Diverse voices. Daring visions. A curated look at dance, drama, design, music, poetry, cinema, song, photography, opera and more. All 21st C. All dazzling. All Canadian. Online, and free. Starting at noon on Friday 1 October. One new entry a day, for a month.
In a potent mixture of Arabic, Spanish, and Sephardic tradition, Osvaldo Golijov’s 2004 song cycle Ayre draws on folk material of 15th century Andalusia, juxtaposing the texts' wide expressive ambit with music full of unexpected detours and lashing eloquence. Here, in an arrangement by Roberto Occhipinti, the Gryphon Trio accompanies the legendary Lebanese-Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil at the 2019 Junofest. Says the composer: "No one owns this piece in the way that Miriam Khalil does. It is as if she was born to sing it."
Says composer Jeffrey Ryan, “From the first moment I heard Jan Zwicky read from her work—richly layered poems that evoke nature, music, and profound distilled emotional moments—I hoped someday to have the chance to set her words to music.” Thanks to a commission from baritone/piano duo Tyler Duncan and Erika Switzer, the composer's desire became reality - and the resulting cycle went on to win the First Prize at the 2021 NATS Art Song Composition Award. Join us in savouring these beautiful songs, performed to perfection by Tyler and Erika. Note: performance begins at 13:06.
Premiered in 2017 at Toronto's Luminato festival, Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef's play King Arthur's Night is now well-travelled, appearing to acclaim at festivals across the country. Centering Down Syndrome in its writing and casting, the play treats Arthurian legend with wonderful whimsy, affording its neurodiverse cast much opportunity for exuberant, hilarious improv - and revealing a true heart for our common humanity.
Starring soprano Robyn Dreidger-Klassen and pianist Terrence Dawson, City Opera Vancouver’s production of Jake Heggie'sAt the Statue of Venus went online in July, drawing high praise from the composer himself: “Wow! What a fabulous performance! She is such a great actress – and he is such a fine pianist. Immensely gratifying to hear the pacing just right – the character and journey captured so perfectly.”
On stage at Ottawa music festival Megaphono in 2018, Indigenous artists Jeremy Dutcher and Melody McKiver took a rapt National Arts Centre audience into the magical world of this time-honored classic by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Listen. You’ll be transported, too.
Violinist, conductor, scholar, and educator Jeanne Lamon was a national and international treasure. Her passing in June of this year left an enormous void; over more than thirty-three years as director of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, it was Jeanne's passionate musicality that shaped and expanded the ensemble, carrying it from strength to strength and establishing it as an internationally revered reservoir of high-calibre talent. Along the way she immersed audiences time and again in the beauties of works both known and lesser-traveled, on occasion even offering up her own arrangements: in this live performance of her transcription of the Ciaccona, from Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004, an impeccable musicianship, intelligence, and warmth are evident at every turn.