Vivace, with Gabriel Macdonald third from left. Photo submitted

Gabriel Macdonald to perform at Capitol Theatre

Vocal quartet Vivace includes singer who grew up in Nelson

When Gabriel Macdonald was 12 years old, performing in the Capitol Theatre Summer Youth production of Les Misérables, he recalls local theatre teacher and director Heather Shippit taking him aside and saying, “Just so you know, you could actually do this for a career.”

“I had been told that before,” Macdonald, 23, says. “But that was the first time it really dropped for me.”

Since then he’s been working on it.

On Dec. 5 he will perform at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson as part of the vocal quartet Vivace, which travels the continent from its base in Vancouver.

Macdonald says the group brings “a pop flair to classical songs and a classical flair to pop songs.”

He has struggled with genre, he says. What kind of singer is he, exactly?

“I would probably say I’m a musical theatre singer. I have a musical theatre voice, specifically directed toward the more classical in the musical theatre genre. It is hard to find a genre that you fit in, but [Vivace] is a crossroads where the two things meet.”

After Les Misérables, while still in high school, he performed in Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carmina Burana — mostly in lead roles — as well as in big solo spots in Corazón.

Right after high school, Macdonald did three years at the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) in Victoria, then moved to Vancouver as a freelance actor and singer, then back to Victoria for a stint working with people with disabilities while going to auditions and performing.

A couple of summers during that period he returned to Nelson for theatre productions produced by Richard Rowberry. Then, about a year and a half ago, came a successful audition with Vivace. The group’s trip to Nelson in December will be Macdonald’s first performance in Nelson that was not produced here.

“It’s fantastic, so cool to bring this thing I am very proud of to a town I am very proud of having grown up in. I could not think of a better place to grow up, to foster creativity.

“Having that [Capitol Theatre] summer theatre program as a venue for everything, that was monumental in shaping my love for theatre. I don’t know that I would be in this field to the degree that I am without that program.”

Then there’s the powerful influence of his parents, who just happen to be Allison Girvan and Don Macdonald, luminaries at the centre of music and theatre in Nelson.

“Even after moving away, my two hugest influences are still both my parents,” he says. “I had fantastic teachers at CCPA, but if I ever have a music question or a career advice question, I talk to my mom and dad.”

As for the music Vivace will sing for the Nelson audience, the songs “are a mix of classic Christmas songs done in four-part harmony, with some songs from our upcoming album, one of my favourites being an extremely beautiful arrangement of Ave Maria, and then some classics. We are doing Nessun Dorma, and other classic arias.”

Vivace performs at the Capitol Theatre on Dec. 5 at 7:30 as part of this year’s Nelson Overture Concerts series. Tickets are $27.50 but free for students 18 and under, and can be purchased at the Capitol Theatre box office or online at www.capitoltheatre.bc.ca.

Just Posted

Former Esso site on Nelson Avenue to be sold

Imperial Oil says remediation work is underway

Nelson police remove impaired drivers during weekend blitz

Seven people lost their licences and had their cars impounded

Leo Grypma advances to next round of CrossFit Games qualifying

The Power By You coach finished 62nd out of 26,000 people in his age division at the Open

Nelson seniors take the chill out of winter with home energy upgrades

Over 100 seniors have signed up for free energy efficiency installations

Campbell scores hat trick as Leafs hammer Border Bruins

Nelson’s 10-1 win over Grand Forks is its third straight victory

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read