|Welcome to Manitoba Arts & Culture
Hello, I am Alexander Mickelthwate, Music Director for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and your Travel Manitoba Arts & Culture Ambassador. There are plenty of events to keep all of us inspired and entertained through the frosty winter months and into spring - as the winter gets colder, that’s when the music really starts to heat up!
I’m especially looking forward to conducting the opening concert of our 2010 New Musical Festival on February 6. The theme of this year’s festival is Earth and you won’t want to miss the world premiere of WSO composer-in-residence Vincent Ho’s Arctic Symphony, a piece that was inspired by his travels to the Canadian North. We also welcome distinguished guest scientist, Dr. David Barber from the University of Manitoba who will provide a special presentation in celebration of International Polar Year. The New Music Festival runs February 6-12.
The Manitoba Opera continues its season in April with opera’s favourite bad girl. Carmen, a story filled with seduction, jealousy, and deceit, features music by Georges Bizet and includes favourites such as “Habanera,” “Seguildilla,” and “Toreador Song.” The Manitoba Opera performs Carmen on April 17, April 20 and April 23 at the Concert Hall.
If you are looking for a concert to get you warmed up this winter, the University of Winnipeg Virtuosi series concert The Passion of Spain on January 30 is for you. The WSO Baroque String Quartet teams up with Madrid-born soprano Maria Luz Alvarez to bring the magnificent music of the baroque era to the Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at the University of Winnipeg.
Another festival I look forward to in February (aside from the New Music Festival) is Festival du Voyageur. Being a music director, I love hearing how French-Canadian, Métis and Aboriginal music has evolved. It’s always refreshing to be immersed in another culture with so much history. Festival Du Voyageur takes place February 12 to 21 at the Fort Gibraltar headquarters and at various locations around St. Boniface.
I always enjoy opportunities when I can travel to other Manitoba communities outside of Winnipeg. I am looking forward to visiting Brandon twice more this season, as the WSO performs Dvoràk’s New World Symphony on February 21 and Bernstein, Gershwin, Ravel on March 21.
I hope I have encouraged you to get out and enjoy the incredible amount of arts and culture events that Manitoba has to offer. This column would need to be ten times longer to fit everything that’s going on, so please let me know which events are your favourite! I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you out and about in Manitoba!