When used to accompany films, classical music can transform a kiss into a revelation and a longing glance in the pouring rain into something not completely pathetic. Witness the transformative power of music with this GrouponLive deal to see "Mozart's Vienna – City of Music and Dreams", presented by the York Symphony Orchestra at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. For $15, you get one ticket for general admission on Sunday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $33.90 value, including all fees). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Guest conductor Ann Cooper Gay and the musicians of the York Symphony Orchestra transport listeners back to the overflowing musical treasure trove of 18th- and 19th-century Austria in "Mozart's Vienna – City of Music and Dreams." The program kicks off with the eponymous prodigy's overture to The Magic Flute, which shows of his musical genius at the height of his powers—shortly before his untimely death. Beginning with three full-orchestra fanfares, the piece eases into a languorous string and woodwind melody that abruptly falls away to a fast-paced round of dancing violin and cello.
Next, soprano Erin Cooper Gay lends her golden pipes to "Gli sguardi trattieni," from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. An ethereal entreaty from the Goddess of Love, convincing the Greek legend Orpheus to venture into the underworld in search of his lost beloved, the piece steels the hero's heart with triumphant promises of success. Tenor Isaiah Bell then takes the reins for "L'espoir renaît dans mon âme," a showy solo by Orpheus as he declares his intention to take on Love's quest.
Pianist Elissa Miller-Kay brings ears back to Mozart with Piano Concert no. 21, whose famous second movement’s limpid piano notes drift through a haze of strings and woodwinds. After a brief intermission, the company opens the program's final section with the mysterious movements of Schubert's unfinished Symphony No. 8 in B minor. Cooper Gay and Bell return for Haydn's "Un certo ruscelletto," a tender love duet from the comic opera Il mondo della luna before the evening closes with the overture to Merry Wives of Windsor, written by Vienna Philharmonic founder Otto Nicolai and based on William Shakespeare's aborted script for an Elizabethan reality TV show.
Behind the Music
Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and its French translation, Orphée et Eurydice, transformed the world of opera when they premiered throughout Europe in the 1760s and '70s. Throwing off the threadbare plots and stuffy musical conventions of the traditional opera seria and opera buffa—Italian for serious and comic operas—Gluck's work set the classical tale of Orpheus and Eurydice to music that straightforwardly reflects the characters' emotions and advances the plot. Though wildly popular with audiences, the new style angered proponents of the classical Italian forms, leading to a vicious civil war among Paris's critics that eventually drove Gluck back to retirement in Vienna.
York Symphony Orchestra
Hailing from Ontario's most muscial corners, the 70–80 players who make up the York Symphony Orchestra awaken stirring echoes of classical mastery during their annual concert seasons. The ensemble, many of whom are professional musicians, often share the stage with guest artists handpicked from around the globe and drumsticks stolen from Mötley Crüe’s dressing room.
Though the York Symphony Orchestra sometimes offers discounts, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.