Aaron Durand and Leah Alfred

Alert Bay soprano charms in homecoming

Soprano Leah Alfred, accompanied by baritone Aaron Durand and pianist David Bergeron, returned to the North Island last weekend.

PORT HARDY—Despite soprano Leah Alfred’s claim that she sings only sad songs, she brought plenty of warmth and laughter to the North Island last weekend.

Alfred, accompanied by baritone Aaron Durand and pianist David Bergeron, returned to the Port Hardy Civic Centre Saturday night and Alert Bay Sunday afternoon for her Our Favourite Things tour.

Alfred, who originally hails from Alert Bay, made her professional opera debut with the Vancouver Opera in a production of The Magic Flute last year, and this year graduated with her Master’s degree in vocal performance at UVic.

Our Favourite Things has her teaming up with Durand, a close friend from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, in an effort to combine all their favourite songs in one performance.

“These are all the pieces that we’ve held near and dear to our hearts,” Durand said Saturday. “They’re the little songs that we carry with us each and every day.”

The smiles and on-stage chemistry during Saturday’s concert made it clear that Alfred and Durand are old friends. The first half was made up of a number of Mozart pieces, and after intermission both singers took turns making their way through a series of musical numbers and operatic arias. Before a melancholic solo from The Bartered Bride, Alfred joked that, “everything I sing is sad.”

But Alfred’s more somber numbers were balanced easily by fun and energetic pieces, including a duet from Mozart’s The Magic Flute that had both singers leaping across the stage.

Durand then had a chance to show off his charismatic stage presence in a rendition of “I am Aldolpho,” a song from the musical The Drowsy Chaperone, which allowed Durand to unleash what he called his “inner flamboyant Spaniard.” Durand at one point leapt into the crowd to bestow a kiss upon the hand of one audience member, and finished his piece with the audience chanting the name, “Aldolpho!”

Alfred and Durand closed the show with the first duet they ever sang together, a heartwarming rendition of “Wheels of a Dream” from the musical Ragtime.

“Coming home is a fantastic experience,” Alfred said after the show. “Nobody is as supportive as your home town. It’s the best audience in the world.”

She described how the North Island music scene fostered her as an artist and took note of the younger audience members—something that she found optimistic.

“If there’s even the slightest chance I could influence somebody to look into classical music, that would be the most amazing thing.”

Alfred was impressed by the amount of support she had received since returning, although she stressed that the size of the crowd wasn’t important. “We’re just having so much fun!”

 

Just Posted

Port Alice trailer goes up in flames in the early morning hours

The North Island Gazette will continue to update the story with more details as it progresses.

1041 customers without power due to outages in Northern Vancouver Island

Keep following the North Island Gazette for more on the power outages.

VIDEO: Sports Talk with Tyson: North Island Bantam Eagles are ready for provincials

Sports Talk with Tyson is back this week with an indepth look at the North Island Bantam Eagles.

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Thunderbird movie films in downtown Port Hardy

A film crew of approximately 30-40 people has shut down part of Market Street in Port Hardy.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Mowi reassures RDMW future of aquaculture industry in wake of historic announcement last month

Mowi anticipates a plethora of opportunities in other areas of the North Island for economic growth.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read