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VSO Mother’s Day concert in Surrey explores ‘opium-induced dreamscape’ from 1830

‘Symphonie Fantastique’ performed at Bell theatre on May 12
Music director Otto Tausk conducts Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (Photo:

Mother’s Day will be a musical one in Surrey for Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

On Sunday, May 12, the VSO’s final “Surrey Nights” concert of the 2023-24 season will have music director Otto Tausk and musicologist Paul Rissmann exploring Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, starting at 7 p.m. at Bell Performing Arts Centre.

“Completely revolutionary at its premiere in 1830, the piece is the product of an opium-induced dreamscape,” explains a post on the VSO’s website. “Dive deep into this great musical drama and discover its lasting power to surprise and astonish.”

Earlier, the VSO’s Symphonie Fantastique concert will also be performed at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver on May 10-11, 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets are sold on, or call 604-876-3434.

Also this month, the Orpheum is where the VSO will perform the pop music of ABBA with the band Arrival from Sweden, May 21-22.

Starting this fall, the VSO’s 106th season of classical music will include five concerts at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre as part of the orchestra’s annual Surrey Nights series, plus a pair of Traditional Christmas concerts in December.

The 2024-25 Surrey series starts Oct. 20 with the Andrew Litton-conducted Stravinsky, Ravel & Márquez” night of music featuring the San Diego-born Anne Okiko Meyers, considered “one of the world’s most esteemed violinists” and “a trailblazer in her field” whose first national television appearances were on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at age 11.

The four other Surrey Nights concerts are “Josefowicz Plays Stravinsky” (Dec. 1, featuring violinist Leila Josefowicz), “Schubert’s Third Symphony” (Jan. 19, 2025, with Italian pianist/conductor Vanessa Benelli Mosell), “Brahms & Saint-Saëns’ Cello” (March 2, conducted by Christian Kluxen with Santiago Cañón-Valencia, cello) and “Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto” (March 30, 2025, with pianist Ingrid Filter and conductor Alpesh Chauhan).

In Vancouver starting July 3, the VSO’s Summer Movies at the Orpheum concert series will feature screenings of “Shrek 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Star Trek” and “Field of Dreams.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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