Leamington composer's homecoming for Cirque du Soleil's 'Corteo'

Roger Hewett's job requires a lot of travelling, but this time he gets to come home.

The musical director for the show has been there since it started in 2005

Roger Hewett, a composer from Leamington, has been with the Cirque du Soleil Corteo show since 2005. (Flora Pan/CBC)

A Leamington composer is returning to the Windsor-Essex region as Cirque du Soleil's Corteo show comes to the WFCU Centre this week.

Roger Hewett, the musical director and keyboardist, has been with Corteo since it started in 2005. He has written pieces of music for the show along with a number of other composers.

"As the show has developed over the years, I feel I have also developed as a musician and as a person," he said. While it has been 14 years, much of the musical score remains unchanged.

He conducts the band during each show. For Hewett, his favourite moments are when he's able to take his eyes off the stage to watch the audience.

"Some moments bring a lump to my throat every time I see it, especially when I hear the response of the audience," said Hewett.

The Corteo show will be playing in Windsor for a week before going to Hamilton. (Flora Pan/CBC)

A piece of advice he would offer for other classical musicians starting out is for them to become comfortable with basic theory.

That has helped him in cases where a band needs to adjust on the fly while they perform, in order to coordinate with what is happening on stage.

"Nightly, that's what keeps it interesting," said Hewett.

"It's an organic show. Jugglers are going to drop, somebody's going to fall somewhere. The music just keeps going seamlessly so yeah, it's all a part of the show. That's what we do."

Cirque du Soleil is playing at the WFCU Centre until May 19. (Flora Pan/CBC)

Hewett said the younger folks can sometimes have a leg up in the industry because of their ability to pick up new technology in music quickly.

Corteo is playing at Windsor's WFCU Centre from May 15 to May 19.

After the week in Windsor, Hewett and the crew will be headed to Hamilton.

Hewett is the musical director and keyboardist for the Corteo show. He conducts the band during the performance. (Flora Pan/CBC)

With files from Flora Pan


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