As I am rapidly finding out, barely a day goes by without something happening at Tafelmusik, and so we find ourselves (hot on the heels of the Ontario Tour and Mozart concerts) over in Western Canada. The Orchestra travelled out on Thursday evening while I, and my essential travelling companion, Bobblehead Bach (left on my desk with a pleading note the day before), followed on Friday.
Being from a pretty minuscule island, it still boggles my brain that you can fly for five hours and STILL be in the same country, and Vancouver feels somehow so different from Toronto it almost feels like one – for one thing the air just feels so fresh and clear.
After arriving at the hotel, I immediately caught up with the Artistic Director of Vancouver Early Music, Matthew White, who filled me in on all the rather exciting plans of his organisation, who were presenting our concert that evening. Not only that, but he revealed the concert was totally sold out, which is always good to hear, especially for the first night of a tour!
We headed over to the Vancouver Playhouse together to catch the start of the rehearsal, almost walking into a film set as we did so – the Queen Elizabeth Theatre having been transformed into a Greyhound Bus Terminal for a film. There were lots of very cool vintage buses and cars around the place.
The rehearsal was smooth, with just some issues of movement and choreography to iron out, and the Orchestra also adapted to the acoustic of the venue – primarily a theatre – which was very different to our home in Toronto. Chatting to some of the Orchestra members, it was interesting to hear that the acoustic experience on stage was very different to that in the actual auditorium – so often someone from the orchestra would run out into the seating to see how it was coming across.
7.30pm saw a big crowd outside the theatre, so big in fact that we started a little late so that everyone could pick up their tickets in time! I was joined by a friend I knew from my Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment days – we previously knew each other as she’d worked at the Orchestra’s venue , the Southbank Centre. Thanks to the power of Facebook we’ve kept in touch – and it was fun to introduce her to Tafelmusik who she’d heard on recordings but never live.
After a superb performance of House of Dreams (apologies to the people behind me, I fear I was nodding in time with the music rather a lot I was enjoying it so!), the audience was immediately on its feet and being very vocal in its approval – a great start to the tour.
We celebrated in the usual orchestra way, with a few drinks. It’s reassuring that this seems to be a constant whichever Orchestra is in question!
More tomorrow when I’ll be blogging about our next date, Victoria.
William Norris, Managing Director.