Symphony serenades the cosmos

The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres performed by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra features Hubble Space Telescope images. - Don Lee Photo
The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres performed by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra features Hubble Space Telescope images.
— image credit: Don Lee Photo

A symphony of science will light up the Port Theatre and fill the stage with images of the universe.

Vancouver Island Symphony hosts the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra during The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres on Monday (Nov. 26). The performance melds science, music and storytelling to create a concert that transforms the stage into an astronomical telescope.

The concert was created by Tafelmusik in 2009 to celebrate the Year of Astronomy and the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first public demonstration of the telescope.

“Many astronomers are interested in music,” said Alison Mackay, concert designer, in a press release. “Galileo himself played the lute. Everywhere we have performed we have made links with the astronomical community. Sometimes they have even brought their telescopes for the audience to see.”

The performance features pieces by Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Handel, Telemann, Bach and Lully played on period instruments. The set design features a backdrop of high-definition images that were provided by the Hubble Space Telescope and Canadian astronomers.

It took Mackay two years to assemble material and create the concert.

“It is emotional for the orchestra to play music in such a heightened context,” she said.

The Galileo Project premiered at the Banff Centre in 2009 and since then has travelled to Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The Nanaimo Astronomy Society will be in the theatre lobby with telescopes. After, if there are clear skies, members will give people the opportunity to view the stars.

For more information on Tafelmusik please go to www.tafelmusik.org. Tickets range in price from $18 to $84 depending on seating location and whether the purchaser is a student, senior or adult.

For tickets call 250-754-8550, visit the Port Theatre box office or go to www.porttheatre.com.

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