The first of the Do Re Tea concert series in April at the Living Faith Lutheran Church in Davis Bay turned out exactly as billed — a refreshing afternoon of music and treats.
The Gemini duo of Julie Rutter on piano and flute and Valerie-Anne Rutter on piano and recorders showed their rapport with the audience as they performed a variety of pieces from Renaissance times to contemporary composers. Classical music featured the work of Peter Warlock, beloved Beethoven and Mozart.
Julie drew out her golden flute to play a piece of great beauty by composer John Rutter (not a relation). The two performed duets on the piano and followed up with a selection of folk tunes and shanties on flute and recorder, including the theme from the children’s TV show The Friendly Giant.
The audience sang along with the nostalgic Danny Boy and again on an encore of Edelweiss. A rendition of Tea for Two seemed appropriate and sent the audience to dining tables after the concert for traditional tea in dainty bone china cups accompanied by scones dolloped with cream, lemon curd and jam.
Landscape paintings on display by artist Roy Peters also captured the mood, and Peters offered to give a portion of sales to the church for their activities.
One of the instigators of the concert series, Valerie-Anne Rutter, will perform again on Friday, May 30, at 3 p.m. in a concert with the satin-voiced, spoken word artist Richard Austin in a concert aptly called Golden Echo. It promises to be an eclectic banquet of music and spoken word by two professionals, ranging from Bach to Beatles and from Shakespeare to Bob Dylan.
Austin trained as an actor in London and worked professionally for more than 10 years on stage and in television. You’ve seen him in the Driftwood Players production of The Drawer Boy and he specializes in performing the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. He also writes poetry and prose and often performs his own compositions.
Concert series instigator Valerie-Anne has enjoyed an extensive performing career in Europe and North America appearing as soloist with several orchestras, including The English String Orchestra. She made her London début at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, has given 20 world premières and collaborated in many master classes with great artists including Jaqueline du Pré. She teaches students from ages six to 86 and plays for services at Living Faith church.
In Canada she is often heard on CBC radio as one half of Gemini with her twin sister. Julie will be performing again with guitarist Paul Pinsonnault in the third of the Do Re Tea series to take place June 27.
Tickets for the May 30 concert that includes tea are $25, available at Swish in Gibsons, the Visitor Information Centre in Sechelt and EarthFair in Madeira Park, at the door, or reserve with Lisa by calling 604-741-9943. A limited number of concert only tickets are also available for $15.
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