Romanza: Three Canadian Tenors at the Silk Purse
A beautiful day in West Vancouver… how to celebrate it? Last Thursday, August 24th, it was dinner at the Beach House restaurant beside West Vancouver's Dundarave Pier and an intimate vocal concert at Ambleside's Silk Purse performing venue.
My girlfriend's father was in town to see friend Phil Grant perform. It just so happened that he was performing with my friend, Karen Lee-Morlang – who was the piano accompanist for Philip Grant, Ken Lavigne and Frederik
Robert, have been identified as “three talented, young, classically
trained tenors who have separately been delighting audiences across
North America and Europe.” Sometimes called the “Maple Leaf Tenors, Thursday evening's performance was billed “Romanza.” It was an evening of Italian light opera and popular songs such as Finiculi Finicula, La Donna e Mobile, and closed with a show-stopping O Solo Mio, during which the tenors mimicked the sun
breaking through the clouds then fading away – which happened during an
actual performance they did in Italy..
These three young and handsome tenors are wonderful showmen, both kidding and flirting with the audience. And pianist Karen Lee-Morlang holds her own with them, in beauty, musicianship and with witty stage banner. Their humor and warmth shined through, as they interspersed stories about their singing experiences. And they are “friendly” – Phil Grant waved at my girlfriend, as he recognized her from when he had stayed at her parents home on Kalamalka Lake for the very first Okanagan Vocal Arts Festival. And pianist Karen waved to me as they walked out to their performance “stage,” and later questioned through hand motions, if we could hear the performance allright.
The Silk Purse is a very tiny performance venue. It's really a converted cottage beach house just West of the Ambleside Pier. The performance was sold out, so Deb and I sat on the porch, watching and listened through the open doors and window, while waves lapped on the seashore, sea planes and boats travelled in the distance, and sea gulls cries all created an ambient soundscape to the beautiful music happening in this warm little cottage. As I strolled along the pebble beach, standing on a log, if seemed almost surreal. A wonderful little jewel of a “Vancouver experience” outside of mainstream entertainment
Accompanying us to dinner and performance was Edette Gagne, who had recently conducted the “Mikado” for OVAF, and is herself a gifted singer and conductor.