Smithers-based Valley Youth Fiddlers stop in Oak Bay during a tour across BC with their latest musical theatre spectacle, Alaria’s Fiddle. The show is a modern fable set to a music written and arranged by master fiddlers from across Canada.
Alaria’s Fiddle is about a young girl who lives with her mother in an isolated island lighthouse on Canada’s west coast. With little to do but play her fiddle over the marine radio to the passing fishing fleet, Alaria makes a plea to the wide world for music to play by sending a thousand requests for music in bottles that she casts into the ocean. In time, she receives gifts of music from across the globe.
One night a terrible storm catches the fishing fleet just beyond the island, and Alaria’s mother tries to rescue a foundered vessel. Alaria climbs to the top of the lighthouse to play the fleet back home, but the storm is too strong. Is Alaria’s mother lost at sea? Can Alaria guide the storm-ravaged ships to safety? These questions are resolved in the second half of the performance.
Written by Patrick Williston, Alaria’s Fiddle is brought to life by a music score composed and arranged specifically for the production and performed by the Valley Youth Fiddlers. The tale is animated by artist Facundo Gastiazoro.
The Fiddlers are an ensemble of more than 80 musicians, ranging in age of 6 to more than 60, and has been performing fiddle tunes for the past 20 years under the musical direction of Leslie-Jean MacMillan. The group has played to acclaim at music festivals in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and Smithers, has several recordings, and co-created A Fiddle History of Canada—a show performed by ensembles across the country.
Alaria’s Fiddle is performed at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High School on Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for children, students and seniors, and are available at the door or at Long & McQuade. A short trailer for the performance can be seen online at vallyyouthfiddlers.com.