You’d think the world would have had enough of silly love songs.
But Rick Kvam knows better.
Every year, Kvam, founder and director of Rochester’s Choral Arts Ensemble, selects songs about love and romance to be performed at the ensemble’s “A Singing Valentine” fund-raising event.
“Over the years, we’ve built up a repertoire list of what is possible and what works well,” Kvam said.
It’s more difficult than you might think. Most love songs that come to mind were not written for choirs.
“A lot of pieces are for soloists,” Kvam said. Think Sinatra or Tony Bennett singing the classic romantic songs, or any number of Broadway performers stepping out front to solo on a musical’s signature love song.
“It’s hard to find something that will really sound great for a choir,” Kvam said. But he does find a few every year for this event.
For this year’s “A Singing Valentine,” which is Saturday night at the Rochester International Event Center, Kvam has selected songs of romance from the movies, including “Somewhere” from “West Side Story,” “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid,” “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca,” and for humorous relief, “Nothing Like a Dame” from “South Pacific.”
“It’s a night where we mingle some love poetry and sonnets, with serious songs and some light-hearted ones,” Kvam said. “We do some goofy stuff we could never do.”
If you’re looking for a last-minute Valentine event, Kvam said, “It’s a great date night: dinner and a show and dancing.” Tickets are $100, available by phone at 507-252-8427, or online at choralartsensemble.org.
Music is only one of possible Valentine’s Day gifts. But as long as we’re on the subject, let’s start with a couple of Valentine ideas for the music-lover:
— Robby Vee will present “Vee for Valentine” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the State Theatre in Zumbrota. He’ll be backed by his Rock ‘n’ Roll Caravan, which includes the Strings & Things violin section. It’s a rockabilly salute to romance. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 the day of the show, through Crossings, 507-732-7616.
— Radoslav Lorkovic, a brilliant piano-player and singer, returns to the Oak Center General Store promising to play Valentine music at 8 p.m. Saturday. You might still be able to snag a ticket ($15) by calling 507-753-2080.
For the Valentine who loves drama:
— Brave Community Theater of Spring Valley is presenting a Valentine’s weekend romantic-musical-comedy-mystery Friday through Sunday. It’s a dinner theater for the performances at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday ($32.50), and a dessert matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday ($19 adults, $15 seniors and students). For tickets, go to bctsvmnticketleap.com.
— There’s a whole lot of love and laughs in Rochester Civic Theatre‘s Valentine offering, “Almost, Maine,” which will be presented today through Saturday. Tickets are 507-282-8481.
— Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro is reviving the touching love story “Outside Mullingar” for performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $35 at 800-657-7025.
For the active Valentine:
— Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester hosts a Valentine’s Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe event from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. Try the trails (equipment will be provided), then warm up by the fire, where champagne and treats will be served. Must be 21 to attend, and registration is required at 507-328-3950.
For the road-trip Valentine
— OK, it’s not a road trip to a warmer climate, but the Rochester Trolley & Tour Company‘s Romantic City Lights & Water Tour promises to make up in romance what it lacks in distance. While serenaded by romantic music, you’ll ride along some of the city’s best skyline, historic and waterside views, all lit by wintertime evening lights. Tours last 75 minutes and are at 9 p.m. Friday and 8:15 p.m. Saturday. Reservations are $15 per person at 507-421-0573.
For the movie-going Valentine
— “Pride and Prejudice” is one of the classic films about love, and it’s probably already in your DVD collection. But for a new twist on the old favorite, there’s the just-released “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Doesn’t sound very romantic? Then maybe “The Choice,” one of those Nicholas Sparks love stories, will do the trick. Both films are playing on local screens.
For the bookworm Valentine
—It all starts and ends with Erich Segal’s “Love Story,” right? The book, which became a highly popular film, was published in 1970 on, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day.