Elementary schools (7-year-olds and up)
Secondary schools
Families (5-year-olds and up)

1. The History of Music

Brass quintet, actor and symphony orchestra

Buzz Brass joins the Symphony Orchestra to offer young audiences a fabulous theatrical odyssey that travels through space and time at a thrilling tempo to explore the music of the Western world from pre-historic times to the present day. Bursting with energy, astonishing originality, extraordinary musicianship and a brassy humour all its own, this is one symphonic matinée that is truly music to the ears.

An actor helps create the complicity between musicians and the audience. From the outset to the very end, all find themselves captivated by the rich and colourful theatrical staging that is perfectly integrated with the music. And everything is entirely performed from memory by the Brass Quintet—no music stands in sight to hinder the spontaneity!

TECH
Microphone required (1 wireless microphone) / a minimum space of 8 feet between the orchestra and the edge of the stage

Repertoire+

—      Prehistory

The Cavemen’s Rap
Johanne Latreille, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

—      Antiquity

Song of the Sicilian Sheperds and Sikkinis Dance
Anonymous, arr. Jason De Carufel and Sylvain Lapointe

Roman Calls
Jason De Carufel and Sylvain Lapointe

20th Century Fox Fanfare
Alfred Newman, arr. Enrico O. Dastous

—      Middle Ages

Venetia, Mundi Splendor / Michael Cui Steno Domus
Motet for the Installation of the Doge Michele Steno, 19 December 1400
Johannes Ciconia

Antiphony to the Holy Virgin
Anonymous Gregorian chant

—      Renaissance

Canzon per sonare no.1 “La spiritata”
Giovanni Gabrieli

Now is the Month of Maying
Thomas Morley, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

The Marie-Golde
Anthony Holborne

—      Baroque

The Four Seasons: Spring
Antonio Vivaldi, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. Frederick Mills

—      Classicism

Surprise Symphony and Divertimento
Joseph Haydn, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

A Little Night Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

9th Symphony
Ludwig van Beethoven, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

—      Romanticism

Buzz Brass next proposes an opera without voices whereby each of the quintet’s musicians impersonates an operatic character. Instead of singing, they play their brass. As to the narrator, he introduces the characters, describes the action and accompanies the quintet’s musicians on the stage. Although the opera is dramatic, it is clearly of the humorous variety!

Musical presentation of each character with exposition of their respective themes (their leitmotivs). While the orchestra plays, Buzz’s musicians enter each in turn, dressed in their costume.

Elidor — The King
Herman — The King’s younger brother
Angelino — A Noble Knight, loyal to the King
Malvolio — A Dark Knight, cruel and unscrupulous
Adelaide — The Princess

The opera then opens in the gardens of King Elidor’s castle where Princess Adelaide, his daughter, awaits her lover, the Noble Knight Angelino. Next, a solemn ceremony is being prepared: King Elidor must travel away from the kingdom. While the subjects are left wondering what the King’s absence might entail, Herman, the King’s younger brother, is wondering what will be served for dinner! Enter Malvolio, the Dark Knight, who is secretly in love with the Princess. His Machiavellian mind conceives of a monstrous plan: to assassinate King Elidor, which will free the throne for a new King, Herman “the First”. Herman being simpleminded, he will be easy to corrupt! In exchange, Malvolio asks for the Princess’s hand. The Noble Angelino, having seen and heard everything, springs from the shadows! On his honour, he will defend his King—Elidor. Angelino and Malvolio thus face off in a duel and come to kill one another. Princess Adelaide helplessly witnesses the scene. King Elidor then returns. Herman assassinates him. Angelino briefly comes back to life and avenges his King. As everyone is dying, Princess Adelaide, still helpless, witnesses the scene.

It is all done in very funny fashion and set to music of great beauty!

King Elidor
Enrico O. Dastous

—      20th Century

Bubble Jazz Cocktail
Marie-Josée Poulin

Decadence
Enrico O. Dastous

Hockey Night in Canada
Dolores Claman, arr. Jocelyn Leblanc

James Bond Theme
Monty Norman, arr. Jocelyn Leblanc

Johnny B. Goode
Chuck Berry, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

On Broadway
Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

The Rite of Spring
Igor Stravinsky, arr. Benoît Côté

Singin’ In The Rain
Nacio Herb Brown, arr. Sylvain Lapointe

Super Mario Bros. Theme
Koji Kondo, arr. Jocelyn Leblanc

—      The Maestro

The narrator now introduces the public to the conductor’s role. The narrator steps onto the podium to conduct the orchestra—without, however, having the required skills (all of which is played very comically)!

Onward with the music! After a few bars, one of the Buzz musicians “cacks” a note in rather obvious fashion. The conductor (i.e. the narrator) then displays shameless abuse of power toward this musician. The wheels of a rebellion are thus slowly set in motion. In the course of the events, the newbie conductor proves to be increasingly unpleasant, arrogant and tyrannical, which eventually leads to all of the orchestra’s musicians switching off, with the members of Buzz leading the way, contesting the conductor’s authority and finally revolting. The conductor therefore feels the need to resort to batons that are more and more intimidating to try and subdue the musicians (always in humorous fashion and in good taste). Striving to counter the strictly Classical music that the conductor is trying to impose, the musicians resist by means of jazz. Things get out of hand to such chaos that the REAL conductor intervenes! The narrator surrenders! The musicians are immediately reconciled with their true conductor and good-heartedly perform with him the end of the last work that had been interrupted.

The Maestro
Arr. Enrico O. Dastous

5th Symphony
Ludwig van Beethoven

Hallelujah
Georg-Friedrich Haendel

The Imperial March, Duel of the Fates and Force Theme (Star Wars)
John Williams

Just a Closer Walk                                                        
Traditional American Folk

When The Saints Go Marching In
Traditional American Folk

—      Final

Beyond the soloists and great stars of the Classical music world, it is now the orchestra’s turn to take center stage. In a joyful and majestic finale of Classical orchestral music, all of the musicians rejoice to be playing a last piece with their real conductor!

Sabre Dance
Aram Khachaturian
Arr. Javier Sebastián Asencio

Orchestration+

BUZZ
2 – Trumpet
1 – Horn
1 – Trombone
1 – Bass trombone

L’ORCHESTRE
2 – Flete
2 – Oboe
2 – Clarinet
2 – Bassoon

3 – Horn
2 – Trumpet
1 – Trombone
1 – Tuba

1 – Timpani
2 – Percussion

8 – Violon I
6 – Violon II
5 – Viola
4 – Cello
2 – Double bass

2. Symphonic Vikings

Two musicians, two actors and symphony orchestra

The Scandinavian legend of a dragon slayer, adapted for the stage and set to music, laughter and thrills. Fearless Viking warriors, a magnanimous king, a dragon to slay and an unlikely hero. These are the ingredients of a musitheatrical show where bullying is condemned and self-confidence is celebrated. Action, humour, emotion, twists and turns. When the symphony orchestra finds itself at the very heart of a Viking tale, it’s sure to knock your helmet off!

TECH
Lighting plan provided / Microphones required (4 wireless microphones) / a minimum space of 12 feet between the orchestra and the edge of the stage

REPERTOIRE
Much like a film score, the descriptive and original music has been composed especially for the show.

Les Vikings
Enrico O. Dastous

Scenario+
The action sails between past and present times, myth and reality, music and theater. After a musical introduction, the story takes off with two feisty Viking warriors. In their wake, we meet the diminutive Hott who is the target of their bullying. The fourth man is Björn, a wise protective figure and a fighter of injustice who will be helping Hott to prove his worth and to triumph in front of the magnanimous Viking chief.

Mirroring the legend, a contemporary plot takes place in the very midst of the orchestra, introducing us to four musicians: two percussionists, one of which is a bit of a bookworm, and two rather scornful trumpet players. Travelling back and forth in both realms, the four dual protagonists dazzlingly juggle with their characters through numerous twists and turns.

The four guest performers thus join the orchestra musicians to impersonate the main characters—now Vikings, now orchestral musicians, since the show takes place in two realms: that of the legend and that of reality.

The trumpet players actually sound their instruments, sometimes sitting in the orchestra, sometimes performing on the center stage. In the scenes set in contemporary reality, the actors impersonate percussionists. Their musical contribution is rather modest.

The conductor is required to contribute to the plot by impersonating the legend’s valiant Viking chief. He notably needs to address the audience with a few short lines.

Orchestration+

THE VIKINGS
2 – Trumpet
2 – Actor

THE ORCHESTRA
2 – Flute
2 – Oboe
2 – Clarinet
2 – Bassoon

3 – Horn
2 – Trumpet
2 – Trombone
1 – Bass trombone
1 – Tuba

1 – Timpani
3 – Percussion

1 – Harp

8 – Violon I
6 – Violon II
5 – Viola
4 – Cello
2 – Double bass

 

PRESS REVIEW

“Daring production. Very well done. The young and young-at-heart were conquered, so was I!”
Anik Moulin, Estrie Express program, French-language CBC
May 2, 2013

COMMENTS

“Wonderful! The music, the subject matter (bullying, self-confidence, helping one another), the acting, the playing, a stage set out of nothing, a story. I hadn’t seen such a good children’s show in a long time.”
Marie Théorêt, teacher, Jardin des Lacs school
May 2, 2013

“What an amazing show!!!  The students loved it and were at the edge of their seats.  Please pass on how well done the entire production was to all performers and musicians.”
Jane O’Regan, Our Lady of Fatima School
January 19, 2016

LETTERS OF REFERENCE – Excerpts

“This show is a wonderful success and is backed by a solid team of professionals.”
Emmanuelle Pequin
OSQ

“Our family and student audiences loved the original music by Quebec composer Enrico O. Dastous as well as the epic story […] played brilliantly. The Buzz team, the NAC Orchestra and conductor worked together extremely well.”
Geneviève Cimon
NAC

Video gallery
Symphonic Vikings

Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke

French Version

Symphonic Vikings

National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa – NAC)

Bilingual Version (French and English)

Photo gallery - Symphonic Vikings
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