LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Fat Lady Makes Fringe Festival Debut!

classical music consort

Classical Music Consort


Acis and Galatea

By George Frideric Handel


July 3-12, 2008 at The Factory Theatre Mainspace


For Immediate Release Toronto, June 16, 2008: The Fat Lady of opera has finally arrived at this years FR!NGE in the form of an ambitious, contemporary production of G.F. Handels erotic pastoral, Acis and Galatea. Torontos Classical Music Consort performs the 1718 tale of love shattered by murderous jealousy on period instruments, along with an international cast of singers, through a web of surreal video projections designed by director Patrick Young. The exciting step of bringing opera to the FR!NGE is a fitting coda to the CMCs first full season. This enterprising young company, founded and lead by artistic director Ashiq Aziz, is establishing the foundations of an accomplished repertoire while aiming to attract a new generation to the resonance and relevance of classical music. Acis and Galatea is unique at this years festival, not only for its captivating music, vocal performances, and visual style, but as a daring conceptual hybrid of the baroque with the unsettlingly modern.

For Acis and Galatea, Mr. Young has created ninety minutes of video material to compliment his staging. Mr. Aziz, who will be conducting, has assembled an impressive cast of ascendant young vocalists from Canada and the U.K. including tenor Tom Macleay as Acis, soprano Rosie Coad as Galatea, tenor John Bacon as Damon, and baritone David Roth as Polyphemus.

The story of Acis and Galatea is recorded in Ovids Metamorphoses, though Handels libretto was written by the poets Alexander Pope, John Gay, and John Hughes. Galatea, a beautiful, immortal wood nymph, falls in love with the young shepherd Acis. But the Cyclops Polyphemus has also fallen in love with Galatea. When she scorns the giants advances, his lust is transformed into a vengeful rage, and he kills his mortal rival, Acis. A mournful Galatea then pleads with the gods of Olympus, who metamorphose Acis into a mountain stream, immortalizing the spirit of her ill-fated lover.

Bringing this fraught tale of desire and rage to the FR!NGE are two Toronto natives, Ashiq Aziz and Patrick Young, who, having moved abroad to pursue their careers, are excited to be returning with this production to their hometown. Since receiving his Masters degree in conducting at the Royal College of Music in London, England, Mr. Aziz divides his time between Toronto and London, where he also conducts the RCMs Bach Consort. From its founding in 2006, the CMC has created a stir with its intelligent, richly interpreted performances of music from the 18th and 19th centuries as well as new works by Canadian composers. Mr. Young has spent the last seven years living and working in New York and South Africa. He studied Literature at Columbia University in New York and has assisted directors Off-Broadway and regionally in the US. His own work, which has been described positively by TimeOut New York as an aggressively weird goulash, is both multi-media and multi-disciplinary, often combining live music, dance, video and text.

This innovative production of Acis and Galatea is sure to stand out at this years FR!NGE, not only as the festivals only opera, but as a contemporary spectacle of love, violence, and desire evoked through transcendent music and arresting images.

What: The Classical Music Consort presents George Frideric Handels

Acis and Galatea

At The Toronto International Fringe Festival
Where: Factory Theatre Mainspace
: 125 Bathurst Street (South of Queen, at Adelaide)
Thursday July 3, 8:15pm; Sunday July 6, 4:45pm; Tuesday July 8, 10:30pm; Thursday July 10, Noon; Saturday July 12, 7:30pm.

Admission: $10, for tickets visit

or call 416-966-1062

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