Oboist Emma Ringrose. “We’ve preparing with our fingers very well crossed, for sure, and we’re hoping that everything still goes ahead,” Ringrose said of the “Oboe d’amour” concert, Feb. 3 at Surrey Arts Centre. (submitted photo)

Oboist Emma Ringrose. “We’ve preparing with our fingers very well crossed, for sure, and we’re hoping that everything still goes ahead,” Ringrose said of the “Oboe d’amour” concert, Feb. 3 at Surrey Arts Centre. (submitted photo)

CLASSICAL MUSIC

‘Oboe d’amour’ concert to kick off Winter Shows series in Surrey, with some changes

Event planners have opted to omit the usual pre-concert social hour Feb. 3 at Surrey Arts Centre

A Thursday-morning concert featuring piano and oboe music kicks off Surrey Civic Theatres’ “Winter Shows” series in the first week of February.

North Vancouver-based oboist Emma Ringrose and South Surrey’s piano-playing Bergmann Duo are in the spotlight for the Musical Morning concert dubbed “Oboe d’amour,” at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 3.

The three will perform a range of music, including ‘Three Romances’ by Clara Schumann, “Sonata” by Francis Poulenc, “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio Morricone and more.

“The oboe’s characteristic longing and soulful sound has inspired some of the most beautiful and lyrical works of the entire classical literature, and pairs perfectly with the piano,” an event advisory notes.

Ringrose returns to Surrey as a soloist this time, after performing many gigs with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Bell Performing Arts Centre in recent years.

“We’ve preparing with our fingers very well crossed, for sure, and we’re hoping that everything still goes ahead,” Ringrose said of the “Oboe d’amour” concert at the arts centre.

That morning, in light of the current COVID-19 situation, concert planners have opted to omit the usual pre-concert social hour, “to minimize the risk of transmission to our patrons and staff,” says a post on surrey.ca. “In lieu of refreshments before the performance, guests will be given treats to take away and enjoy from home.”

Tickets for the concert are $29 via tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566. Patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination and government ID to enter the theatre. Also, masks must be worn by patrons born in 2016 or earlier (5+), regardless of vaccination status.

An oboist since age nine, Ringrose comes from a musical family in her native U.K.

“It’s something I chose to play, but my parents didn’t tell me I had to make my own reeds,” she said with a laugh.

As Ringrose explains, oboists typically have to make their own reeds.

“They’re made of bamboo, and change all the time with the weather and they break all the time, very delicate, and every oboeist likes a specific reed,” Ringrose said.

“I have a book, ‘Understanding the Oboe Reed,’ which is several inches thick. The bamboo, a good place is in South of France where they grow – that’s where I get mine from. I have machines that cut mine down. I suspect oboe players spend more time making their reeds than playing their oboe.”

On westcoastsymphony.ca, a bio notes Ringrose played in many professional orchestras in the U.K., including the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Halle, Opera North and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In Metro Vancouver over the past 15 years, she has worked with many different ensembles, including Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and Turning Point Ensemble. She is currently Acting Principal Oboe of Vancouver Opera.

Meantime, Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann have been performing together as the Bergmann duo since 1989. Their bio is posted to bergmannduo.com.

Nine shows are scheduled for Surrey Civic Theatres’ “Winter Shows” series, featuring a mix of music, comedy, film and theatre from February to June. All of the “Winter Shows” are detailed on the city’s website (surrey.ca).

• RELATED STORY, from December: Mary Walsh and other ‘Winter Shows’ coming to Surrey Civic Theatres stages in 2022.

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