Opening night for the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra

Evening premiere for the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra


BOGOTA, Colombia | It was opening night for the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night in Bogota. This number one concert of the Stradivarius tour in Vienna marks the kick-off of the very first tour outside Canada for the ensemble led since 2019 by Alexandre Da Costa.

Febrile and excited, the musicians of the symphonic orchestra of Longueuil played in front of a delighted room in the famous Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo of Bogota, the most important theater in the country. 

“I've been pinching myself since we arrived in Bogota,” said violinist Solange Bouchard, who has been with the orchestra for 25 years. We never would have thought that we would be touring South America! It was Alexandre Da Costa who made this possible.  »

Many spectators attended the concert by the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra in Bogota.

After visiting the city, then rehearsing each on their own in their respective hotel rooms on Wednesday and Thursday morning (thanks to sound absorbers placed on their instruments), the 33 musicians of the orchestra were able to do their general practice at the famous Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo a few hours before the grand premiere. 

A prestigious venue

“It's an honor to play here, because I know it's difficult for an orchestra to be engaged there, explains Alexandre Da Costa, who had already played there for the first time as a guest soloist in September 2019. It's a kind of guarantee of quality, because when you pass by here, the other theaters agree to receive you. Plus, their international concerts are popular and many people here love the violin. South America was built 12 years ago following a modern acoustic study to deliver unamplified classical music. 

“The hall is an instrument in itself, with the Stradivarius it's simply marvellous”, continues the conductor. Several classical music stars have played in this renowned theatre, including Maxime Venguerov, Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra and our dear Kent Nagano. 

The OSL played at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo from Bogotá.

It is also this theater which offered, during the pandemic, virtual international concerts, including a concert led by a certain… Alexandre Da Costa! 

< p>Stradivarius in Vienna 

Baptized Stradivarius in Vienna, this two-hour concert is conducted by the 42-year-old Montreal soloist and conductor. Because yes, the conductor both plays and directs the orchestra with his prestigious Stradivarius 1701 violin. And he does it with enthusiasm and passion!

Why Vienna? Because this program proposed by Da Costa when he was appointed head of the orchestra is, according to him, the best program of “play and conduct ” (the “standing fiddle” conducting technique he uses). Also, because this more classic first contact that people know well will allow the maestro to return to South America later with more daring proposals à la Da Costa. Finally because Vienna is a city dear to the heart of the maestro who studied there with the last true master of “steh geiger ” (standing violin), Johannes Wildner.

The concert is composed of pieces that have marked the musical history of Vienna, from Mozart to Strauss via Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Lehar, Fritz Kreisler with the Vienna Rhapsodic Fantasy and Johann Strauss. And a very Quebec final piece: J't'aime comme un fou, by Robert Charlebois, in a mind-blowing pop-classical version, as only maestro Alexandre Da Costa knows how to deliver. &nbsp ; 


Bogota Sightseeing Tour 

The musicians of the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra were able to visit the old town of Bogota. The capital of Colombia, which has a population of 11.3 million, can boast of having at its head the first mayor who publicly declares herself to be homosexual. 40% of the city is made up of greenery, alternating between parks and forests. Bikes are also king here, with more than 500 km of cycle paths. 

A renowned room  

Built 12 years ago, the renowned Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogota can accommodate 1,303 spectators on three levels. Its exterior impresses with its immaculate color and surprises with its modern and slender architecture. In addition to this theater hosting the greatest of classical music, the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Cultural Center houses a public library and a second theater, the Teatro Estudio. 

Soprano and philanthropist 

The Longueuil Symphony Orchestra has invited Quebec soprano Sharon Azrieli to take part in its tour. The internationally renowned soloist, reputed for performing leading operatic roles, is also a philanthropist and heiress to the real estate fortune of the Azrieli group. She will perform The Merry Widow – The Exquisite Hour by Franz Lehar and Paris Violon by French composer, musician, pianist, singer and arranger Michel Legrand.