The Age of Opulence: Turning Point Ensemble + Heritage Vancouver create a musical afternoon of tea and heritage

The Age of Opulence: Turning Point Ensemble + Heritage Vancouver create a musical afternoon of tea and heritage

Turning Point Ensemble
Heritage Vancouver

Sunday, November 6th, 2005
The Age of Opulence, Vancouver 1915-1930
Stanley Park Walking Tour, & Vancouver Historic Music w/ the Turning Point Ensemble
Location: Stanley Park Pavillion, The Rose Garden Tea Room
Time: 2pm to 4:30pm
Admission: By donation
2pm Walking tour with Heritage Vancouver President, Donald Luxton
3pm – 4:30pm Parlour performance by the Turning Point Ensemble

The idea was to “Take a journey back to Vancouver's age of opulence with Heritage
Vancouver and the Turning Point Ensemble. Imagine… the date is 1915,
the Stanley Park Pavilion is newly built, and you are joining us for
tea and an afternoon performance of music and song in the Stanley Park
Pavilion Rose Garden Tea Room.

“Meet at the tea room for a walking tour of the pavilion and Malkin
Bowl, then relax to music featuring premiere arrangements of early BC
parlour songs and concert music composed by Vancouver's first
internationally trained composer, Jean Coulthard. Woven together with a
sparkling narrative, the concert will include music by Ravel,
Rachmaninoff, and Jelly Roll Morton – all featured guests in Vancouver
in the 1920's.”

So many people showed up for the tour that the guide kept saying “I
can't believe so many people showed up!”  Meanwhile inside the Stanley Park Pavillion, at the Rose Garden Tea Room,
the kitchen rushed to make up more sandwiches and the staff set up more
seats creating a new row, so that the reserved seats formerly in the
front row were now in the second row.

Guest performers Heather Pawsey and trumpeter/pianist Alan Matheson were all dressed in time period perfect costumes with the Turning Point Ensemble
Pawsey opened the show with “Here's a Ho, Vancouver” credited to B.C.
Hilliam and E. Pauline Johnson.  Her heel coquettishly raised,
Heather flirted with the audience and bequiled them to enjoy
themselves.  Her operatic soprano was perfect for the palour songs
presented from 1915 to 1930. 

Throughout the performance the Turning Point ensemble took turns
performing popular and classical arrangments in duos, trios and larger
ensembles.  Rachmaninov's Vocalise was performed by Ariel Barnes
on Cello and Jane Hayes on piano.  Narrator Alexander Browne spoke
into an old microphone that perfectly duplicated the old microphone
radio sound of the 1920's.  Looking around the Heritage Class “A”
building of the Rose Garden Tea House,
you could actually imagine that this was how high society used to enjoy
music in the afternoon salons of Vancouver.  Organizer Lindsay
McDonald and photographer Lindsey Donovan were both dressed up in period dresses, helping to create an atmosphere of glamour and fun.

The Turning Point Ensemble's mission is to increase the understanding
and appreciation of concert music composed during the past hundred
years, linking the music of earlier times to the music of today. 
I particularly enjoyed the three songs by Vancouver born, Jean
Coulthard, Spinning Song, Cradle Song and The of China's
Daughter.  Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Horn Trumpet, and Trombone
were beautiful, as Maurice Ravel's Chansons Madecasses were serious and

The afternoon of team and salon music ended on very exhuberant notes,
as Pawsey and the full ensemble performed their encore numbers, S Nice
by William Eckstine and Sam Howard.  Again, Pawsey posed and
flirted with the audience proving what a dramatic performer she
is.  The audience was asked to join in for the “stuttering
song”K-K-K-Katy, and then the desserts came out.

Definitely a fun afternoon.  I will be that next year it will happen again, but maybe with advanced ticket sales.

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