Music

Drag, Star Wars and superheroes: Symphony Nova Scotia launches its new season

Conductor touts 'extraordinary variety' of 2018-19 concert season

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conducts the Symphony Nova Scotia orchestra Wednesday as they play a snippet of their Looney Toons performance for the launch of the 2018-19 season.   Karla Renic

Symphony Nova Scotia’s new season of concerts will feature a Star Trek celebrity, internationally recognized drag queen and a number of local artists.

The symphony introduced its 2018-19 season on Wednesday at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the orchestra’s conductor and community ambassador, is proud of the season’s programs.

“Compared to other years, the extraordinary variety this season is above and beyond. That is where we really excelled this year and we are really proud of it,” he said in an interview.

The conductor said the orchestra is excited to perform at this summer’s Pride festival alongside RuPaul’s Drag Race star Thorgy Thor, a classically trained violinist, violist and cellist.

“Drag queens have had such a place as outspoken commentators and are able to bring joy and laughter in the LGBTQ+ community,” Bartholomew-Poyser said. “We are proud to include that part of history in our music.”

Including popular and comedic acts with classical music is the symphony’s way of appealing to a wider audience.

Andrew Beazley, regional manager of Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, held a “fun-zone” at Wednesday’s event where guests, including children, could try out different orchestral instruments.  He said the symphony makes an effort to create its own unique sound.

“Not only do they play high-end classical material, but they also do pop shows and include local artists,” he said. “They present some of the most compelling acts Canada has offered.”

The season includes Maritime Fusion, a series of performances featuring Nova Scotia artists David Myles, Port Cities, Sarah Slean, Jenn Grant and Ashley MacIsaac.

During Hal-Con, Symphony Nova Scotia will perform an event hosted by John de Lancie who played Q in the Star Trek TV series. The orchestra will play blockbuster themes from movies such as Superman, Spider-Man and Star Wars.

“We play the music that people like, that most young people like, for adults who like high orchestral classical music and adults who like the Eagles and Billy Joel,” said Bartholomew-Poyser.

People line up at the Dalhousie Arts Centre to buy tickets for Symphony Nova Scotia’s 2018-19 concerts.   Karla Renic

Tickets for the season went on sale Wednesday. Bartholomew-Poyser said more than half of the tickets for their upcoming concerts have already been sold.

While the season officially starts in September, there are concerts starting this month.