WhatsUp Interview: Resident Conductor Francisco Noya of RIPO Backing Indigo Girls October 10th at PPAC

Folk-Rock Duo Performing with Orchestra

The multi Grammy Award-winning duo Indigo Girls are returning to Providence October 10th with an unlikely “backing band” – the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. 

The duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers has achieved major success since the late 80’s with heartfelt lyrics and catchy melodies. With over 14 million albums sold, they are the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s. They’ve also toured and recorded separately, with Ray appearing this summer with her band at the Newport Folk Festival.

The Indigo Girls

Although the orchestra tour is unique, it’s actually not the first time the band has played with the Philharmonic. They thrilled the PPAC audience in 2015 on their first orchestra tour. Since then, they’ve played dozens of dates around the world with other local symphonies.  

We caught up with Venezuela native and RIPO Resident Conductor Francisco Noya last week as he prepared for the show. Noya is a busy man, on the fauclty of the Berklee School of Music and Music Director & Conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony as well as Music Director of the New Philharmonia in Newton, MA. 

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He’s looking forward to the show noting “It’s very enjoyable working with them, this is going to be my third collaboration with the Girls.” We asked about the process of merging the music of touring folk/rock musicians with a 70-piece symphony orchestra.

Noya explained, “We are a consummate professional orchestra. Of course, the musicians get the music ahead of time, we’ll have one rehearsal with them that afternoon. Everybody’s prepared well in advance, we go over the numbers making sure that we have the right tempo and the right feel for the music. We do a sound check as well; its a multi-purpose rehearsal.”

He continued, “The Girls have performed these charts all over the world, in fact I did a show last year with them in Boston. They have worked through the years with several orchestrators.”

Noya had one piece of advice… “If you don’t have your tickets yet, you better hurry because they sell out. The Girls are very popular and people drive from all over to the show.”

A few tickets for the October 10th show are available starting at $24. The concert begins at 7:30PM. For tickets and further details on the show, head to the PPAC website here.