LSM Newswire

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To the Sea in Ships

Songs and stories of sailors, adventurers and fishers the world over
Tuesday, February 9, 2010, at 8 pm
Wednesday, February 10, 2010, at 8 pm

Trinity St. Pauls Centre

For Immediate Release Toronto, January 13, 2010: Torontos Talisker Players return to Trinity St. Pauls Centre on Tuesday & Wednesday, February 9 and 10 with To the Sea in Ships. Offering concert-goers an escape from Toronto in winter to adventure on the high seas, this is an evening of music about sea-faring from across the ages and around the world. Mezzo-soprano Vicki St. Pierre, tenor Keith Klassen and baritone Alexander Dobson are the renowned guest artists joining the instrumentalists of Talisker Players.

The programme starts with British composer John Ireland's setting of the famous John Masefield poem, Sea Fever ("I must down to the sea again / To the lonely sea and the sky") for baritone and piano.  It also features Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe's evocative Island Dreaming, for mezzo soprano and string quartet, and American Lee Hoiby's Bermudas, a gorgeous setting of a poem by Andrew Marvell about the first British sailors to come upon the Caribbean islands, for tenor, baritone and piano quartet.

The Talisker Players have a strong commissioning programme, and always take pride in featuring Canadian composers.  To the Sea in Ships features the premiere of a new work by the promising young Toronto composer Juliet Hess. The Mariner's Albatross is a setting of an excerpt from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the famous narrative poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, for an unusual combination of tenor, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and double bass.  The evening also includes Sir Ernest MacMillan's rollicking setting of Three French Canadian Sea Songs, for baritone and string quintet. As always, this Talisker Players production includes the spoken word.  Readings will be from the great seafaring classic Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana.

Vicki St. Pierres lush voice is both dark and brilliant, an unusual combination. Still at the beginning of her career, she has distinguished herself in a wide variety of styles and genres. An acclaimed interpreter of early music, she is also at ease on the opera stage, and is in great demand as an oratorio and recital artist.  

Tenor Keith Klassen has emerged as one of Canada's busiest and most versatile tenors. His voice has been described as "pure honey, with its ease of high notes and lyrical grace of phrasing", and his acting as passionate and dramatically convincing. He is a member of the studio company of Tapestry New Opera Works, and has appeared in numerous workshops and premieres. Keith is also a sought-after oratorio singer, and has performed across Canada and abroad.

The British-Canadian baritone Alexander Dobson has been praised for his musicality and dramatic awareness on the opera, concert and recital stage. Recent highlights include his portrayal of Wozzeck conducted by Yannick Nzet-Sguin in Montreal, a performance lauded for his "gripping embodiment of Wozzeck", which he later reprised at the Orford Festival, and debuts at Covent Garden (U.K.) and New Yorks Bard Festival. Alexander is also a noted performer of new music; he has premiered several roles with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Tapestry New Opera and Toronto Masque Theatre.

To the Sea in Ships
 Songs and stories of adventure on the high seas
Tuesday & Wednesday, February 9 & 10, 2010, 8 PM
Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West
Vicki St. Pierre, mezzo soprano; Keith Klassen, tenor; Alexander Dobson, baritone; The Talisker Players

TICKETS:  $30 / $20 (seniors) / $10 (students)

Tel: 416-978-8849
Information: 416-466-1800

Talisker Players Chamber Music offers one of the most imaginative and exciting concert series in Toronto. In collaboration with some of Canadas finest young singers, Talisker Players present the rarely-heard repertoire for voice and chamber ensemble. Their unique programming includes readings that illuminate the music and delight audiences with a stimulating, theatrical concert experience. The music, engaging and varied, includes both celebrated works and unknown gems from all styles and periods, with a strong presence of Canadian compositions.

Upcoming: Illuminations
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 & Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8 pm
A window on the world of mystics, visionaries and seers
Featuring Meredith Hall, soprano; Lawrence Wiliford, tenor



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