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Photo provided by the Ottawa Pops Orchestra

Ottawa Pops Orchestra brings video game music to life—postponed to June 3 and 4 at Centrepointe Theatre

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on May 9, 2022




Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever). Follow @bffs613 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Note: These shows have been postponed to June 3 and 4 due to COVID cases among OPO musicians.

Who doesn’t still hum a little song from a childhood-favourite video game now and then? We bet you can recall the music from Zelda, Super Mario and especially Tetris! The Ottawa Pops Orchestra (OPO) is bringing these classics and more to life with their Video Game Symphony, which will feature not only a full live orchestra but also a cinematic video projection.

While for some these might be quaint memories of playing games when we were younger, those of us who are still into gaming will also love the music selection from more recent games and even a deep cut or two.

Photo provided by the Ottawa Pops Orchestra

One of the things we love about OPO shows is that they don’t take themselves seriously… We don’t mean the music—the musicians present as professional and talented. But the whole “going to the symphony” vibe is taken down a few notches to feel casual and accessible. There’s no need to pull out the tux or gown. In fact, you’re encouraged to wear your geekiest outfit or costume because many of the musicians will be too!

There’s no need to know the life stories of each composer or to recognize which tune is being played in G-flat Major… just arrive on time, sit back, relax and let the music take you away. Audience members are actually encouraged to use their phones any time to record highlights of the performance or show their love for OPO on social media. The Video Game Symphony concerts will also feature the opportunity for audience members to compete in Mario Kart, live onstage, and the chance to win a Nintendo Switch.

The event is emceed by the Artistic Director, Mathieu Roy, who is funny, delightful and doesn’t take himself too seriously either. The bonus is that he’s bilingual and he will share all you need to know to take in the performances. The full orchestra will be conducted by Ottawa’s own Trevor Wilson.

We’re getting tickets, because it’s sure to be as fun as their past performances we’ve seen. The orchestra’s quality is always top-notch and the night out is always fun for us. We can’t wait to get back to our seats for the OPO’s return from a pandemic hiatus.

Until then, enjoy this playlist for a little taste of some of the music you’ll hear!

The Ottawa Pops Orchestra Video Game Symphony concert takes place on June 3 and 4 at Meridian Centrepointe Theatres. Evening performances are at 7:30pm and there will be a special open dress rehearsal for students on June 3 at 1:30pm. All performances are hosted by a bilingual emcee and appropriate for all ages. Tickets range from $25 to $50. If you are interested in bringing students to the dress rehearsal please contact OPO directly