WELLINGTON – From first class concerts by world class artists to parades and hilarious comedy to serious music, to gourmet treats paired with local wines : these are all rolled into the second annual Wellington Water Week, running Saturday, Aug. 17 through Sunday, Aug. 28.
A concert Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the United Church will feature an ensemble of professional singers in an eclectic program of a cappella songs, from sacred to folk to sea chanties.
Sunday afternoon, Aug.. 18 brings a “musical and edible parade” through Wellington, starting at 3 p.m. at The United Church and ending there. Along the way are musical concerts at four locations where plant-based chef Chris Byrne will present new creations paired at two locations with award-winning wines from Karly Estates. The same evening at 6 p.m. in the Drake Devonshire is a unique spooky attraction, an improvised accompaniment on harpsichord by professional musician Stephen Hargreaves for the classic silent film: “The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari.” The $95 ticket includes cocktails and dinner. This performance by Hargreaves with the showing of the same movie is repeated Monday evening, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Festival Players Studio Theatre, ticket at $40.
Also Monday evening is an adults only treat at 6 p.m. in The Stache when professional keyboardist Tom King is backed up by singers Jennifer Drabbe, Danika Loren and Whitney O’Hearn, all classically trained singers, let their hair down for a mischievous approach to classical music.
Things get serious on Aug. 20 when the Montreal ensemble, The Parcival Project perform in the United Church at 5:30 p.m., featuring the beloved Mozart clarinet quintet and an amazing work called “Quatour Pour le Fin du Temps, (the end of time.) This work was composed by Olivier Messiaen in a prison camp and seems to translate the horrors of humanity into an artistic and religious sublimity.
Aug. 21 in the Studio Theatre, “Around the World in Eighty Minutes with Two Cups of Jo” sees a performance by Joe Phillips and Jozsef Botos on double bass and classical guitar of jazzy arrangements by famous composers, including Tchaikowsky, Schubert, Bartok and modern jazz artists.
Concerts return to the United Church on Thursday, Aug. 22 for The Cheng Duo of cello and keyboard, featuring music for fairy tales, embracing stories and works from Russia, Germany and France. Concert only is the basic $35, with dinner an option for $15 more.
Friday is the chance for those who love to sing to join with professional opera singers in a concert called “Sing,” with Canadian super star Sarah Slean and Johannes Debus, music director of the Canadian Opera Company. “It makes no difference if you have singing experience or not,” the program states: “We just want to hear YOUR voices.” Registration fee for this workshop type experience is only $5. Start time is 6 p.m. A concert follows at 8 p.m. with Sarah Slean,three-time Juno nominee, accompanied by the Kamareli String Quartet, tickets at $50.
Saturday Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. brings a baroque concert with “Duetto Violoncello” featuring Elinor Frey and Pheobe Carrai in sonatas from the1700s. This program is in the Studio Theatre with tickets at $40.
Water Week closes Aug. 25 with a 3p.m. concert in the United Church, featuring the Quebec-based chamber group, “Exuberance et Nostalgie; Prix Opus Programme. Strings, harp and piano will highlight the Schumann Quintet for piano in E flat major. Also performing will be 13-year-old child prodigy Hannah Tam, for an “exuberant festival finale.”
The festival is based on a Scandinavian initiative in recent years to focus on the vital value and merits of water using the power of music. For tickets or information, call up Wellington Water Week on the Internet.