- FELIX MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21
- GUSTAV MAHLER “Adagietto” from Symphony No. 5
- KURT WEILL Three songs from One Touch of Venus
- Sergei Rachmaninoff Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14
- PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture
- In-person event
Looking for love with strings attached? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with us as we welcome Ottawa-born mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta to Southam Hall for an evening of musical wine and roses. Giunta brings to life three lovely and romantic songs from Kurt Weill’s musical comedy One Touch of Venus (with lyrics by Ogden Nash), showcasing the rich range of emotion and vocal dexterity that have made her an international star.
Felix Mendelssohn was just 17 years old when he composed his beguiling and beautiful Overture to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy in which four young Athenians find themselves caught up in a tangled web of love and deceit. From its opening four chords, the Overture conjures up enchanting forests and elusive fairies, all in the name of love.
More often than not, a well-known composer’s symphony is performed in its entirety, but sometimes one particular movement sparkles enough to stand alone through the years. Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from his Symphony No. 5 is such a piece—probably performed on its own more than any other movement from any other symphony. Mahler wrote it for his beloved wife Alma and filled it with equal parts contentment and searching.
Rachmaninov’s Vocalise conveys, in just a few short minutes, the exultant hope and beautiful agony of love. The original has been arranged for many instruments, but none will squeeze a tear from your eye quite the way this performance from NACO principal cellist Rachel Mercer will.
And what evening of romantic music would be complete without the sad tale of doomed lovers Romeo and Juliet? Peter Ilyich Tchaïkovsky’s Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet is filled with longing and drama, perhaps reflecting the great composer’s own disappointments in love and life.
NACO performs tonight under the baton of Australian guest conductor Jessica Cottis, whose global credits include performances with BBC Proms, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the LA Phil, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She is Conductor and Artistic Director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and, in her spare time, avidly studies butterflies all over the world.