A Vancouver soprano makes her Nanaimo debut with an afternoon of music in four languages.
On November 28, Chloé Hurst performs a classic “art song” at the Malaspina Theater. She will be accompanied by pianist Carol Fetherston and the Harbor City String Quartet – Nick Ross and James Mark on violin, Karl Rainer on viola and Alexandra Lee on cello. The program, titled Enchanted, is not only his first in Nanaimo, it’s also his first on the island in about 10 years.
“The main themes we were looking for were fall or fall moods, love, loss, that sort of thing,” Hurst said.
The concert switches from one language to another, starting with Italian arias from forgotten operas. The second set includes songs by Franz Schubert, an Austrian composer who wrote over 600 vocal pieces and only lived to be 31 years old.
“What’s really special about one of them…you’d think a very seasoned composer wrote it, but he wrote it when he started composing in his late teens and it’s is one of his best-known plays,” Hurst said.
The third set highlights works by French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy, including two pieces paired as part of a song cycle. Hurst said “you can hear nature in the music”.
“It’s about painting images of questions about love and loss and even incorporating water sounds, whether it’s rain or muffled sounds of pebbles above a stream,” said she declared. “It’s beautiful how the accompaniment as well as the text paint these images.”
The show ends with works by English composers Roger Quilter and Ralph Vaughan Williams. There will also be Christmas carols.
Hurst only recently returned to in-person indoor performances, but the pandemic hasn’t left her completely silent. During the summers she sang in the open air and she made recordings with “opera friends”, each recording their parts separately at home and the material then being edited together into a single performance. Last month, Hurst finally returned to film with a show in Burnaby.
“It was really nice to know that all the people who came out and supported [me] were there because they too lacked the experience of performing live,” she said. “And there’s nothing like having an audience.”
WHAT’S THIS… Chloe Hurst performs at the Malaspina Theatre, VIU Bldg. 310, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets $45, available at the Port Theater.