LSM Newswire

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CCOC in two COC productions this spring


Canadian Children's Opera Company
to appear with the
Canadian Opera Company this Spring!

The Canadian Children's Opera Company (CCOC) has already enjoyed a very full 2008/09 season. In addition to a number of Christmas concerts and their own production of A Dickens of a Christmas at the Enwave Theatre, they also participated in three Toronto Symphony Orchestra concerts. And they are just getting started . . .

Next on the schedule for these tremendously busy and talented young singers are two productions with the Canadian Opera Company: Giacomo Puccini's La bohł«me, which will run from April 17 to May 24, and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing from May 5 to 23. Both productions take place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Puccini's ever-popular La bohł«me is a staple for every opera company and is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world. Twenty of the CCOC choristers will make their appearance in Act 2, as a great crowd gathers and the children clamour to see the wares of Parpignol, the toy seller.

Adapted from Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, the opera of the same name is perhaps Britten's most enchanting work. It is full of beautifully crafted, dreamlike and atmospheric music. The chorus of 20 fairies, all of whom will be supplied by the CCOC, has a huge part in this opera, appearing at the very beginning during the opening scene, all the way until the very end. Four choristers will also have solo parts (Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and Peaseblossom) and play musical instruments (2 recorders, woodblocks, and cymbals) on stage.

Being a part of the CCOC requires enormous commitment from the young singers, but nothing can compare to the thrill of being on stage for a major, full-scale production!

The Canadian Children's Opera Company, led by Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay, is one of the world's few children's opera companies. The CCOC commissions, produces, records, and tours new operas and choral music, with children as principal performers. The company also regularly collaborates with other leading arts organizations and prominent individual performers, conductors, and directors. The Company contains six divisions, with over 200 children, and youth of ages 5 to 19. The newest division, OPERAtion Kids, is a non-auditioned program for ages 8-13.

Canadian Children's Opera Company and the COC
La bohł«me - April 17 to May 24, 2009
A Midsummer Night's Dream - May 5 to May 23, 2009
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
145 Queen Street West, Toronto
Tickets available online at www.coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231,
or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office

Special young people's tickets $30 to $109
(15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult)

Beginning Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 10am, $20 tickets are available for patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 through the Opera for a New Age program
Valid photo ID is required upon pickup

Regular ticket prices range from $60 to $315

For more information, long on to www.canadianchildrensopera.com

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Monday, March 9, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream at the COC

NEW PRODUCTION OF SHAKESPEAREĺ─˘S A MIDSUMMER NIGHTĺ─˘S Dream CLOSES THE cocĺ─˘S 2008/09 SEASON

Toronto, Ontario ĺ─ý Closing the 2008/09 season is the COC premiere of Benjamin Brittenĺ─˘s adaptation of William Shakespeareĺ─˘s enchanting play A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream. Making his COC debut is renowned American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo, ĺ─˙a countertenor of gorgeous tone and superb controlĺ─¨ (New York Times), with the illustrious American coloratura soprano Laura Claycomb, known to COC audiences for her portrayal of Gilda in 2004ĺ─˘s Rigoletto. Leading the COC Orchestra and Canadian Childrenĺ─˘s Opera Company is internationally-renowned conductor and former music director of the Kansas City Symphony Anne Manson. This COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago is directed by Neil Armfield, a Dora Mavor Moore Award winner for 2001ĺ─˘s Billy Budd. A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream runs May 5, 8, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, and 23, 2009 and is sung in English with English SURTITLESĺĐó.

In an Athenian forest during a midsummerĺ─˘s night, four lovers and a bumbling group of amateur actors find themselves at the mercy of fairies as the fairy and mortal worlds collide. Lawrence Zazzo is Oberon, king of the fairies, and his queen, Tytania, is sung by Laura Claycomb, who recently sang the role in Houston. Irish soprano Giselle Allen, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, and Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, Don Alfonso in the 2006 production of CosłĘ fan tutte, return as the mismatched couple Demetrius and Helena. American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong makes her COC debut as Hermia, and Ensemble tenor Adam Luther is Lysander, Hermiaĺ─˘s lover. COC favourite, bass Robert Pomakov, who last appeared in both Don Giovanni and War and Peace is the irresistible Bottom. Former Ensemble bass Robert Gleadow, who also sings Colline in La Bohł«me this season, is Theseus, the Duke of Athens. His betrothed Hippolyta is sung by COC newcomer, mezzo-soprano Kelly Oĺ─˘Connor. Bass-baritone Thomas Goerz, BenołĂt in La Bohł«me, is Quince, and Ensemble graduate tenor Lawrence Wiliford is Flute. Ensemble members, bass Michael Uloth is Snug, tenor Michael Barrett is Snout, and baritone Alexander Hajek is Starveling. Actor Jamaal Grant appears as Oberonĺ─˘s servant Puck. Making their company debuts creating the magical landscape are Australian set and costume designer

Dale Ferguson and lighting designer Damien Cooper.

To celebrate the 1960 reopening of the Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh, Benjamin Britten wanted to compose a new opera, but with little time to write a new libretto, Britten chose to adapt Shakespeareĺ─˘s

A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream with the help of his long-time partner and celebrated tenor Peter Pears. With several alterations, it is still loyal to the spirit of the original, and is one of the most successful operatic adaptations of a Shakespeare play.

Tickets for A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream are available online at www.coc.ca, or by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Ticket prices for all performances range from $60 to $290. Special young peopleĺ─˘s tickets for all performances throughout the season are priced from $30 to $98. These ticket prices apply to those who are 15 years of age or under, accompanied by and sitting next to an adult.

Starting Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 10 a.m., $20 tickets are available for patrons between the ages of 16 and 29 through the Opera for a New Age program presented by TD Bank Financial Group and may be purchased online at www.coc.ca or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Student group tickets are $20 per student and may be purchased by calling 416-306-2356. Remaining Opera for a New Age tickets will be released as $20 rush seats at 11 a.m. the morning of the performance, subject to availability.

Presenting Sponsor of SURTITLESłž: Sun Life Financial

Official Automotive Sponsor of the COC at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts:

Jaguar Land Rover Canada

Official Media Sponsors: CTV and The Globe and Mail

The COC Ensemble Studio is Canadaĺ─˘s premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Financial Group, and other generous donors.

COC ANCILLARY EVENTS AND INFORMATION:

BMO Financial Group Pre-Performance Opera Chats

The COC offers free 20-minute introductions to the opera and its theme in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 45 minutes prior to every performance.

Appetite for Opera: A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream

Appetite for Opera returns to Hilton Torontoĺ─˘s Tundra Restaurant on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 for Appetite for Opera: A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream, an evening that combines the cultural and culinary arts in an innovative gourmet event designed to delight and intrigue opera novices and seasoned fans. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:15 p.m. followed by a multi-course dinner at 7 p.m. and costs $89 per person. Each course is accompanied by a specially chosen wine, while COC Volunteer Speakers Bureau representative Robert Morassutti and the Hilton chef Kreg Graham provide fascinating links and insights between food, wine, and opera. Ticket and dinner packages can be purchased online at www.coc.ca.

Opera 101: A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream

The Canadian Opera Companyĺ─˘s popular FREE series, Opera 101, takes an enthusiastic look at

the COCĺ─˘s production of Brittenĺ─˘s A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream, on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at

7:30 p.m. Held at the culturally eclectic Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. W.), the event is designed to demystify opera by illuminating and illustrating different aspects of the art form. The session, including a question-and-answer period, features special guest, conductor Anne Mason, and host Brent Bambury from CBC Radioĺ─˘s GO!. Opera 101 is a friendly, interactive, and informal event where opera neophytes can enjoy a drink and snacks and get the scoop on what opera is all about. New this season, audience members are invited to stick around following the discussion to enjoy FREE, live entertainment.

The Opera Exchange

The Canadian Opera Company, in collaboration with the Jackman Humanities Institute, the Munk Centre for International Studies, and the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, presents the last instalment

of the Opera Exchange series: Antique Fables and Fairy Toys: Brittenĺ─˘s A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream, held on Saturday, May 9, 2009 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The half-day symposium highlights the music in Benjamin Brittenĺ─˘s transformation of William Shakespeareĺ─˘s A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream. Topics include: Shakespeareĺ─˘s romantic comedy and the adaptationĺ─˘s libretto and musical setting; the opera in the context of Brittenĺ─˘s life and work; and, a performance-based workshop that explores the critical approaches to the music of Benjamin Britten. The Opera Exchange series: Antique Fables and Fairy Toys: Brittenĺ─˘s A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream takes place at Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, The Faculty of Music, 80 Queenĺ─˘s Park (at Museum subway station). Tickets are available by calling 416-363-8231, online at www.coc.ca, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W., Toronto). Tickets for the half-day session are $15, $10 for U of T faculty, $5 for students (with ID).

Canadian Opera Company Podcast Series

The Canadian Opera Company and Universal Music present a FREE podcast series that explores the depths of music in opera. Podcasts are available on www.coc.ca or through Universal Music at www.getmusic.ca/classical. A Midsummer Nightĺ─˘s Dream-themed podcasts will be online starting in March 2009. These are entertaining programs designed to give listeners a chance to learn about opera, COC productions, and hear interviews from the artists and creative team. Throughout the year, listeners can tune in to hear music from the COCĺ─˘s 2008/09 season, roundtable discussions with special artists, as well as preview operas in the COCĺ─˘s 2009/10 season. Each podcast is created and hosted by COC personnel.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America, and has an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. The COC currently enjoys a remarkable 99% attendance rate for its mainstage season. The companyĺ─˘s new home, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. and is Canadaĺ─˘s first purpose-built opera house. The contemporary expression of a traditional five-tiered, European horseshoe-shaped auditorium was specifically designed for opera with the highest level of acoustics and provides unparalleled intimacy between the audience and the stage. Acclaimed as one of the best opera houses in the world, the Four Seasons Centre is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.

Canadian Opera Company Website

The Canadian Opera Company website, at www.coc.ca, contains information on all productions including synopses, historical background, and production photographs.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Evenement theatrale en aglais OTHELLO de Productions Persephone au Musee McCord

Persephone Productions

prłęsentent

OTHELLO

par William Shakespeare

mise en scł«ne Gabrielle Soskin

La tragłędie intemporelle de Shakespeare s'illustre la puissance dłęvastatrice des mots de manoeuvrer, la persuade, et la dłętruit finalement.


Othello, un noble amarrent, un hłęros militaire, est attrapłę en toile d'araignłęe terrifiante de dłęception dans ce travail passionnant par Shakespeare. Ce jeu dłęborde avec des łęmotions inquiłętantes et contradictoires de l'amour et la haine, la jalousie et l'ambition, le dłęsir sexuel et l'intłęgritłę individuelle, car les caractł«res luttent contre les forces qui les małĂtrisent.


HORAIRES : Du 13 au 29 novembre 20H 00

Matinłęes de la semaine : Le 14, 17, 19, 20, 24 & 26 nov. 13H 00
Matinłęes de dimanche : Le 16 et 23 novembre 14H 00


coł¬t de billets :

Adultes 26$
Groupes
(10 ou plus) 20$
łăge d'or/łętudiants 18$
Groupes d'łętudiants 17,50$
Members de QDF 18$


McCord Museum : 690, rue Sherbrooke ouest

Thłęłótre J. Armand Bombardier

BILLETTERIE : (514) 398 - 7100 poste 234

SITE WEB : www.persephoneproductions.org

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Theatre Event OTHELLO at McCord Museum (Persephone Productions)

Persephone Productions

presents

OTHELLO

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Gabrielle Soskin

Shakespeare's timeless tragedy illustrates the devastating power of words to manipulate, persuade, and ultimately destroy.


Othello, a noble moor, a military hero, is caught in a terrifying web of deceit in Shakespeare's gripping masterpiece. Brimming with disturbing and conflicting emotions: love and hate, jealousy and ambition, sexual desire and individual integrity, as the characters struggle against the forces that overpower them.


DATES & TIMES: November 13 to 29 8:00 pm

Weekday matinłęes: November 14, 17, 19, 20, 24 & 26 1:00 pm
Sunday matinłęes: November 16 and 23 2:00 pm


TICKETS PRICES:

Adults $26
Groups
(10 or more) $20
Students / seniors $18
School groups $17.50
QDF members $18


VENUE: McCord Museum

690 Sherbrooke Street West

J. Armand Bombardier Theatre

Box office: (514) 398 - 7100 ext. 234

WEB SITE: www.persephoneproductions.org

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OTHELLO au Musłęe McCord


Persephone Productions prłęsente OTHELLO au Musłęe McCord


13 au 29 novembre 2008



Persephone Productions prłęsente Othello, cłęlł«bre tragłędie de Shakespeare, au Thłęłótre J. Armand Bombardier du Musłęe McCord, du 14 au 29 novembre, ainsi qu'une avantĺ─Űpremił«re le 13 novembre.


Othello, noble Maure et hłęros militaire, est pris dans une terrifiante trame de tromperies dans ce chef-d'ëýuvre captivant de Shakespeare. La pił«ce illustre de fał▀on poignante le pouvoir des mots pour manipuler et, ultimement, dłętruire, tout en rłęvłęlant notre propre vulnłęrabilitłę face łŢ la persuasion. L'intrigue abonde en łęmotions perturbantes et conflictuelles ĺ─ý amour et haine, jalousie et ambition, pulsions sexuelles et intłęgritłę individuelle ĺ─ý alors que les personnages luttent contre les forces qui les accablent.


Entreprendre la production d'un imposant classique comme Othello constitue un dłęfi ambitieux. ł─ propos des raisons qui l'ont incitłęe łŢ choisir cette pił«ce particulił«re, Mme Soskin a dłęclarłę : Č┤ Ce qui est si merveilleux łŢ propos d'Othello, c'est sa nature intemporelle. Comme toutes les grandes tragłędies, il s'agit d'une tragłędie humaine. Cette tragłędie est centrłęe sur des personnes, plutłąt que de porter spłęcifiquement sur la trahison, la jalousie, le pouvoir ou le racisme. Je crois que c'est ce qui rend l'ëýuvre de Shakespeare si attrayante et formidable; il a łęcrit łŢ propos de nous, tels que nous sommes rłęellement, avec toutes nos vulnłęrabilitłęs. Le dłęfi spłęcial prłęsentłę par cette production consiste łŢ parler dans la langue riche et rehaussłęe du texte tout en faisant en sorte que l'histoire soit claire et puisse facilement łütre comprise. Je crois que le public pourra ainsi s'identifier avec ses vłęritłęs universelles. Ȭ


La compagnie prłęsentera cette production sur une scł«ne dłęnudłęe, avec des costumes reflłętant la płęriode de la Renaissance conł▀us par la nouvelle venue Raina-Clair Gillis, sous des łęclairages de Jody Burkholder et au son d'une musique originale de James Keenan Campbell, łętudiant en premił«re annłęe du programme d'Arts łŢ l'Universitłę McGill, sous la direction de Mary Davidson, rłęgisseuse.


Fondłęe en 2000, Persephone Productions s'est donnłę comme mission de fournir une expłęrience de travail aux jeunes artistes professionnels du thłęłótre, dans tous leurs domaines d'expertise. En plus d'offrir de merveilleux rłąles łŢ interprłęter aux diplłąmłęs professionnels d'łętudes thłęłótrales, la compagnie compte deux autres formidables exemples de cet idłęal.


Gabrielle Soskin a rencontrłę Raina-Clair Gillis łŢ l'occasion d'un vernissage łŢ Envers, populaire boutique de vłütements de Westmount appartenant au designer de mode qułębłęcois Yves Jean Lacasse. Elles ont brił«vement discutłę de thłęłótre et de haute couture et, łŢ la suite de cette conversation, Mme Soskin a invitłę Rainaĺ─ŰClair łŢ communiquer avec elle si elle łętait intłęressłęe łŢ explorer la conception de costumes. Un an plus tard, Rainaĺ─ŰClair lui a tłęlłęphonłę pour lui annoncer qu'elle avait lancłę sa propre entreprise de design de mode et łętabli un studio sur le Plateau, et qu'elle łętait toujours trł«s intrigułęe par la possibilitłę de concevoir des costumes pour le thłęłótre. Ainsi, Rainaĺ─ŰClair a conł▀u tous les costumes pour Othello, en plus de les fabriquer elleĺ─Űmłüme.


James Keenan Campbell est un autre exemple de brillante rłęussite liłęe au mandat de Persephone. Une abonnłęe łŢ la liste de diffusion a communiqułę avec Mme Soskin, car elle savait qu'un łętudiant de Minneapolis allait venir łŢ Montrłęal pour łętudier łŢ l'Universitłę McGill. Il łętait intłęressłę par le thłęłótre et avait mentionnłę son dłęsir de participer łŢ la scł«ne locale. Grłóce łŢ une connaissance mutuelle, James savait dłęjłŢ que Persephone travaillait łŢ la production d'Othello, et il avait indiqułę qu'il voulait composer la musique pour cette pił«ce depuis un certain temps. Il a envoyłę łŢ Mme Soskin la musique qu'il avait composłęe łŢ l'łęcole secondaire pour sa production de The Crucible, ainsi que des łęchantillons de ses idłęes pour la composition d'une musique originale pour Othello. Bien que son concept initial pour la pił«ce ne comprenait pas de musique originale, elle a aimłę ce qu'elle a entendu et elle a acceptłę de lui donner la chance de relever ce dłęfi particulier.



Point młędiatique

Le jeudi 13 novembre łŢ 11 h

Musłęe McCord, Thłęłótre J. Armand Bombardier

(690, rue Sherbrooke Ouest)

Il s'agit d'une excellente occasion de prendre des photographies de plateau, de filmer une scł«ne de la pił«ce, d'enregistrer des extraits sonores pour la radio, ainsi que d'effectuer des entrevues avec les acteurs ou les concepteurs artistiques.

Veuillez confirmer votre prłęsence auprł«s de Barbara Ford

ygraine7@videotron.ca

514 342ĺ─Ű7936


DATES ET HEURES : Les 13 et 29 novembre 20 h

Matinłęes en semaine : 14, 17, 19, 20, 24 et 26 novembre 13 h
Matinłęes le dimanche : 16 et 23 novembre 14 h

PRIX DES BILLETS :

Adultes 26 $
Groupes (10 ou plus) 20 $
łÔtudiants / łóge d'or 18 $
Groupes scolaires 17,50 $
Membres de la QDF 18 $

LIEU : Musłęe McCord

690, rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Thłęłótre J. Armand Bombardier

BILLETTERIE : 514 398-7100, poste 234

SITE WEB : http://www.persephoneproductions.org/

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Persephone Productions: Othello

Persephone Productions Brings OTHELLO to the McCord Museum

November 13 ĺ─ý 29, 2008


Persephone Productions presents Shakespeare's great tragedy Othello at the McCord Museum's J. Armand Bombardier Theatre from November 14 ĺ─ý 29, with one preview November 13th.


Othello, a noble moor and a military hero, is caught in a terrifying web of deceit in Shakespeare's gripping masterpiece. The play vividly illustrates the power of words to manipulate and ultimately destroy, revealing our own vulnerability against the forces of persuasion. The plot is brimming with disturbing and conflicting emotions of love and hate, jealousy and ambition, sexual desire and individual integrity, as the characters struggle against forces that overpower them.


Tackling a hefty classic such as Othello is an ambitious undertaking. When asked what in particular about this play attracted Ms Soskin, she explained, "What is so wonderful about Othello is its timelessness. Like all great tragedies, it is tragedy of character. It is a tragedy about human beings, not a play specifically about betrayal, jealousy, power or racism. I think that is the appeal and greatness of Shakespeare; he wrote about us as we really are in all our frailty. The special challenge of this production is to speak the heightened and rich language of the text so that the story is clear and can be understood. I think the audience will then be able to identify its universal truth."


The company will stage this production on a bare stage with costumes that reflect the period of the Renaissance, designed by newcomer Raina-Clair Gillis, with lighting by Jody Burkholder and an original musical score by first-year McGill Arts student, James Keenan Campbell, with Mary Davidson at the helm as stage manager.


Created in 2000, Persephone Productions is mandated to provide work experience for young professional theatre artists in all areas of their expertise. Besides giving wonderful acting roles to professional theatre graduates, there are two other shining examples of this ideal.


Gabrielle Soskin met Raina-Clair Gillis at a vernisage at Envers, the popular Westmount clothing boutique owned by Quebecois fashion designer, Yves Jean Lacasse. They briefly discussed theatre design versus haute couture after which Ms Soskin suggested that Raina-Clair contact her if she would like to try her hand at costume design. A year later, Raina-Clair called to announce that she had launched her own fashion design business with a studio on the Plateau and was still very intrigued with the idea of designing for theatre. Not only did Raina-Clair design all the costumes for Othello, but she constructed them as well.


James Keenan Campbell is another model of the Persephone mandate in action. A mailing list member contacted Ms Soskin, as she knew of a student coming to Montreal from Minneapolis to attend McGill University. He had a penchant for theatre and expressed a desire to get involved in the local scene. Through the mutual connection, James already knew that Persephone was producing Othello and let it be known that he had wanted to write music for the play for some time. A score he had created for his high school production of The Crucible, as well as musical samples of the direction he would like to take with an original Othello score, were sent to Ms Soskin. Although her initial concept of the play did not include original music, she liked what she heard and agreed to give him a chance to meet this special challenge.




DATES & TIMES: November 13 to 29 8:00 pm

Weekday matinłęes: November 14, 17, 19, 20, 24 & 26 1:00 pm
Sunday matinłęes: November 16 and 23 2:00 pm

TICKETS PRICES:

Adults $26
Groups (10 or more) $20
Students / seniors $18
School groups $17.50
QDF members $18


VENUE: McCord Museum

690 Sherbrooke Street West

J. Armand Bombardier Theatre

Box office: (514) 398 - 7100 ext. 234

WEB SITE: http://www.persephoneproductions.org/

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fall Theatre event



OTHELLO

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Gabrielle Soskin

Shakespeare's timeless tragedy illustrates the devastating power of words to manipulate, persuade, and ultimately destroy.

Othello, a noble moor, a military hero, is caught in a terrifying web of deceit in Shakespeare's gripping masterpiece. Brimming with disturbing and conflicting emotions: love and hate, jealousy and ambition, sexual desire and individual integrity, as the characters struggle against the forces that overpower them.

DATES & TIMES: November 13 to 29 8:00 pm

Weekday matinłęes: November 14, 17, 19, 20, 24 & 26 1:00 pm
Sunday matinłęes: November 16 and 23 2:00 pm

VENUE: McCord Museum

690 Sherbrooke Street West

J. Armand Bombardier Theatre

Box office: (514) 398 - 7100 ext. 234

WEB SITE: www.persephoneproductions.org

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Romeo et Juliette July 24 and 26 at Merrill Auditorium



PORTLAND, Maine ĺ─ý PORTopera will present Charles Gounod's Romłęo et Juliette at Portland's Merrill Auditorium on Thursday, July 24 and Saturday, July 26, under the direction of Dona D. Vaughn, Artistic and Stage Director, with guest conductor Israel Gursky. Tickets for this romantic opera, based on Shakespeare's classic tragic drama Romeo and Juliet, are on sale now through PortTix, 207-842-0800.

For more information about Romłęo et Juliette visit www.portopera.org. Tickets are available online at www.porttix.com, by phone, 207-842-0800 or in person at the 20 Myrtle St. box office in Portland, Maine between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

About PORTopera:
PORTopera is Maine's only opera company performing fully staged operas with nationally and internationally acclaimed singers. PORTopera will be celebrating its 14th season in 2008 with two performances of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette in late July.


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Shakespeare season opens with aboriginal theme

The work of Shakespeare will prove its timelessness once again this summer when Mount Royal's Shakespeare in the Park (SITP) stages a fresh and strikingly relevant production of The Tempest with an aboriginal theme.

"I have always loved and wanted to do The Tempest, and I've been looking for the right context for the play," says Martin Fishman, artistic director of SITP, which kicks off its 21st season on July 3 at Prince's Island Park.

"We ended up going with an aboriginal theme in order to explore the different images we have of aboriginal people, and to showcase the best talent in the aboriginal community," he says.

A co-production with Mount Royal's Iniskim Centre ĺ─ţ dedicated to supporting aboriginal students and promoting their cultures ĺ─ţ the play tells the story of Prospero, an exiled duke who takes over an island and enslaves its native inhabitants.

Fishman's interpretation will feature aboriginal dancers and drummers, as well as actor Telly James in the role of Prospero's slave, the downtrodden Caliban.

"I'm pretty excited because, essentially, native theatre and mainstream theatre are coming together in this production," says James, a graduate of Mount Royal's Theatre Arts Performance Diploma program. "And as a native person, I definitely see relevance in Shakespeare's story. It's relevant because he deals with human nature. The settings can change, the times change, but human nature doesn't change."

Fishman adds that Shakespeare is extraordinary partly because his plays are open to a vast array of interpretations. "The language is remarkable, the characters so rich and the stories so universal that they speak to your heart.

"I think a lot of people still come to Shakespeare with fear and trepidation but, when we present it in a way that makes sense to them, the audience comes away with total understanding."

This season, SITP will also bring a new perspective to The Merry Wives of Windsor by setting the comedy in the 1950s. "If Shakespeare wrote a sit-com, this would be it," Fishman says, laughing. A noon-hour production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) will also run from August 6ĺ─ý16, starting at 12:10 p.m.

Mount Royal's 2008 Shakespeare in the Park season
The Tempest
The Merry Wives of Windsor

Dates: July 3ĺ─ýAugust 23 (no Sunday performances)
Time: 7 p.m. nightly
Location: Prince's Island Park

For more information, visit www.myshakespeare.ca or call 440-6374.

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