Music lovers in the Okanagan have a rare opportunity this weekend to experience music up close and personal as the Masterworks Ensemble leaves the stage behind.
The ensemble, which includes Liz Lupton (violin) Jordan Dyck (cello), Dennis Nordlund (piano forte) and Tracy Fehr (soprano) are offering a series of three concerts right in the living rooms of music lovers from Aug. 5-7.
“It’s much less formal. I think the audience gets more of a chance to participate in the process, more than just sitting quite far away,” said Lupton. “It’s a different feeling for an audience too.”
The concerts start tonight in Summerland at the home of Lloyd and Tanya Westby, moving to Dennis and Maria Nordlund’s Penticton home on Saturday and finishing up in Naramata at Harvey and Margi Speir’s home on Sunday.
“The informality is nice, and the closeness, the physical proximity, as opposed to being on stage. This allows us to connect more with the audience,” said Nordlund. “I think it’s more of an informal concert, that’s the big difference. I think there will be more banter between us and the audience. People are a little more at ease to laugh or sigh or cry, what ever they want to do.”
It also suits some music better than a stage where the audience is separated from the stage performers, according to Dyck.
“It’s the idea of the parlor room concert. We just don’t do that anymore. I like the idea, as a performer. We relegate music to the concert hall and then it has this atmosphere that I am not sure the composers intended, where it is so terribly formal,” said Dyck.
The program opens with music from the baroque era and progresses to modern day, including a touch of jazz, according to Nordlund.
“We’re starting in the baroque days with Vivaldi — the 17th century — and then moving through classical pieces,” he said. “And then in the second half, a little lighter, a little more contemporary.”
“I really love doing baroque music,” said Fehr. “I am really happy to bring it to the Okanagan, because I think it is something lacking.”
Three wineries are also participating, offering a complimentary glass of wine for audience members.
“So people will be able to sit there sip wine, look at the mountains and watch the sunset,” said Lupton.