Symphony's season opener draws on century-old pandemic practices

The production will be the first collaboration between Western Canada Theatre and Kamloops Symphony Orchestra since 2013

The Kamloops Symphony Orchestra will open its 2020-2021 season with a concert created in the midst of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale was a theatre piece created with a smaller group of performers in mind — a departure from the Russian-born composer's works that were typically accompanied by a larger ballet company.

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It was necessitated by the 1918 pandemic, which had tightened budgets and made it difficult for large groups to travel together — making it an ideal performance to stage during COVID-19.

As the KSO describes its upcoming production, The Soldier's Tale is "a story for a time of world upheaval and financial hardships, it is a story of Stravinsky’s world and ours, and is an opportunity to explore how artists have reinvented themselves amid pandemics a century apart."

The symphony will collaborate with Western Canada Theatre to stage the production, with WCT artistic director James MacDonald and local dancer Lauren Okano taking on roles.

The performers will be joined by seven KSO guest artists led by conductor Dina Gilbert.

The collaboration will be the first since 2013, when the two organizations staged Fiddler on the Roof.

While none of the viewing options include live in-person performance, there are two ways to take in the show.

The first is the online opening night, Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. Viewers can pick up a $15 ticket, or $25 for a household pass, to watch the performance online. A special COVID price of $5 is also available for those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

The second is on the big screen at the Paramount Theatre, limited to 50 patrons, on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. Tickets for the theatre show are $20.

Tickets can be purchased online at

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