In its 23rd year, and as popular as ever, one of Canada’s most joyous annual traditions returns to Winnipeg in December.
Winter Harp, the concert experience that captures the spirit of the season, and audience’s hearts, is a homecoming for one of the show’s performers.
“It’s always great to come home and play to familiar faces,” says Janelle Nadeau, acclaimed harpist and singer from Fannystelle, MB, now in her ninth season with Winter Harp.
“The Winnipeg show is one of my favorite stops,” says Nadeau who is looking forward to the show in her home province on Fri. Dec. 4 at 7:30 pm at Pantages Playhouse Theatre, 180 Market Ave. in Winnipeg.
A “must-see” ticket on the holiday calendar, Winter Harp’s outstanding musicians and singers, clad in beautiful medieval attire, perform a collection of music that ranges from familiar carols to Celtic, medieval and world tunes.
At the theatre performances, magical backdrops of cathedral and snow set a stage for the golden Celtic and classical harps, drums, tambourines, temple bells, flutes, and an assortment of beautiful ancient and rare instruments, including the ethereal-sounding bass psaltery (the only one like it in the world), theorganistrum (an early form of the hurdy-gurdy) and the Swedishnyckelharpa.
Winter Harp concerts have become destination events, having developed a loyal following from across Canada and beyond. Wherever they’re from, audience members end up in a similar place during the show.
“Christmas is about memories,” says Winter Harp co-founder and director, Lori Pappajohn. “We remember the beautifully-decorated tree, we remember grandparents, we remember the presents we received,” she adds.
“At Winter Harp the carols we perform and the stories and poems we read take people into their memories. It’s lovely looking out at the audience. Everyone has their own memories of Christmas. That’s where we journey, and we welcome people of all backgrounds to join us,” says Pappajohn.
This year’s ensemble of outstanding artists welcomes a new voice in Krista Gibbard, a classically trained soprano whose repertoire ranges from light opera and oratorio to ancient and Celtic music. Gibbard has performed as a soloist for groups such as the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
“We were delighted when we found Krista,” says Pappajohn. “She has our exact sound – a crystal-pure voice with a lovely mixture of ancient and Celtic colourings.”
Tickets to Winter Harp‘s Winnipeg show available at Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra box office, 204-949-3999 or wso.ca/winterharp