So when was the last time you went to a National Arts Centre Orchestra concert that didn’t involve Mozart, Handel, Tchaikovsky or Bach? Don’t get me wrong. I love classical music. How can you not get a buzz from hearing a full orchestra with such talented performers playing intricate pieces from the classical repertoire? After all, the NAC Orchestra is the height of artistic excellence in classically-trained musicianship in Canada. But it turns out these musicians are extremely versatile. I caught the orchestra jamming with Led Zeppelin cover band Windborne last June and it blew me away. The booming power of a full orchestra getting the Led out, rocking it, was absolutely incredible. I am told they didn’t even have a lot of prep time — one 90-minute rehearsal with the band. They all must be closet Zeppelin fans.
So I looked into it a bit more and realized I must have been living under a rock because the NAC Orchestra has been doing this kind of thing for a while with concerts offering music from Star Wars, James Bond movies, The Lord of the Rings and more.
This week – from Thursday, November 7 to Saturday, November 9 – the diverse programming continues with Bugs Bunny and the gang on the big screen accompanied by the NACO.
In December, the Orchestra teams up with the Barenaked Ladies for Christmas fare.
But it is really June I am already getting pumped about as the NACO will perform music by John Williams. As a total Williams junkie, my calendar is already marked for June 19-21. Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter — it is all his music and with a live orchestra, it will be quite the experience. Apparently, Maestro Pinchas Zukerman will perform the theme from Schindler’s List and I am sure there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
In the meantime, catch Bugs Bunny at the Symphony next week and expand your orchestral horizons. Visit www.nac.ca for more information.