Symphony gears up for ‘Crooner Mania!’

Kicking off the New Year in polished, classic ‘crooner’ style, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents Crooner Mania! Jan. 19 on the Arts Centre mainstage.

Calgary singer Michael Hope will be teaming up with the RDSO for the performance, which begins at 8 p.m. No stranger to local audiences, Hope performed several years ago with the RDSO for a couple of Christmas symphonies as well.

Classic tunes for Crooner Mania! will run the gamut from In the Still of the Night, Stardust, Begin the Beguine and Mack to Knife to Fever, Send in the Clowns and The Impossible Dream.

With his rich baritone voice, Hope, known for his versatility, is well-suited to this type of music. Some of the cuts he’ll be performing in Red Deer have appeared on past CDs including The Quintessential Cole Porter and Bewitched.

Over the years, he has captivated and charmed audiences in both Canada and the United States. He first gained international recognition as the first prizewinner in the 1988 CMC International Stepping Stones Competition.

Since then he has appeared with virtually every Canadian orchestra plus many symphonies in the U.S.

A distinguished recording artist, his CD of inspirational songs called Amazing Grace received a 2009 Covenant Award Nomination for Classical/Traditional Album of the Year. His Christmas CD, Silent Night made the Calgary Herald’s Top 10 Holiday CD list, and his other hit records What A Wonderful World and the aforementioned The Quintessential Cole Porter and Bewitched have also landed critical acclaim. 

He was recently featured as a soloist in the television production Whole Notes which is regularly broadcast nationally on the Bravo! and PBS television networks.

He was also featured in a series of television commercials produced for the Alberta Human Rights Commission’s ‘Help Make A Difference’ initiative.

A native of Toronto, Hope is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute Of Music in Philadelphia. He holds the position of second bassoonist in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Meanwhile, next up for the RDSO after Crooner Mania! is Museum of Curiosities which features compositions by R. Murray Schafer (Concerto for Harpsichord and Eight Instruments) and Josef Schelb (Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Chamber Ensemble.) The concert, which wraps up with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, is set for March 16 on the Arts Centre mainstage as well.

For tickets to RDSO performances or more information about the season, call the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626 or visit