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Chamber orchestra to make long-awaited Flin Flon debut

After more than two years of pandemic-related delays, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra [MCO] will bring a program of live classical music to Flin Flon this week.
A violin being played.

After more than two years of pandemic-related delays, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra [MCO] will bring a program of live classical music to Flin Flon this week.

The MCO’s Manitoba Spring Tour will stop by the R.H. Channing Auditorium April 30, starting at 7:30 p.m. and performing suites of traditional and modern music.

The program includes soloists Pamela Fay and Desiree Abbey performing Vivaldi’s Double Concerto for Viola and Cello in G minor, along with orchestra artist-in-residence Kevin Lau’s Prayer in a Green Cathedral performed by oboe soloist Caitlin Broms-Jacobs. Along with those will be a performance of Haydn’s Symphony 52, as well as a selection of traditional fiddle music.

“It's really a colorful piece with lots of different changes in it,” said MCO managing director Vicki Young of the Haydn piece.

Anne Manson will conduct the group.

The orchestra was supposed to make a stop in Flin Flon back in April 2020 - the worldwide emergence of COVID-19 snuffed that out and snuffed out a proposed make-up date last year. This weekend’s show, barring late-breaking disaster, will go ahead as planned, part of a touring program that will take the MCO through Carman, Pinawa, Thompson and Flin Flon - including the full orchestra, which the MCO has never brought to Flin Flon before.

“We really look forward to that. We haven't had the whole orchestra in any of these communities before, so we're looking forward to that,” said Young.

“We've taken smaller groups to Flin Flon and Thompson before, but not a full orchestra. That will be really nice for us and really nice to connect with with those communities.”

The MCO had played a few shows in Winnipeg last fall before keeping the winter months open, banking on people heading away on winter vacations instead of coming to see shows. That pause coincided with the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19, during which audience size restrictions and other public health orders were no longer in place. Shows can now be held unlimited across Manitoba, right in time for the MCO, which had planned to host events starting in March.

“It just felt great and it feels really good to be able to go on tour now. There's such a sense of camaraderie. It's great for the musicians to be able to play the music more than once and, of course, to see the province. A lot of people don't get outside Winnipeg or Brandon or, you know, the Southern Communities very often,” Young said.

“If you've never been to Flin Flon, boy, you're in for a wonderful surprise when you when you go through that landscape. I think that’s going to be just amazing for the musicians. We really look forward to being able to perform in person for people who may only have known about us through our smaller groups or through online content.”

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