29 January 2015
The Creation of a One-of-a-Kind Production for Young Audiences
With our new show, Platypus Theatre takes on a whole new world of exciting classical music: the sounds of Latin America! Our productions have always involved the audience in meaningful ways, but Presto, Mambo! takes audience participation to new heights with concert-goers singing, creating rhythms and even dancing to the thrilling beats.
Introducing kids to classical music from the world’s most well-known composers like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart is important and continues to be a big part of what we do, but in today’s global community we would miss an opportunity if we didn’t include the artistry of more diverse cultures. Presto, Mambo! showcases a spicier selection of repertoire to get young audiences out of their seats and interacting with some incredible music from the southern hemisphere.
A show like this doesn’t happen overnight. It all started more than three years ago during a flight home from a tour of Northern Ontario when Platypus artistic director Peter Duschenes and conductor/composer Alain Trudel hatched a plan to explore classical music from diverse cultures. From there, four of Canada’s great orchestras joined forces to co-commission the first of these projects: the creation of a Latin-themed show for young audiences. Right from the start, this show was destined to be something special, and it’s been an honour to have the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra support this groundbreaking new production.
Of course you need more than just a great idea to create a show. You need engaging characters, good repertoire that a wide variety of audiences will connect with, and a story that works on many levels. All of these aspects have morphed and evolved throughout the creative journey. Even the title has changed. In this inaugural year, Presto, Mambo! is known as Latin Beats! Heroic Feats!
Besides the unique repertoire and Latin American instruments, this is the first Platypus Theatre production where the main character is a boy. In Presto, Mambo! we introduce Max, a hilarious child who has a passion for music which - through his encounters with the vibrant culture and music of the Americas - he learns to harness to create beauty and bring people together in community.
Presto, Mambo! premieres on February 8 in Vancouver, then moves to Edmonton for February 21, and Ottawa on February 24. Toronto audiences can enjoy the show in May, which coincides nicely with the kick off for the Pan Am Games. The show closes out its season with a return to the National Arts Centre for two family concerts on June 6th. Come out and see a show in a city near you.
Presto, Mambo! is available for booking for the 2015/16 season, so contact us today to bring this rhythmic and interactive show to your young audiences.