The second show in the North Island Concert Society’s 20th season was a special one for the audience and the performers.
The show was a welcoming home in many ways, as Port Hardy Civic Centre was the very place where the crossover/popera group Vivace performed their first full-length concert, and it’s also the hometown of one of their founding members, Melody Courage.
The show began with a special opening performance by the North Island Community Choir and Kids Choir. The adults sang a few Christmas carols before the kids took a turn singing, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.”
After the delightful opening, Gabriel MacDonald, Tiffany Desrosiers, Frankie Cena, and Melody Courage accompanied by pianist and guitarist Mike Bell, graced the stage and quickly began to wow the audience with their powerful voices.
“We have a wonderful show in store for you this evening. We hope to take you on an emotional journey,” Courage said, explaining, “You may recognize some songs, some might be new with a little twist, but I hope you enjoy the show!”
The group sang songs ranging from popular arias like “O Babino Mio Caro” to pop music favourites like Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in love.”
They also performed their own self-written material, like the song “The World to Me”, which Desrosiers wrote after an experience she had with unrequited love.
“I have such fond memories of Tiffany from our first show here in Port Hardy,” said Courage, as she was introducing the Lakme Duet, which was sung by her self and Desrosiers.
“One of them was she was curling her hair and I said ‘we have to leave now!’ and she chucked her curling iron in the suitcase and I remember seeing it at the time and thought that must be a really fast cooling curling iron!” laughed Courage.
She explained that when they arrived at the Civic Centre and Desrosiers opened her suitcase, she had found that her curling iron had melted onto the back of her dress.
“She still ended up wearing it on stage, it was at the back, thankfully,” said Courage, adding, “but that was the beginning of many fond memories – 140 shows later we are still together and she is still my favourite to sing with.”
The group finished the show with an encore and a standing ovation. Vivace notably performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, and have since toured extensively through the United States and Canada.
The next concert in the North Island Concert Society’s season will be the Songs of the Southern Belles on Jan. 20 at 7:30 pm. The North Island Community Choir and kids will also be performing at the Gate House Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 10