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Ken Lavigne's Snowballs & Mistletoe, with special guests Festival Brass and singer Kristina Helene

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Friday, December 9th, 2022
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

It's not often that you can get hit in the face with a snowball only to be carried away on a musical journey with one of Canada's most celebrated tenors. Ken Lavigne's Snowballs & Mistletoe, with special guests Festival Brass and singer Kristina Helene takes place at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 9th at the Port Theatre Ken Lavigne was a founding member of The Canadian Tenors and co-founded the successful tenor trio Romanza, which toured throughout Canada and the United States, presenting hundreds of concerts. On Friday, December 9th, at Nanaimo's Port Theatre, Ken will celebrate the joy of the season with new takes on established favourites in Snowballs & Mistletoe with special guest, Festive Brass and singer Kristina Helene.  


"There are some practical things that have happened over the past couple of years that have changed my outlook," he says from his home in Chemainus, BC. "I think I was operating with a baseline of performer anxiety that probably was unhealthy, and it was probably wearing on me more than I was willing to admit or let on. We were forced to stop and recalibrate when everything kind of stopped due to the pandemic."


For Ken, recalibration meant transitioning to an online existence, which we can relate to in various ways. "I started giving online singing lessons and coaching for people interested in improving their ability and learning more about their voice from all levels," he says. "It's been wonderful to be part of that process, to be part of someone else's vocal journey as they try and learn some of the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of their own voice. It's a new, fresh perspective."Ken's recent foray into vocal coaching quickly morphed into a 'you don't know what you don't know', and he appreciated these newly discovered unknowns. By researching how to verbally articulate an art form he's excelled at and dedicated his life to, he found entry points into his classical approach that weren't visible before. "It's been eye-opening because now that I can articulate it in a much more coherent way, as opposed to something very intuitive. I have always felt my way through based on a very classical school of thought. As I began to teach students who were interested in other ways of singing, I began to look at a whole world of vocal techniques that are exciting and interesting and dynamic - things that I hadn't encountered before. It's a wonderful position to be in." Ken has been working through new vocal techniques that fall into the genre of "sublime extended vocal techniques - subharmonics, extended falsetto and whistle tone.


  This growth and new-found insight into a genre that has already been mastered can only result in a more dynamic experience for live audiences. "They are sort of tricks your voice can do that are outside of classical techniques," he says. "These are things I haven't encountered before, which is a great position to be in. I can now bring this to my audience and take them on an even more dynamic vocal journey. That's very attractive to me." Familiar songs such as Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, for example, can be explored with more emotional depth than before. It's a perspective audiences will experience first-hand on December 9th. 


Ken looks forward to performing for a "home-town" Vancouver Island crowd. There's a shared congruence of thoughts and context of life. While Ken recognizes letting go of the potential for "social catastrophe" that is always present when performing for live audiences, he embraces being the best version of himself. He's known for his charm, something he says stems from an ability to be vulnerable while creating a space to experience poignant moments with the audience, no matter where it might be.


Bringing voice to the holiday season, Ken will treat audiences to classical favourites such as Jingle Bells, Let It Snow, Adeste Fideles and O Holy Night. In addition, Ken will share a new arrangement of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, adding drama and intensity with cinematic scope to the heartfelt urgency of the piece.Ken has performed all over North America, including his New York Debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in 2009 with the New York Pops Orchestra. He received three standing ovations. But there weren't any snowballs.  "I've got to tell you", Ken says, holding up a fluffy white ball. "I started out with 2300 snowballs, and I have a lot fewer of them now.”


Ken Lavigne's Snowballs & Mistletoe, with special guests Festival Brass and singer Kristina Helene takes place at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 9th at the Port Theatre, 250-754-8550. www.porttheatre.com

Cost: Adult: $$38 to $62
Category: Arts | Entertainment
Concerts | Music
    Classical
    Jazz
    World
Everything Else
    Community
Location: Port Theatre Nanaimo
125 Front Street, Nanaimo
This event is for Everyone
More Info: Kimberly Plumley
[email protected]
250-390-9285
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