BOW VALLEY – Exploring if the three Christmas spirits visits truly left Ebenezer Scrooge a changed man, a local choir will be taking a musical journey with the transformed holiday Grinch.
A New and Improved Scrooge is presented by the Bow Valley Chorus and was written and conducted by John Goulart. The show features the works of Berlioz, Britten, Charpentier, Forrest, Handel, Lauridsen, Rutter and Whitacre.
“I wanted to do something with a dramatic element,” Goulart said. “[I wanted] to talk about Scrooge’s experience and tie that together with some really beautiful music, while thinking about what would happen to Scrooge from the point of after A Christmas Carol.”
Calgary actor David LeReaney will be returning to the Bow Valley Chorus stage to play Scrooge.
The Bow Valley Chorus opens the play and Scrooge is soon introduced to the audience. For the show, Scrooge takes the audience on an intimate journey exploring how his life has been transformed.
There was a plethora of interesting material to work with, Goulart said, and this helped inspire his creative processes while working on the play.
The most challenging aspect of creating the play was bringing together the script, he said, adding that he considers himself fortunate that he was able to piece the puzzle together.
“I enjoyed writing the script and I enjoyed working with David [LeReaney],” Goulart said. “He is an excellent actor.”
It has been an amazing experience weaving the beautiful music together, he added, explaining that he is excited and proud of the finished product that will entertain and enlighten the audience about what Christmas is really about.
Goulart said he hopes the Bow Valley comes to see the play because it is a wonderful event that features a vital and vibrant group of the artistic community.
“I think it’s important that people experience how beautiful the choir sounds. It’s also really important for people to experience how beautiful the music is ... in this very unique presentation. It’s one-of-a-kind.”
The goal of the play is to inspire audiences with beautiful music. He added that he believes guests will experience an emotional bond with the songs.
“It evokes the magical connection to Christmas that we all have,” Goulart said. “You find the joy in it.”
Bow Valley Chorus soprano soloist Karen Minish said she is excited to bring some holiday cheer to the Bow Valley and share a unique approach to the classic tale A Christmas Carol with the community.
“I think John [Goulart] wanted to present something that was very joyful and give people a sense of hope and get them to believe in miracles,” Minish said. “[The play] really embodies what we hope the Christmas spirit is for everybody.”
She said the chorus is aspiring to turn the new Scrooge into a beacon that demonstrates change is possible and shows that people can choose to be the best version of themselves.
It has been a fun experience bringing the story to life, Minish said, adding that she appreciates how Goulart has melded the script and music together using the Bow Valley Chorus’ massive musical repertoire and introducing new Christmas music.
“The choir is just loving the selection of music he has chosen,” Minish said. “It’s been really wonderful, the choir is embracing the whole idea and they’re loving seeing all of this music.”
The play is family-friendly and the chorus is hopefull the Bow Valley community will come out to the show and embrace the joy of the holiday season in one of their two beautiful show venues, Minish said.
The Bow Valley Chorus will be performing A New and Improved Scrooge! Friday (Dec. 13) at 8 p.m. at the Fairmont Banff Springs Cascade Ballroom and on Sunday (Dec. 15) at the Silvertip Resort Pavillion. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. For more information call 403-732-3188 or visit bowvalleychorus.com.
“These are our two big Christmas concerts that we’re doing,” Minish said. “It’s professional soloists and musicians. This is going to be awesome.”