Lucy (Monique Collins

Lucy (Monique Collins

Narnia produces beautiful music

Presented by Courtenay Little Theatre from Dec. 27 to Jan. 3 at the Sid Williams Theatre

Jean Higginson

Special to the Record

In 1949, a few years after the end of the Second World War, C.S. Lewis published one of his most famous books, a work of fiction called The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

A favourite of children and adults ever since, it tells the story of four British children sent from London to the country during the war, to escape the bombing. They accidentally find their way to Narnia, a kingdom under the rule of a cruel queen, where they precipitate a battle between evil and good. This story has been adapted in many ways over the years, including a musical version, Narnia, which will be presented by  Courtenay Little Theatre from Dec. 27 to Jan. 3 at the Sid Williams Theatre.

The music of Narnia is not well known but its songs are beautiful and, in many cases, intensely emotional. This is music that expresses the longing for redemption, rebirth, and freedom from evil.

Mike Eddy, the musical director of the Courtenay production, explains that the composer took advantage of the juxtaposition of  good and evil and the layering this creates to develop appropriate theme music for different types of characters and their moods.

Eddy works to realize in the music, the unique fantasy world of Narnia as visualized by director Brian Mather.

Instead of an orchestra, the instrumental music will be performed using a synthesizer with sequencer because the fantasy world of the play lends itself to this treatment.

“I will be playing the show live from the back of the theatre, using a Korg synthesizer workstation so I can switch quickly from one bank of sounds to another and fatten out the sounds by adding synthesizer voices and changing the timbre,” explains Eddy.

Working with both the lead actors and ensemble, the vocal director, Sharon Pridham, helps them to develop endurance and protect their voices while performing the often demanding and emotional roles. Ensemble training usually begins with straight rehearsals, as for a concert.

Later, the vocal director covers the transitions from spoken word to singing with the leads. Some musicals, such as Les Miserables, are all music with no spoken words. However some, like Narnia, have both spoken and sung parts. The actors must move smoothly and naturally from talking to singing.

“My aim is to assist the cast to develop the skills needed to be shown at their very best,” says Pridham.

Working one-on-one with some of the lead actors, the vocal coach, Carrie Lemke,  endeavours to help them polish their songs.

“Because musical theatre is text-driven, one must sometimes choose character over vocal beauty while still practising good vocal health,” says Lemke.

This can prove to be rather a challenge if one’s character has, for example, a gruff or raspy spoken voice.

“My goal is to assist them in presenting strong vocal performances while maintaining the integrity of the role they are playing,” she explains.

Tickets for this fantastical musical are selling at a brisk pace at the Sid Williams Ticket Centre, 442 Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay, online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com and by phone at 250-338-2430 ext. 1. Evening shows are at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 27, 29, 30, 31, Jan. 2 and 3, with the popular 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 28.  Evening and matinee tickets are $20, except for the Special New Year’s Celebration on Dec. 31, which are $25 for all seats.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bench designed and created by Comox woodworker Brian Mayenburg. Photo submitted
Building for a cause to better the community

Comox woodworker raising funds for Comox Valley Food Bank

Greg Baute (inset), senior director of breeding and genetics at Aurora Cannabis, will be the guest speaker at the next Comox Valley Horticultural Society (CVHS) meeting. Photo supplied
Cannabis breeding discussed at next Comox Valley Horticultural Society meeting

Greg Baute, senior director of breeding and genetics at Aurora Cannabis, will… Continue reading

The next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series is Scott Amos, one half of the group Monkey C Interactive, which has drawn attention for transforming old technologies into interactive works of art, such as Registroid (supplied photo)
Next North Island College Artist Talk speaker breathes new life into old technology

Interactive installation artist Scott Amos will be the next speaker at North… Continue reading

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

Most Read