High-flying holiday hits

The Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular combines world-famous circus acts with music by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Dec. 16 at the SOEC.

Some classic holiday musical hits are being brought to life in Penticton with the help of some high-flying acrobatics and fantastical visuals.

The Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular will bring world-renowned circus performers together with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Dec. 16.

The show will combine famous holiday songs performed by a full orchestra with the visual spectacle of some of the best circus acts from around the world.

“What it does is create a really fun, entertaining show for all ages. It’s very family focused,” Stephen Cook, president of TCG Entertainment and producer of Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular, said. “It allows people to come and listen to this great music with a full symphony, but do it in a really entertaining way.”

When the Cirque Musica crew arrives in Penticton, it’s straight to work with only one day to set-up, rehearse and put on a show.

“It’s a lot. You walk in to the empty arena at nine in the morning and you have a show that night with five or six thousand people there, it’s amazing that it all comes together,” Cook said.

He added that the level of professionalism makes the daunting task somewhat routine.

“It’s quite a day,” said Cook. “It’s sort of what we do. Our performers are sixth, seventh generation circus people, this is what they do.”

The performance changes from place to place, partnering with local orchestras to perform all the music in the show, from classics like the Nutcracker to contemporary hits like Let It Go from the Disney animated feature Frozen — a recent addition. The musical set list also features original songs composed by Emmy and Academy Award-nominated composer, Marcelo Zarvos. Most of the carols that are Christmastime favourites make an appearance as well.

“We like to partner with all the local orchestras that we can because we like to have the local flavour of the community. They are very integrated into the whole performance,” Cook said.

It may seem like a challenge to come together and rehearse with a new orchestra on the day of every show, but it is one Cook and the crew embrace.

“It (the show) definitely has some nuances to it when you have different orchestras, but that’s part of what makes it fun,” Cook said.

Enhancing the musical experience will be world-famous circus acts performing daredevil feats including the Wallenda Highwire Duo and the Espana Family.

“We really put the best of both worlds together,” Cook said.

Cirque Musica is entering its fifth year of performing around the world and the response north of the border has been positive so far according to Cook.

“Canada has been really good to us. People love the show up there which is great,” he said.

Tickets are $75, $55 or $45 with children’s tickets (12 and under) priced at $25 with special group rates for parties of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at www.Valleyfirsttix.com, over the phone at 1-877-763-2849, at the Valley First Box Office in the SOEC or the Wine Country Visitor Centre.