By Alejandra Vargas García. Alejandra is a proud Mexican, now living in Ottawa. Her passions are women’s rights and the arts. Connect with her @Ale_V_G.
The magic of Harry Potter comes to Ottawa, courtesy of the Ottawa Pops Orchestra (OPO). OPO is a collective of musicians redefining the popular orchestral experience. Whether you are a Potter fan or not, their performance on May 18 achieved their goal of making music accessible and enjoyable for the entire community.
When I arrived to Centrepointe Theatre, I was immediately smiling at the commitment of the crowd to immerse themselves in the world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Children and adults alike were waving wands and wearing robes from the Gryffindor and Slytherin houses. When the lights dimmed, you could feel the excitement from fans ready to relive the story of Harry Potter, “the boy who lived”.
For those of you who didn’t grow up with the series of books by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter is the story of an orphan boy who at age 11 discovers he is a wizard. Over the course of seven books and eight movies, we learn that Potter is no ordinary wizard but the boy who defeated Voldemort, an epic villain who has made a comeback in pursuit of revenge and ultimate power.
The orchestra carefully curated musical scores from each movie, composed by Alexandre Desplat, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and my personal favourite, John Williams. Williams is the composer behind some of cinema’s greatest film scores like ET, Jaws, and Star Wars. This fact alone should drive you to purchase a ticket and a beer.
The OPO delivered a beautiful and increasingly complex performance. Its 68 members, led by Musical Director Trevor Wilson, are not only talented but as diverse as Hogwarts itself. With a combination of young students, including a 12 year old violinist, and adults from all sexes and backgrounds, the orchestra showcases some serious, yet humble, talent. Wilson first flicked his baton, or rather his magic wand, and led us through a two hour performance filled with humour, heart, and a light show to accompany the melody. While the light show was not a highlight, as the coloured lights often failed to match the emotion behind the songs, the effort was colourful and much appreciated.
The OPO delivered a beautiful and increasingly complex performance.
I spoke to Felicia Persaud, clarinet player and President of OPO’s Board. She told me that the orchestra was thrilled to bring the music of Harry Potter to Ottawa, which helped make the hours of weekly practice fly by. The performance takes you through 27 scores with a 15 minute intermission. The theatre entrance is easily accessible, with several steps on the main floor which you’ll need to get through to reach your seat. Price tickets range from $25.70 to $45.70, and beverages, including beer, are reasonably priced at $5.50.
If you are ready to be spellbound by Harry’s Musical World, performances will run until Sunday May 20, 2018. Tickets are available online.