'So much emotion': Symphony's special concert relives feelings of war

Emotions are expected to run high when Symphony New Brunswick presents a special concert this week that takes the audience on a journey through the years of war.

The show, called Called Canada Comes of Age, features not just the symphony, but actors from Theatre New Brunswick who will read letters written by soldiers to loved ones back home.

The show in part pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, a First World War battle in France that saw Canadians capture Vimy Ridge during four days of intense fighting from April 9 to 12, 1917.

Vera Lynn songs

Contralto Heather Flemming of Rothesay will sing songs made famous by English singer Vera Lynn during the Second World War. She has been studying Lynn's mannerisms and says she hopes to preserve these songs and "rebirth them to a new generation."

"These songs are all new to me and have so much emotion in them, and stories and memories," she said on CBC's Shift. "It's really an emotional event."

Flemming said the songs, such as The White Cliffs of Dover, paint a picture of what it was like as a soldier in the world wars.

"It's not just wishy-washy feelings, it's very descriptive," she said.

"They talk about the war, they talk about the skies, of the planes flying over, of longing, of actually being in the trenches and missing home and saying goodbye to your loved ones — things that are really current but also historic and I find them really intense emotionally."

Performances are Monday night at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, Tuesday at the Playhouse in Fredericton and Wednesday at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John.

Ticket are $42 for adults, $10 for students and there's a special $25 rate for veterans and their families.