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Snap up half-price tickets for Villains and Valkyries: a family friendly Halloween-themed night with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. What a wonderful way to introduce the younger community to the Symphony!

This October the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Opera will join to present a very special Halloween themed performance. Titled Villains and Valkyries, this family-friendly orchestral journey explores themes beloved by famous German composer Richard Wagner.

This promises to be a fun evening where young audience members are very much encouraged to bring their horned helmets and fairy wings!

Pacific Opera

Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith, the associate conductor for the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra will oversee bringing Wagner’s most formidable heroes and villains to musical life.

“The music represents a cast of colourful characters, including nine Valkyries, daughters of the god Wotan who have the task of bringing heroes who have died in battle to the gods’ mighty hall, Valhalla. There’s also the doomed captain of the ghost ship the Flying Dutchman, but I would say our biggest villain is definitely Scarpia, The Chief of Police in Puccini’s opera ’Tosca’,” she says.

When asked what makes this evening more family-friendly than most operatic performances tend to be, Dr Penicka-Smith says, “Going to an opera is generally a big event, so a concert that highlights some of the best-known operatic moments is a great way to give newcomers a taste of the different moods and sounds that are part of this world.”

“Opera plots can also be complicated! In this concert, all you need is your imagination.”

Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith

As mentioned, younger audience members are most welcome, and dress ups are highly encouraged. The concert will also feature the work of some of Wagner’s contemporaries such as Puccini and Weber, as well as two Australian composers, Daniel Rojas and Peggy Glanville-Hicks. Daniel is particularly excited about the event.

“I am most looking forward to the musical embodiment of the theme of Halloween; for which Latin America has a vibrant tradition in the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, usually 1-2 November),” he says. “Our imaginations and emotions can run wild throughout this concert, which promises to be entertaining, a little spooky, and fun!”

Daniel will be performing the world premier of his latest piece ‘Romanza y Danza de los Muertos’ (Romance and Dance of the Dead) a world that he describes as a “musical narrative conjuring the ghosts of legendary star-crossed lovers …the piece imagines the lovers joyously reuniting in the afterlife.”

Yerim Lee and Daniel Rojas. Image: Ruari Campbell

He will play the piece with Yerim Lee, whom he praises as “a formidable collaborative pianist”.

“Audiences don’t often get to see two piano soloists sitting at the one piano, with an orchestra – there’s the added detail of making sure we don’t bump into each other along the keyboard!” he says.

Dr Penicka-Smith, encourages anyone considering the event to grab a ticket for themselves and their family and not miss out on a wonderful evening.

“Part of our role as a community orchestra is to help our community find their way in to the magical world of classical music, and that’s why we’re offering you this little tasting plate of Wagner and his contemporaries – so you can make the most out of all the other wonderful musical opportunities around Australia right now.”

Special Half-Price Ticket Deal:

Please click here for your exclusive link for the Villains and Valkyries Saturday concert with 50% discount!


Villains and Valkyries

Location: The Concourse Concert Hall, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood

When: Saturday 14 October 7pm – 9:30pm & Sunday 15 October 2pm – 4:30pm

Pre-concert talks by Michael Field to be held one hour before each show.

Ticket Prices: Adult $57, Concession $52, Youth 16-26 years $26, Child 5-16 $15.30

Bookings available: please click here for half-price tickets to the Saturday performance, or here for the Sunday performance 

For more information visit the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra website