LSM Newswire

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stratford Summer Music announces ninth season programming

A Portrait of Isabel Bayrakdarian, the Canadian premiere performances of American organist Cameron Carpenter, the complete Brahms piano quartets, and musical lectures by the conductor of the sovereignĺ─˘s personal choir, The Chapel Royal of St. Jamesĺ─˘s Palace, London, are among highlights of the ninth season of Stratford Summer Music.

The 2009 season, dubbed Stratfordĺ─˘s other Festival , will run over four weeks, from Monday, July 20 to Sunday, August 16, said the festivalĺ─˘s Artistic Producer, John A. Miller, at a launch in Stratfordĺ─˘s Balzacĺ─˛s Coffee Roastery, a site chosen because it will host three free presentations of J.S.Bachĺ─˘s Coffee Cantata. (August 14, 15, 16) ĺ─˙Could there be a more appropriate place than Balzacĺ─˘s to produce a work which the great composer himself wrote for Zimmermanĺ─˘s Coffee House in Leipzig in 1733?ĺ─¨, said Miller.

A Portrait of Isabel Bayrakdarian includes a solo recital with pianist Serouj Kradjian; an evening of Tangos based on her Juno-nominated disc Tango Notturno as a fund-raising dinner cabaret at The Church Restaurant; a master class for female voices; a concert of Armenian heritage music sung with The Elmer Iseler Singers; and Operatic Fireworks, Rossini arias sung with the one hundred member National Youth Orchestra of Canada. July 24-31.

Cameron Carpenter, hailed as The Maverick of the Organ, will play three concerts at Knox Church including an all-Bach program and Organsmic Fireworks with some of his own compo-sitions. A video camera trained on his feet and projected onto a large screen will enable audi-ences to see Carpenterĺ─˘s dexterity with the organĺ─˘s pedals. July 30, 31, August 1.

Made in Canada, the piano quartet comprised of four exciting Canadian women each of whom is distinguished in her own musical career - Judy Kang, violin, Sharon Wei, viola, Denise Djokic, cello, and Angela Park, piano ĺ─ý will present the three Brahms piano quartets and short works by Anton Dvorak in a series titled Masterpieces of the Classical Repertoire. August 7, 8, 9.

ĺ─˙As the world celebrates 2009 as an anniversary year for Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel and Felix Mendelssohn,ĺ─¨ said Miller, ĺ─˙itĺ─˘s also interesting to note that all three composers either sang in, or wrote music for, The Chapel Royal Choir in their own days. Who better, then, to deliver musical lectures on these great individuals than Andrew Gant, who directs this choir today in London, England,ĺ─¨ the Artistic Producer remarked. The Guelph-based choral ensemble Tactus will be Dr. Gantĺ─˘s demonstration choir singing musical illustrations for the three lectures. July 23, 24, 25.

Saturday Night Live Cabarets, presented as after-theatre shows at The Church Restaurant, will feature Stratford Shakespeare Festival actresses Barbara Fulton and Chilina Kennedy in their own shows, with an iconic Stratford musician and actor, Cedric Smith, completing the trio with his own cabaret show, A Stratford Conspiracy on August 15.

Building on last summerĺ─˘s successful jazz weekends at Pazzo Ristorante, the ninth season will focus on jazz guitar and feature Celso Machado (Brazilian jazz), Tony Quarrington with vocalist Julie Michels, Michael Occhipintiĺ─˘s Sicilian Jazz Project and, from Newfoundland, the Duane Andrews Duo (gypsy jazz). Jazz sets begin at 9pm every Friday and Saturday night during the music festival with tickets and advance reservations available directly from Pazzo. (519 273-6666).

Two annual presentations will welcome distinguished Canadians. The Maureen Forrester Next Generation Canadian Artists concert will feature National Arts Centre Orchestra trumpeter Amy Horvey in a presentation titled Queen of the Music Boxes on July 29. The Harry Somers Lecture will be delivered by psychiatrist Dr. David Goldbloom on Creativity, Mental Health and Mental Illness on August 5.

Twenty-three, free, noontime concerts from the floating stage, The MusicBarge, will, for the first time, include male and female barbershop quartets and be the inspiration for the 2009 festival poster image, The Composers Quartet, where Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Harry Somers find themselves in artist Eric Beddoesĺ─˘ creation as barber-shoppers singing along the Avon River.

Weekend musical scenarios known as Guerrilla Music will again erupt unexpectedly on down-town streets each Saturday and Sunday and a huge outdoor celebration, The OLG Bluegrass Blowout, will celebrate Ontarioĺ─˘s Simcoe Day holiday on August 3 with groups such as the Creaking Tree String Quartet, Oh Susanna, Lickinĺ─˘ Good Fried and Foggy Hogtown Boys.

On Sunday night, August 16 this ninth season will conclude with The RBC Festival Finale, a concert titled Legacy of Hope: A Salute to America and featuring The Nathaniel Dett Chorale singing repertoire from its Washington appearances at the Martin Luther King Day celebrations and the inauguration of President Barack Obama last January. Jazz vocalist Jackie Richardson, pianist Andrew Craig, the St. Marys Festival Youth Signers and Hon. Lincoln Alexander, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will also participate in this program.

With half its performances and events free or by donation, Stratford Summer Music continues to set its prices up to $35 in the hopes of repeating its 2008 successes when visitors from across Canada, from 18 American states and seven other foreign nations attended the music festival.

Tickets go on sale May 21 at 519 273-1600 or 1-866-288-4313.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

News Release - Measha Brueggergosman at Stratford Summer Music, August 7-10, 2008

Stratford, Ontĺ─Â John A. Miller, Artistic Producer of Stratford Summer Music, has announced that renowned Canadian soprano and Deutsche Grammophon recording artist Measha Brueggergosman returns to Stratford Summer Music to perform four recitals accompanied by German collaborative pianist Justus Zeyen from August 7 ĺ─ý 10, 2008 at St. Andrewĺ─˘s Church, 25 St. Andrew Street, Stratford. Repertoire for the recitals will be drawn from the works of Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg, Francis Poulenc, William Bolcom and Erik Satie.

In 2005 Ms. Brueggergosman made her Stratford Summer Music debut, performing four exclusive concerts as well as a joint appearance with Detroitĺ─˘s Brazeal Dennard Chorale in the festivalĺ─˘s closing night gala.

Award-winning soprano Measha Brueggergosman is in great demand as an opera and concert artist. Originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, she has performed with some of the worldĺ─˘s most prestigious symphony orchestras and in many of the worldĺ─˘s renowned concert halls. In April the Canadian soprano made her Mozart opera debut as Elettra in Opera Atelierĺ─˘s production of Idomeneo; critics and the public were unanimous in their praise for her work in this sold-out production. Her other operatic roles have included Madame Lidoine in Pouleneĺ─˘s The Dialogues of the Carmelites for the Vancouver Opera; Juno in Aeneas in Karthago at the Staatsoper Stuttgart and both Liu in Turnadot and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking for the Cincinnati Opera.

Measha, as she is fondly known by her fans, signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and released her debut recording Surprise with the label in North America in autumn 2007; she is also featured on the labelĺ─˘s recording of Beethovenĺ─˘s Symphony No. 9 recorded by The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by music director Franz Wesler-MłĆst. She has two recordings with CBC Records: So Much to Tell which includes works by Copland, Barber and Gershwin, and Extase which features music by Massenet and Berlioz.

Brueggergosmanĺ─˘s Stratford Summer Music recitals will be performed at 11:15 a.m. on August 7, 8 and 9 and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 10. Tickets are $35 and are available on line at or by calling the box office at 1-800-567-1600. Stratford Summer Music runs from July 21 to August 17, 2008.

For complete concert information log on to the website or call 519-271-2101.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stratford Summer Music After-Theatre Cabarets

Stratford, Ontĺ─Â Some of Canadaĺ─˘s most highly-acclaimed musical artists will take the stage of Stratfordĺ─˘s Church Restaurant to present a variety of musical styles in Stratford Summer Musicĺ─˘s annual After-Theatre Cabaret series. Cabarets are performed Thursdays through Saturdays, beginning at 11:30 p.m, during the four-week festival.

The series opens with Stratford Festival stars Dayna Tekatch and Laird Mackintosh in their new song and dance tribute to two of the last centuryĺ─˘s most famous stars from movie musicals: Cheek to Cheek: The Music of Astaire & Rogers. July 24 ĺ─ý 26. Week 1.

Dora award-winning actor and singer Jackie Richardson, known as the first lady of gospel, jazz and blues in Canada, appears in her one-woman show about American jazz legend, Mabel Mercer. Mercer had a successful career in the mid-1960s, performing in the U.S., Britain and Europe with the greats of jazz and cabaret. July 31 ĺ─ý August 2. Week 2.

Juno award-winning and Grammy-nominated soprano saxophonist, flutist and bandleader Jane Bunnett returns to The Church Restaurant with her Spirits of Havana Jazz Band. Since she released Spirits of Havana, her first Cuban influenced album, she has continued touring inter-nationally and recording a string of critically lauded albums. August 7 ĺ─ý 9. Week 3.

Dora award-winning actor, singer and writer Paula Wolfson closes the series with her one-woman show, Between Engagements, with piano accompanied by Jonathan Monro. Between Engage-ments brings audiences behind-the-scenes in pursuit of a career in show business, where the search for love and the search for work in the theatre are paralleled in more ways than one.

August 14 - 16. Week 4.

Cabaret performances begin at 11:30 p.m. Single tickets are $35; all four cabarets can be pur-chased for the special price of $115. Tickets on sale April 15 at 1-800-567-1600.

Stratford Summer Music runs from July 21 to August 17. Complete concert information will be available at

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Monday, May 5, 2008

The Little Foxes Previews at the Shaw Festival

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, May 5, 2008 ĺ─Â Previews began on Saturday in the Royal George Theatre for the Shaw Festivalĺ─˘s production of Lillian Hellmanĺ─˘s most celebrated play The Little Foxes, a timeless story of family, money, treachery and greed.

When the Hubbard siblings decide to invest in a cotton mill, the struggle for the biggest slice of the pie begins. Brothers Ben (Ric Reid) and Oscar (Peter Krantz) connive and scheme, but it is their powerful sister Regina (Laurie Paton) who will seemingly stop at nothing to get what she wants.

The deliciously treacherous Regina Giddens has been played by some of theatre and filmĺ─˘s most commanding women. New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley wrote of the role, ĺ─˙Few heroines of American theatre are half as much fun as Regina Giddens, an abiding testament to what's so good about being bad in the world of fiction.ĺ─¨

American playwright Lillian Hellman was a leading voice in the American theatre and was active in the political arena, linked throughout her life with left-wing causes. The Little Foxes was one of Hellmanĺ─˘s most successful plays. The title of the play comes from the Bible, ĺ─˙Take us the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.ĺ─¨ After producing Hellmanĺ─˘s The Autumn Garden in 2005, The Shawĺ─˘s Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell was eager to explore the equally complex but more gothic world of The Little Foxes.

The cast of The Little Foxes also includes Sharry Flett as Birdie Hubbard, Lisa Codrington as Addie, Krista Colosimo as Alexandra Giddens, David Jansen as Horace Giddens, and Gray Powell as Leo Hubbard, as well as Norman Browning and Richard Stewart.

The Little Foxes is directed by Eda Holmes, with design by Cameron Porteous, lighting design by Kevin Lamotte, and original music and sound design by John Gzowski. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Allan Teichman and Assistant Stage Manager Dora Tomassi.

The Little Foxes begins preview performances Saturday, May 3; opens Saturday, May 24; and plays in repertory until Saturday, November 1.

The 2008 season is proudly presented by HSBC Bank Canada/HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

News Release - Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet to be featured at Stratford Summer Music 2008

Stratford, Ont - Forty-Part Motet, a sublime interweaving of ancient music, cutting-edge modern technology and artistic sensibility, will be the centerpiece of the eighth season of Stratford Summer Music.

Created by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff as a sculptural reworking of Thomas Tallisĺ─˘ 1575 choral work Spem in Alium, this sculpturally-conceived sound piece has been lauded by international audiences at Londonĺ─˘s Tate Museum, New Yorkĺ─˘s Museum of Modern Art and Ottawaĺ─˘s National Gallery of Canada.

Forty-Part Motet will be presented daily during Stratford Summer Music at half-hour intervals from 10am to 4:30pm in the downtown City Hall Auditorium, July 22 to August 17, 2008. Admission is by donation.

In this installation, each of the 40 choir voices has been recorded separately and now is played back through one of 40 speakers placed as a circle of sound around the auditorium. Listeners inside the circle can approach each of the singers individually or, by standing in the middle of the room, hear all of them together.

As Ms. Cardiff explains: ĺ─˙Most people would experience this music in their living room in front of only two speakers, so the spatial construction is lost in the mix. Even in a live concert, the audience is separated from the individual voices. Only the performers are able to hear the person standing next to them singing a different harmony. I wanted to be able to ĺ─˛climb insideĺ─˘ the music, connecting with the separate voices. I am also interested in how sound may construct a space in a sculptural way and how the audience may choose a path through this physical yet virtual space.ĺ─¨

Forty-Part Motet was originally commissioned by the Salisbury Festival and performed by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir in 2001. Thomas Tallis, one of the most influential British composers of the 16th century, wrote Spem in Alium to mark the 40th birthday of Queen Elizabeth I. The music, composed for eight choirs of five voices each, deals with transcendence and humility, two important issues to a Catholic composer during a time when his faith was suppressed by the state.

Janet Cardiff, who was born in Brussels, Ontario, not far from Stratford, is best known for her numerous audio works and films, often created in collaboration with her partner George Bures Miller. She has gained international recognition for her audio and video ĺ─˙Walksĺ─¨ in which visitors, while listening to a CD walkman or watching the screen of a camcorder, follow the artistĺ─˘s directions through a site, and become involved in stories embedded in Cardiffĺ─˘s recorded instructions and suggestions.

This tour of Forty-Part Motet is organized by the National Gallery of Canada. When it is not on tour, the work is usually displayed in the Galleryĺ─˘s restored Rideau Chapel in Ottawa.

Stratford Summer Music runs from July 21 to August 17.

Complete concert information at All other tickets: 1-800-567-1600.

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