Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Stage in Toronto: George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead Opens April 26 to May 19 2013

From a media release:

Night of the Living Dead Goes Live in Toronto
George A. Romero’s
At Theatre Passe Muraille
April 26 - May19, 2013

45 years after George A. Romero premiered his little independent monster flick, Night of the Living Dead, Romero along with Christopher Harrison, Phil Pattison, and Marty Birthelmer of Nictophobia Films bring Toronto audiences the stage production, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue in Toronto.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE previews April 23-25, opens April 26 and closes May 19, 2013. Tickets are available at Theatre Passe Muraille Box Office or online at www.NIGHTOFTHELIVINGDEADLIVE.COM.

Undisputedly the most popular horror film of all time, in April this cinematic masterpiece will be presented on stage like you’ve never seen it before. Just like the film, the stage production will be presented entirely in black and white from the set design to the actors (alive and undead). The performance will be audience interactive, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats. Measures have been taken to maintain a PG rating to allow for an all-ages attendance.

Told in the intimate setting of Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille, Night of the Living Dead Live will bring audiences closer to the story than every before as they are literally sitting in the now famous house with the characters as they fight and kill their way through the marauding ghouls. By the end of the show, everyone in the room will know what it feels like to experience a night with the living dead!

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE is co-created by Christopher Harrison (Devil’s Night, The Man Who Loved Flowers) and Phil Pattison (Devil’s Night, The Man Who Loved Flowers), who are also producing the project with Marty Birthhelmer (the upcoming The Mummers) through their production company, Nictophobia Films and executive produced by the legendary George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Living Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead), Russ Streiner (best known as Johnny (“They’re coming to get you, Barbra”) in the original horror classic, and John A. Russo, co-author of Night of the Living Dead. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE is directed by Christopher Bond (Evil Dead, The Musical, A Little Bit Zombie) who was also the director, co-creator and co-composer of EVIL DEAD, THE MUSICAL.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE, by playwrights Trevor Martin (Patch Town, A Little Bit Zombie), Canadian Comedy Award-winner Dale Boyer (Second City, “Live from the CenTre”) and Christopher Bond, features (name cast and their credits) in a production designed by Lindsay Anne Black (My Mother's Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding), choreographed by Stacey Maroske with sound design by Richard Feren, costume design by Claudia Kada (Mein Kempf, Evil Dead: The Musical), lighting by multi-award winner Michelle Ramsey (Helen’s Necklace, My Mother's Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding), Special FX design by Carlos Henriques (Death Race, Witchslayer Gretl, Red: Werewolf Hunter) and music by Juno Award-winner, Mike Trebilcock (The Tenant, Reid Coolsaet: Road to London) and Jamie Lamb (Monkey Toast, Ken Kostick & Co.).

Tickets range from $49.50 - $59.50 (inclusive of HST) and are available at Theatre Passe Muraille Box Office or online at www.NIGHTOFTHELIVINGDEADLIVE.COM.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE opens April 26 and runs to May 19, 2013
(Previews April 23-25 7:30 PM)

MOVE Music Festival - April 27, 2013 in Albany New York

From a media release:

Industry Veteran Bob Tulipan To Give Keynote Speech
MOVE Music Festival on Saturday, April 27, 2013
in Albany - New York

(Albany, NY) --
Get ready music lovers!   Albany ranks as the nation’s 9th largest breeding ground for new music and is the location for this year’s MOVE Festival for the second year running.  For those that couldn't afford the price of a ticket to Austin last month, MOVE Music Festival is the alternative.  Move is an indie music festival that premiered last spring and is completely focused on spotlighting diverse and emerging talent, much akin to the early days of SXSW.  It takes place on Saturday, April 27.

“The idea behind Move is to giving regional bands a chance to launch their careers in the independent music scene,” comments festival owner and founder Bernie Walters.  The festival is the perfect platform for these bands to gain experience in performing live to a local audience as well as to industry insiders,” he continues.

Move will host a roundtable panel discussion featuring an impressive list of experts as well as a keynote speech from industry veteran Bob Tulipan. Bob's career spans virtually every facet of the music business from promotions to management.  He's worked with acts like The Rolling Stones, The Police, Patti Smith and Public Image Ltd and assisted with concerts and festivals such as Woodstock '94 and '99, Live Aid, Warped Tours and Lollapalooza.  He currently represents UK band Strangefruit and regularly lends his expert opinion on to print and broadcast media around the world.

Virtually every aspect of the industry will be represented at the roundtable. In addition, Benji Rogers, co-founder of Pledge Music, Lou Plaia, co-founder of Reverb Nation, Allie Crystal of Universal Music Publishing and legendary drummer Jerry Marotta will be in attendance.  For more information on attending industry, visit

SXSW grew from 700 attendees in 1987 to over 300,000 in 2012 and even beyond that this year. In the same way that SXSW started out as an organic stage for showcasing and promoting indie music and film, and encouraging progressive dialogue within those industries, MOVE is attempting to do the same.
General admission wristbands cost $15 plus shipping and handling. Check out the Pledge Drive where you can pledge for early access & discounted packages to MOVE 2013!

Nine Pianists, Six Grand Pianos: Piano Ecstasy April 26 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

Soundstreams presents:
April 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm at Koerner Hall

Nine pianists, six grand pianos, works by Reich, Cage and Shostakovich, and a world premiere.

Soundstreams continues its 30th anniversary season with Piano Ecstasy at Koerner Hall on April 26 at 8:00 pm. A celebration of music for multiple pianos, this concert features nine virtuoso Canadian pianists, six grand pianos, works by Steve Reich, John Cage, Dmitri Shostakovich, Witold Lutoslawski, and Colin McPhee, and the world premiere of Glenn Buhr’s Two Pieces for Three Pianos.

The nine featured pianists from across Canada are James Parker (Gryphon Trio), Christina Petrowska Quilico, Russell Hartenberger (NEXUS), Serouj Kradjian (Amici Chamber Ensemble), Gregory Oh and Simon Docking (Toca Loca), Chris Donnelly, Tania Gill, and Glenn Buhr. They will perform together in various configurations throughout the evening in a dazzling display of technique and versatility.

Opening the concert are John Cage’s The Beatles 1962-1970, where six pianists simultaneously play snippets of dozens of Beatles songs, Shostakovich’s cheerful Concertino for Two Pianos, Op. 94, Lutoslawski’s delightful Variation on a Theme of Paganini for Two Pianos, and the gamelan-inspired Balinese Ceremonial Music by Canadian composer Colin McPhee.

The second half of the evening features the world premiere of Waterloo-based composer Glenn Buhr’s Two Pieces for Three Pianos and culminates with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich’s minimalist masterpiece, Six Pianos.

Robert Lowrey Piano Experts is the major sponsor of Piano Ecstasy; visit their huge facility in central Toronto, and discover why they really are "Canada's Piano Store."

Glenn Buhr, Simon Docking, Christina Quilico

Piano Ecstasy
Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor St. W.

Glenn Buhr, piano
Simon Docking, piano
Chris Donnelly, piano
Tania Gill, piano

Russell Hartenberger, piano

Serouj Kradjian, piano
Gregory Oh, piano
James Parker, piano
Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano

John Cage: The Beatles 1962-1970
Dmitri Shostakovich: Concertino for Two Pianos, Op. 94
Witold Lutoslawski: Variation on a Theme of Paganini for Two Pianos
Colin McPhee: Balinese Ceremonial Music
Glenn Buhr: Two Pieces for Three Pianos (world premiere)

Steve Reich: Six Pianos

Tickets range from $20-$65 and are available through The Royal Conservatory Box Office at 416-408-0208 or online at

CD Release: Feisty Folk with Jon Davis and 'Open Shore' - at the Rivoli Toronto April 26 2013

From a media release:

CD Release:
Jon Davis Releases ‘Open Shore’
Open Shore will surely open doors for this songster who serves up feisty folk, indie-seasoned rock and fluff-free pop

Opening set: Matt Tomlinson
The Rivoli, 334 Queen St W, Toronto
Friday, April 26, 8:30pm
$10 adv / $15  (416) 596-1908

- Jon Davis has achieved full lift-off with the launch of his sophomore release – Open Shore - a powerful, 11-track album showcasing a painterly ability to translate human emotion into delicate aural canvasses of light blue steel and shale grey, with vibrant splashes of golden hue.

Possessed of a delicate, almost chameleonic voice, you can hear distant similarities in style from James Taylor to Nick Drake, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Royal Wood, to Lindsey Buckingham. Anyone looking to appreciate this for themselves should earmark Davis’ CD release on Friday, April 26th at Toronto hotspot, The Rivoli.

Having endured a traumatic head injury in ’06, Davis found himself hurtling along a path towards recovery – moving past personal hardships to arrive at a destination where obstacles became opportunities.

One of these is most certainly Open Shore, which speaks to this challenging but triumphant journey. A talent in full bloom, Davis colours this disc with a full complement of smart, insightful lyrics across hook-laden melodies, caressing folk and jazz with an indie-seasoned rock edge, leavened with strong elements of fluff-free pop.

Throughout are messages of hope, and the search for endless possibility. You can hear this in the opening track – “Overcome”. Wrapped in a buoyant, James Taylor-esque joie de vivre, it firmly positions Davis as having cleared the shadows by moving into the light. Consider “The Prince’s Shadow” – a song whose lyrics combat despair as its aggressive hook reveals the singer front and centre.

Davis presents “After The Birds” as a heartfelt paean to balancing needs over our wants. His soft singing voice, reminiscent of the late Kenny Rankin, sets its sparse presentation into motion as a moody, sweeping soundscape before it spins out of control in the vein of “Aladdin Sane”.

Counter this with the timeless poetry of Thomas More in  “If All Those Endearing Young Charms” as Davis’ gentle, acoustic guitar-driven approach rekindles Nick Drake – his solemn, weathered vocal hitting home his transformation of More’s words depicting the power of love over appearances.

Through Open Shore, Jon Davis challenges how we view our world and what we can do to make it better. It’s an uplifting wake-up call that’s as reassuring as the gentle, forever lapping of the waves, offering us the encouragement we need to get past personal trials by showing us how to – as he does in “The Scarecrow and the Sunflower” – touch the beauty.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Atom Egoyan Returns to the COC with his Acclaimed Production of Salome April 21 to May 22 2013

From a media release:

celebrated canadian director Atom egoyan returns to the coc with his acclaimed production of RICHARD strauss’S visceral and shocking opera, salome
April 21 to May 22, 2013
at the Four Seasons Centre for the Arts, Toronto

– The Canadian Opera Company’s 2013 spring season marks the return of celebrated Canadian director Atom Egoyan with his searing, critically acclaimed COC production of Richard Strauss’s Salome.  At the opera’s 1905 premiere, the audience and critics were shocked by its subject matter and erotic themes; Salome’s world of voyeurism and sexual abuse still elicits an equally visceral response today.  In past presentations of this production, in 1996 and 2002, the COC’s Salome was described as a “brilliant modern day interpretation” (Classical 96 FM) that is “marvelously wicked and wickedly marvelous,” (The Globe and Mail) and “relevant to a 21st-century audience” (NOW Magazine).  COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts his third opera of the season for the company when he leads the COC Orchestra through Strauss’s intoxicating music.  Sung in German with English SURTITLES™, Salome runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 21, 27, May 1, 4, 7, 10, 16 and 22, 2013.

Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s play, the opera recounts the ancient story of Salome, who demands the head of Jochanaan (John the Baptist) in return for performing the Dance of the Seven Veils.  Salome lives in a hedonistic royal court, with her perverse and shameless stepfather, Herod, and her imperious mother, Herodias.  Salome’s desire for the imprisoned Jochanaan is mirrored by a soldier’s tortured infatuation for her, and Herod’s own lust for his stepdaughter.  Consumed by passion, the family is inevitably torn apart by its destructive obsessions.

Renowned Canadian filmmaker (The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe) and director Atom Egoyan brings some of the original erotic shock value back to Strauss’s Salome.  The setting of the opera is moved from a first-century palace in the Holy Land to a foreboding and abstract environment, stripping away the markers of an affluent environment to focus on the characters themselves.  Multi-media elements, such as film and video, as well as shadow puppetry and lighting effects, further serve to heighten the opera’s impact and emphasize the perverse natures of Herod, Herodias and Salome.

Acclaimed American set designer Derek McLane, projections designer Phillip Barker, costume designer Catherine Zuber, lighting designer Michael Whitfield and choreographer Serge Bennathan all return for the revival of the COC’s Salome.  Shadow puppet designer Clea Minaker makes her COC debut.

Among the variety of film, video and photographic projections designed by Barker for the COC’s Salome are works by Canadian Edward Burtynsky, who, since the 1996 premiere of the production, has achieved international recognition for his large-format photographs.  Burtynsky is responsible for many of the still images that appear in Salome.

COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts seven of Salome’s eight performances with COC resident conductor Derek Bate taking the podium on May 22.  They lead a 106-piece orchestra through a lush and exotic score that seethes with the emotions, neuroses and unspoken drives of the opera’s characters.

In Swedish-American soprano Erika Sunnegårdh, the COC has a Salome who can meet the role’s challenging vocal and physical demands.  Since her critically acclaimed operatic debut in 2004 in the role of Turandot at Malmö Opera, Sunnegårdh has established herself as not only one of the most versatile and exciting sopranos on the world stage, but also earned a reputation for fearless and emotionally nuanced characterizations, with performances at Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Oper Frankfurt, Metropolitan Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others.  Sunnegårdh makes her COC debut in the title role.

Celebrated Canadian tenor Richard Margison, last with the COC for 2011’s Ariadne auf Naxos, makes his role debut as Herod.  Hailed for his ringing top notes and spine-tingling power, Margison is one of the most critically acclaimed singers on the international stage today.  He performs regularly in many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie and Gran Teatre del Liceu.  Cast opposite Margison, as Herodias, is one of the world’s greatest mezzo-sopranos, Hanna Schwarz.  She has sung under the batons of classical music’s greatest conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Lorin Maazel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph von Dohnányi and Leonard Bernstein, and her international career has brought her to San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Royal Opera House Covent Garden.  The role of Herodias marks Schwarz’s COC debut.

Rounding out the impressive cast is a line-up of familiar and new opera stars.

Sharing the role of Jochanaan are two internationally renowned singers: German baritone Martin Gantner (April 21, 27, and May 1, 4), in his COC debut, and American bass-baritone Alan Held (May 7, 10, 16, 22), whose recent COC performances in Tristan und Isolde and the double-bill of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi have won him the admiration of Toronto audiences and critics alike.

American tenor Nathaniel Peake, a 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Winner who makes his COC debut in the COC’s 2013 spring production of Lucia di Lammermoor, sings Narraboth, the captain of the guard.  Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani, praised for her “big, voluptuous sound” and “vigorous stage presence” (The San Francisco Chronicle), makes her COC debut as the Page of Herodias.

British tenor Adrian Thompson, recently with the COC in 2011’s Nixon in China, sings the First Jew.  Singing the Second, Third and Fourth Jews, respectively, are three graduates of the COC’s Ensemble Studio: tenors Michael Colvin, Michael Barrett, and Adam Luther.  The Fifth Jew is sung by American bass Jeremy Milner, who makes his COC debut.  American baritone Craig Irvin, recently seen in the COC’s 2012 production of Gianni Schicchi, sings the First Nazarene.  Ensemble Studio tenor Owen McCausland is the Second Nazarene.  American bass-baritone Evan Boyer, who can also be seen this spring in the COC’s Dialogues des Carmélites, makes his COC debut as the First Soldier.  American bass-baritone Sam Handley makes his COC debut as the Second Soldier.  COC Ensemble Studio members, bass-baritone Neil Craighead and soprano Claire de Sévigné, sing the roles of a Cappadocian and a Slave, respectively.

Single tickets for Salome are $12 – $325 (includes applicable taxes).  Tickets are available online at, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hot Docs 2013 - April 25 to May 4, 2013: Six More Picks

From a media release:

Picks from my friends at GAT PR:
Hot Docs Film Festival
April 25 to May 4, 2013
in Toronto

15 Reasons to Live – Directed by Alan Zweig -  World Premiere
When documentarian Alan Zweig discovered Ray Robertson’s non-fiction book Why Not? Fifteen Reasons To Live,  (and came to know Ray Robertson), he was intrigued by the concept of organizing the panoply of life itself into a list. Said 15 reasons are: Love, solitude, critical mind, art, individuality, home, work, humour, friendship, intoxication, praise, meaning, body, duty and death. To savour them all would presumably be to truly live. Thus was born 15 Reasons To Live, the most ambitious work to date by Zweig (Lovable; I, Curmudgeon; Vinyl), with his first use of a crew, a wide location schedule (stretching a thousand miles from North Carolina to Montreal), and a first-time use of animation mixed with live documentary.

Attending Hot Docs: Director Alan Zweig, Producer Julian Rosenberg
Premiere - Sat, Apr 27 - 6:30 PM - TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Screening 2  - Mon, Apr 29 - 1:30 PM - Isabel Bader Theatre
Screening 3 - Sun, May 5 - 1:30 PM - TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

ALIAS – Directed by Michelle Latimer -  World Premiere
The media message has always been that rap glamourizes and feeds the “thug life.” From NWA’s Straight Outta Compton, to the West Coast/East Coast powderkeg that killed Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., to a string of shootings in Toronto recording studios, the music has been demonized and stigmatized as the “gateway” to youth gang culture. But ALIAS, the feature documentary by Michelle Latimer, looks directly at the lives of Toronto rappers, who’ve sprung from ‘hoods that have turned into angry “territories.”  There she found stories that belied the stereotypes, young rappers using the form as an alternative to gang life, and as a possible escape. And their expression – while a stark and realistic portrait of Canada’s growing underclass - is anything but an endorsement of thug life.

Attending Hot Docs: Director Michelle Latimer, Rappers Alkatraz, Alias Donmillion, Trench, Producer Nida Marji
Premiere - Fri, Apr 26 - 6:30 PM - Royal Cinema
Screening  2 - Sun, Apr 28 - 1:30 PM - Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3
Screening 3 - Sat, May 4 - 9:00 PM - Scotiabank, Cinema 4

Free the Mind – Directed by Phie Ambo -  Canadian Premiere
Phie Ambo’s Free The Mind: Can You Rewire The Brain Just By Taking A Breath? shows pathologies like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD and anxiety being tackled directly, while painting a wide-eyed picture of the organ responsible, a mysterious, unimaginably complex chemical computer with potential that we’ve only begun to explore. Inspired by her own bout of panic attacks years earlier – treated with meditation rather than medication – the eclectic Danish filmmaker aimed her camera at the works of University of Wisconsin scholar Richard Davidson, the founder of The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, and three of his case studies.

Attending Hot Docs: Director Phie Ambo, Scholar Richard Davidson, Producer Sigrid Dyekjaer
Premiere - Thu, May 2 - 6:30 PM - Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Screening 2 - Fri, May 3 - 6:00 PM - ROM Theatre
Screening 3 - Sat, May 4 - 11:00 AM - Isabel Bader Theatre

The Ghosts in Our Machine – Directed by Liz Marshall -  World Premiere
With dramatic impact, Liz Marshall’s The Ghosts In Our Machine gently reveals a stark reality that is hidden from our view. Through the heart and lens of acclaimed animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, this consciousness-raising documentary shines a cinematic light on the animals we don’t easily acknowledge - the “ghosts” - are commodities within the machine of our modern world. Over the course of a year, award-winning director Liz Marshall follows McArthur as she photographs several animal stories in parts of Canada, the U.S. and in Europe. Each story is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. All part of an epic photo project called We Animals ( now in its 15th year and shot all over the globe, McArthur has documented the lives of animals with heart-breaking empathic vividness and professionalism.

Attending Hot Docs: Director Liz Marshall, Subject Jo-Anne McArthur, Producer Nina Beveridge
Premiere - Sun, Apr 28 - 6:30 PM - Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Screening 2 - Wed, May 1 - 11:00 AM - Isabel Bader Theatre
Screening 3 - Sat, May 4 - 11:00 AM - Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

The Manor – Directed by Shawney Cohen -  Opening Night & World Premiere
When Shawney Cohen was six his father bought The Manor, a small-town strip club/motel. Thirty years later, his father has ballooned to 400 pounds, while his mother, at 85 pounds, ironically struggles with anorexia. And Shawney? He’s been a strip club manager for longer than he’s been a filmmaker. The two career paths dovetail in The Manor, a soul-searching feature debut, where he turns the camera on his father Roger, mother Brenda, brother Sammy, and also on himself, creating an intimate portrait of four people struggling to call themselves a family.

Attending Hot Docs: Director Shawney Cohen. Family will attend opening night
Premiere - Thu, Apr 25 - 7:00 PM - Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Screening 2 - Thu, Apr 25 - 9:30 PM - Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Screening 3 - Mon, Apr 29 - 12:00 PM - TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Tales from the Organ Trade – Directed by Ric Esther Bienstock -  North American Premiere
Tales From The Organ Trade, by acclaimed documentarian Ric Esther Bienstock (Sex Slaves: aka The Real Sex Traffic, Ebola: Inside an Outbreak), and narrated by David Cronenberg, travels the world, shining a light on what seems a rampant human indignity. The documentary is a gritty and unflinching descent into the shadowy world of black-market organ trafficking: the street-level brokers, the rogue surgeons, the impoverished men and women who are willing to sacrifice a slice of their own bodies for a quick payday, and the desperate patients who face the agonizing choice of obeying the law or saving their lives.

Attending Hot Docs: Director Ric Esther Bienstock
Premiere - Sun, Apr 28 - 7:00 PM - Isabel Bader Theatre
Screening 2 - Mon, Apr 29 - 1:00 PM - TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Screening 3 - Thu, May 2 - 4:00 PM - Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 4

The NFB at Hot Docs 2013 April 25 to May 4, 2013

From a media release:

Festival lineup includes five world premieres
from National Film Board of Canada

Hot Docs Film Festival
April 25 to May 4, 2013

Toronto –
Six National Film Board of Canada productions or co-productions will be featured at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto from April 25 to May 5, 2013, including five world premieres.

Premiering in the Canadian Spectrum section are NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (J.S. Kastner Productions/NFB/CBC/documentary), directed by John Kastner; Chi, directed by Anne Wheeler; Buying Sex, co-directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason; The Auctioneer, directed by Hans Olson; as well as Sam Decoste’s short film Mary & Myself, screening with Chi. Making its Ontario premiere is Alphée of the Stars (Esperamos Films/NFB), directed by Hugo Latulippe.

The NFB is also partnering on the festival’s free 20th-anniversary outdoor screening, Docs at Dusk, reflecting the NFB’s longstanding goal of bringing acclaimed documentary cinema into Canadian communities. Docs at Dusk will take place on the evening of May 2 on the fields of the University of Toronto’s Victoria College, across from the Isabel Bader Theatre. The event will begin at 8 p.m. with live music and refreshments; the film will begin at 9 p.m.

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible
While gripped by psychosis, a young man stabs a stranger six times. Declared “NCR”―not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder―the man is confined to a mental health institution. His victim survives, haunted by nightmares but relieved that her attacker has been locked away. Twelve years later, she’s terrified to learn that he’s out, living under supervision, and has applied for a discharge that would mean he’d no longer be required to take drugs to control his illness. With unprecedented access to the patient, victim and mental institution, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible offers a timely and provocative examination of violence and mental illness, and the rights of both victims and patients.

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible is produced, directed and written by John Kastner, the winner of four Emmy Awards, including one for the 2010 NFB co-production Life with Murder. NCR’s producers are Deborah Parks, with Silva Basmajian as producer and executive producer for the NFB. The film is produced by J.S. Kastner Productions and the NFB, in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and documentary Channel.

Anyone who knew Babz Chula—a talented, larger-than-life actress from Canada’s West Coast—could tell you that her life force, or chi, was incredibly strong. Babz convinces director Anne Wheeler to join her on a journey to Kerala, where Babz will undergo treatment by a renowned Ayurvedic healer in an effort to manage her six-year battle with cancer. The bare-bones Indian clinic at first disappoints, but Babz is uplifted as her condition seemingly improves. When she returns home to learn that her cancer has advanced, the irrepressible Babz invites Anne and her camera to continue bearing witness to her journey into the unknown.

Chi is written and directed by Anne Wheeler. The producer of the film is Yves J. Ma, with Tracey Friesen as executive producer.

Buying Sex
Timely and wise, this important documentary about the state of prostitution laws in Canada is a revelation. Buying Sex captures the complexity of the issue by listening to the frequently conflicting voices of sex workers, formerly prostituted women, policy-makers, lawyers and even the male buyers who make their claim for why prostitution is good for society. Examining the realities in Sweden and New Zealand, and respecting the differences of ideology as Canada works its way toward an uneasy consensus, the film challenges us to think for ourselves and gives a gripping and invaluable account of just what is at stake for us all.

Directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason, and written by Teresa MacInnes, Buying Sex is produced by Annette Clarke. Ravida Din is the executive producer.

The Auctioneer
Dale Menzak is an auctioneer specializing in the sale of family farms. A man of few words when not auctioneering, he also works part-time as an undertaker. From his portable auctioneer’s booth, Dale helps to liquidate antiquated farm equipment, after which he dons a sombre necktie and returns to his job at the funeral home. Set against a backdrop of gorgeous Prairie vistas, The Auctioneer observes Dale from a respectful distance as he facilitates the difficult process of letting go.

The Auctioneer is directed by Hans Olson and written by Clark Banack. The film is produced by Bonnie Thompson, with David Christensen as executive producer.

Mary & Myself (screening before Chi)
Mary & Myself is a story within a story, a meta-narrative about two Chinese Canadian women making their theatrical debut playing “comfort women” in The Vagina Monologues. Fusing activism and performance, this short animated documentary honours the thousands of girls and women from Korea, China, Japan and the Philippines who were forced into sexual slavery during the 1930s and ’40s.

Mary & Myself is written, directed and animated by Sam Decoste. The producer is Annette Clarke, with Ravida Din and Kent Martin as executive producer.

Alphée of the Stars
Alphée has a rare genetic disorder that hampers her development, yet she continues to defy medical expectations. After her parents reject the idea of placing her in a specialized classroom, they move the family to Europe for a year. Here, her father—filmmaker Hugo Latulippe—focuses on his fairy-like daughter’s learning, in hopes of eventually integrating her into a regular classroom. A moving declaration of love from a father to his daughter, Alphée of the Stars is also the story of a gamble—of a family stealing away for a year in order to try and change the course of events.

Alphée of the Stars is produced by Éric De Gheldere and Hugo Latulippe (Esperamos Films) and Colette Loumède (NFB).

About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB’s award-winning content can be seen at and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. Canada’s public producer and distributor since 1939, the NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

Art Gallery of Mississauga Annual Art Auction May 2, 2013 - Preview Week April 25 - 30

From a media release:

Art Gallery of Mississauga
10 | Annual Art Auction
May 2, 2013
Live Auction begins at 7 pm

To purchase:
Contact Reception at the AGM 905 896 5088 /
All proceeds go to supporting exhibitions, artist projects and education initiatives.

Tickets are $75 each. This includes a $50 voucher used towards any one item in the live auction. All proceeds go to supporting exhibitions, artist projects and education.

Auction Preview Week: 
Thursday, April 25 - Tuesday, April 30

Preview Week Event Highlights:
  • Preview Opening Reception for 10 | Annual Art Auction
    Thursday, April 25, 7 pm   
  • New to Collecting Art?    + Free Event.
    Speakers: Joan Murray, Dev Ramcharan and Stuart Keeler
    Sunday, April 28, 2 pm
  • Artist Soiree!  Come meet the Artists!   + Free Event
    Sunday, April 28, 5 pm    
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - The Art Gallery of Mississauga raises the bar on excellence with 10 | Annual Art Auction. This year's event will feature works by approximately 100 regional, national and international artists, including a painting by Canadian icon Norval Morrisseau, from 1990, a memorable sculpture by celebrated Inuit artist Abraham Anghik Ruben, in addition to contemporary work by Micah Lexier, Catherine Beaudette, Libby Hague, Lila Lewis Irving, Tazeen Qayyum among other noteworthy talent!  This event typically attracts over 200 collectors, curators, and art patrons and is the major fundraiser for the AGM, underwriting the Gallery's educational programmes and artist projects. The Live Auction will be conducted by Rob Cowley, Chief Auctioneer, Joyner Canadian Fine Art, Canada's Premier Auction House.

Stuart Keeler, Director | Curator:

"The AGM is committed to presenting stimulating exhibitions, which are aesthetically strong and intellectually challenging, alongside multi- platform ancillary events. Funds raised at the Annual Art Auction support that vision. We continue to raise the bar on excellence with this year's programming, and, with 10 | Annual Art Auction, we aim to raise an increased level of funds to make that possible."

10 | Annual Art Auction is the premiere art auction event in Mississauga. Enjoy an evening of contemporary art while sipping the fine wines of Joseph's Estate from Niagara-on-the-Lake, enjoying hors d'ouevres by Chef Thomas from C Café and listening to live cello music by Ben Bolt-Martin. Silent Auction items include fine wines, exotic getaways, designed objects as well as a studio summer dinner with renowned Mississauga artist Lila Lewis Irving. All the items in this year's Live Auction will be available for viewing at the AGM during the Auction Preview Week, from April 25 - April 30.

Funds raised at this event support the AGM's Growth Initiative and ensure that exhibitions and artist projects are accessible to everyone. Bring your imagination and your chequebook for an evening of entertainment, and join the AGM in building the next generation of cultural vitality in Mississauga.
Auction Details
Thursday, May 2, 2013

AUCTIONEER: Rob Cowley, Chief Auctioneer, Joyner Canadian Fine Art

Doors open at 6 pm.
Live Auction begins promptly at 7 pm.

$75 each.
Each ticket includes a $50 voucher used towards any one item in the live auction.

To purchase:
Contact Reception at the AGM 905 896 5088 /
All proceeds go to supporting exhibitions, artist projects and education initiatives.

300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga ON L5B 3C1
905 896 5088
M, T, W, F 10-5 Thurs 10-8 Sat, Sun 12-4

The Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) is a public, not-for-profit, art gallery located in the Mississauga Civic Centre, across from Square One Mall. The AGM is proud to admit people free of charge, serve communities, and provide positive visual art experiences for all visitors.

The Mission of the AGM is to promote awareness and the appreciation of the visual arts through the operation, development and growth of a public, not-for-profit art gallery. The mandate of the Gallery is to "bring art to the community and the community to art."

Directions to the AGM, as well as transit routes and other information, can be found on the website.

English Language Premiere: Imago Theatre Presents Carole Fréchette's Thinking of Yu April 24 - May 5 2013

From a media release:

Quebec English-language premiere!
IMAGO Theatre
Thinking of YU

Written by Carole Fréchette Translated by John Murrell
Directed by Micheline Chevrier
Wednesday, April 24 – Sunday, May 5, 2013

Thinking of YU is a play about one woman’s fixation with Yu Dongyue, a young Chinese journalist who was imprisoned for 17 years for having thrown paint on a poster of Mao during the Tiananmen Square student protests. Her obsessive research is interrupted by a lonely single father who mistakenly received her mail and a young Chinese woman who desperately wants to perfect her English grammar. Their unexpected companionship prompts each of them to question the consequences of fighting against injustice. Each comes to grips with their relationship to the world as they wrestle with notions of bravery, change and hope.

With Shiong-En Chan, Danielle Desormeaux and Kwasi Songui

Thinking of YU
Imago Theatre
At Centaur Theatre
453 St. François-Xavier  April 24-May 5, 2013

Wednesday to Saturday at 8:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2:30pm
Tickets: $20-$25
All tickets for the preview, Wed. April 24, are $18
Saturday matinee, April 27 and May 4 at 2:30pm, are pay-what-you-can (Suggested donation $10)

• Tickets: 514 288-3162 or online:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

World Premiere: Tarragon Theatre Toronto Presents David Yee`s carried away on the crest of a wave April 16 - May 26 2013

From a media release:

carried away on the crest of a wave
By David Yee
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino

"Because we are all connected. And we are, none of us, alone."

TORONTO (March 22, 2013) -
Tarragon Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of carried away on the crest of a wave, written by acclaimed playwright-in-residence David Yee. This moving exploration of the effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami previews from April 16, opens April 24 and runs to May 26, 2013 in Tarragon's Mainspace (with previews beginning April 16). Tickets range from $27-$53 (inclusive of HST) and are available by calling the box office at 416.531.1827 or by visiting

A singular, cataclysmic event - the Boxing Day, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami - took the lives of more than two hundred thousand people. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.

A series of vignettes about the ripple effects of this heartbreaking tragedy, carried away on the crest of a wave illustrates the interconnectedness of everything. From a mysterious escort in Thailand to a Catholic priest in India, from two brothers in Malaysia baling out their ocean-filled home to a housewife in Utah baking a pie, the play ponders what happens when the events that tie us together are the same that tear us apart?

A talented ensemble cast under the direction of Nina Lee Aquino - Kawa Ada (Factory Theatre's Iceland, Cahoots Theatre's paper SERIES-Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination), Ash Knight (Factory's Brothel #9-Dora nomination, bcurrent's Wise.Woman), Richard Lee (Fu-GEN Theatre Company's Ching Chong Chinaman, Young People's Theatre's Cinderella (A Ratical Retelling)), John Ng (Fu-GEN's Ching Chong Chinaman, K'now's Pu-Erh-Dora nomination), Mayko Nguyen (Liars Theatre Co.'s Claire, From the Bus; Gemini nominations for Regenesis and Rent A Goalie) and Richard Zeppieri (Tarragon's Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Factory's The Leisure Society) - take the stage to bring this imaginative work to life.

David Yee is Canadian born, of Chinese/Scottish descent, and co-founder and Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, now celebrating its 10th anniversary season as Canada's only professional Asian Canadian theatre company. A Dora-nominated actor and playwright, Yee's work has been produced in Canada and internationally. His play lady in the red dress was nominated for a 2010 Governor General's Award as well as a Dora Award for Outstanding New Play while paper SERIES was shortlisted for the 2011 Carol Bolt Award. He now makes his writing debut at Tarragon with carried away on the crest of a wave, following his beautiful performance in The Golden Dragon in 2012.

Nina Lee Aquino is a director, dramaturge and playwright and is currently Co-Artistic Director of Factory Theatre. With her Tarragon directing debut, she comes full circle as she first encountered Canadian theatre at the age of 17 performing at Tarragon's Spring Arts Fair, shortly after emigrating from the Philippines. While Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre (2009-13), she directed premieres of Matthew MacKenzie's SIA and David Yee's paper SERIES for which she won a Dora Award for Outstanding Direction. Aquino has been nominated for several Dora AWards and was honoured with the Ken McDougall Award and the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize. She next directs the premiere of Sister Mary's a Dyke?! for Cahoots Theatre Company in May.

The design is by multi-award winners Camellia Koo (set and costumes) and Michelle Ramsay (lighting). The sound design is by Michelle Bensimon; the stage manager is Joanna Barrotta.

Tarragon Theatre presents the world premiere of
carried away on the crest of a wave

By David Yee
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Starring Kawa Ada, Ash Knight, Richard Lee, John Ng, Mayko Nguyen and Richard Zeppieri
Set and Costume Designer: Camellia Koo
Lighting Designer: Michelle Ramsay
Sound Designer: Michelle Bensimon
Stage Manager: Joanna Barrotta

Opens April 24 and runs to May 26, 2013 (Previews from April 16)
Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3
Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm starting April 21.

Tickets range from $27-$53 (including discounts for students, seniors and groups)
AND a Pay-What-You-Can 2:30pm matinee on May 18
Tickets can be purchased through the box office at 416.531.1827 or visit
- $13 Rush Tickets at the door Fridays (on sale at 6pm) & Sundays (on sale at 1pm) starting April 26 -

Creativity Rocks! 2013: Drawings, poems, stories & dance by kids April 15-21, 2013 in Toronto

From a release:

Creativity Rocks! 2013
Drawings, poems, stories & dance by children & youth
April 15-21, 2013 - Neilson Park Creative Centre

• Opening reception April 17, 2013 - 6-8:30pm

Etobicoke -
The Exploring Creativity in Depth concept has been adapted over a period of twenty years for a variety of populations, including elementary school students, youth with special needs, classroom teachers, and museum visitors. By activating the creative imagination participants gain access to their authentic creative potential and express emergent images and feelings in various media. By engaging the deep structure of the creative process, the program promotes self-awareness and self-esteem, mutual understanding and reciprocity, and respect and wonder for the transformative power of art.

EXHIBITION: 130 drawings by 65 students selected from over 300 children and youth (Grades 2 to 8) in seven West Toronto schools. The artwork was created during Exploring Creativity in Depth programs provided by the Milkweed Collective at the Neilson Park Creative Centre. Under the direction of Austin Clarkson (prof. emeritus, York University), the artist-teachers of the Milkweed Collective have provided ECiD programs to over 6,000 students and 150 teachers from "priority" schools since 2002.

RECEPTION: Youth from North Kipling Junior Middle School will recite original poems on Human Rights and perform interpretive dance. NKJMS received an ArtsSmarts 21st Century Youth Creativity Challenge award for the Creativity Rocks Project, the only school in Ontario to receive a Round II award. Slam Poet Andrea Thompson will respond to the performances in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Andrea Thompson has performed her work at venues across North America and overseas for the past twenty years. Andrea is co-editor of the anthology Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, author of the poetry collection Eating the Seed, and creator of One, Urban Music Award nominated CD.

Exploring Creativity in Depth: Reflective viewing of artwork in a gallery, making oil pastel drawings, writing poems and stories about the drawings, and sharing artwork in small groups stimulates the imagination and increases confidence in creativity and love for art. Two drawings by each student will be mounted side by side to show the transformations that take place when the creative process is engaged in depth.

Neilson Park Creative Centre is a creative arts facility built by the City of Etobicoke in 1992. The fully accessible facility in a park setting, with 4 studios, 2 public galleries, and administrative offices, provides a community focus for creative visual arts in West Toronto.

love u lovecraft [lab]; a new collective creation: April 16 - 20 2013 in Montreal

From a media release:

Witness the creative process…
in collaboration with Infinithéâtre presents

love u lovecraft [lab]; a new collective creation
Inspired by the world of H.P. Lovecraft
Directed by Stacey Christodoulou
Mark these dates in your spring calendar

Tuesday, April 16 – Saturday, April 20, 2013
at Bain St-Michel, Montréal

- Inspired by the world of H.P. Lovecraft*, The Other Theatre manifests a little bit of horror, a little bit of fear.  A young girl’s mysterious disappearance, a mother’s broken memories, prophecies, secret gardens, games in the forest - stories of the unknowable and the unnamable. As part of its creative process, The Other Theatre invites the audience to a week-long public lab, into a world out of time and out of joint. In English and French.

With: Anana Rydvald, Sarah C. Carlsen, Dean Makarenko, Alexandra Montagnese and Cedrick Roy Designed by: Amy Keith, Marija Djordjevic, David Perreault Ninacs

love u lovecraft [lab]; a new collective creation

Presented by The Other Theatre in collaboration with Infinithéâtre
At Bain St-Michel, 5300, rue St-Dominique (corner Maguire)

• April 16-20, 2013 - Tuesday to Saturday 8pm
• All tickets are PAY WHAT YOU CAN
• Reservations: (514) 987-1774 ext. 104

Or online with PayPal:

• Opening night is Tuesday, April 16

*Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction. Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, he is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th Century, exerting widespread and indirect influence, and frequently compared to Edgar Allan Poe.

Canadian Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico Concerts in April/May 2013 & More News

From a media release:


- Canadian piano virtuoso Christina Petrowska Quilico celebrates her instrument in a number of intriguing artistic events in the coming weeks.  All take place in the Toronto area.

Widely renowned for her performances of contemporary composers and little-known repertoire, Petrowska Quilico is featured in the following presentations:

Thursday-Saturday, April 18, 19, 20, 2013 - 7:30 pm at the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street:  Rite Redux, a co-production of York U’s Departments of Dance and Music, celebrates the centennial of the iconic ballet Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), originally choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, to the score by Igor Stravinsky.   Petrowska Quilico will perform works by Satie and Debussy, also written in 1913. & in

Tickets & info

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 8 p.m. – Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W.:  One of six pianists when Soundstreams presents Piano Ecstasy,  Petrowska Quilico joins fellow Canadians Jamie Parker, Gregory Oh and Stephen Docking, and Brazil’s Duo Gisbranco in music by diverse composers.


Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 8 p.m. – Cornell Recital Hall, 3201 Bur Oak Avenue , Markham
Petrowska Quilico performs Visions: Rhapsodies & Fantasias by Constantine Caravassilis at the Kindred Spirits Orchestra’s Markham Contemporary Music Festival, held at Markham’s newly built state-of-the-art Cornell Recital Hall. 

Tickets & info

Christina Petrowska Quilico’s 2013 performing schedule began with the January 22 launch concert for the world premiere, two-CD Centrediscs recording, Visions: Rhapsodies & Fantasias.  Her 30th CD title, Visions features the solo piano music of Greek-Canadian composer Constantine Caravassilis.

Critic John Terauds called the CD “112 minutes of timeless-sounding new music for solo piano that offers something for many different kinds of listeners,” noting Petrowska Quilico’s “impeccable pacing and elegant verve. Both the music and the interpretations impress more with each listen.”

Reviewing the concert on I Care if you Listen (, critic Justin Rito described Petrowska Quilico’s performance as “superb … She embraced each of the influences Caravassilis projected in his scores with evident ease, displaying sheer pianistic virtuosity.”

Benoît Gheeraert of Le Métropolitain deemed the event “a total success”:  “The pianist’s fingers ranged delicately over the Steinway before letting the shadow in question (in Shadow Variations on a Theme by Alan Hovhaness) slowly but surely expand until the entire room was engulfed.” 

At York University’s “musicircus” CageSpace, February 7, she performed John Cage’s 35-minute solo Cheap Imitation.

VISUAL ART: Also a gifted visual artist, Petrowska Quilico was inspired by Caravassilis’ music to reflect her response in 102 paintings.  They screened on monitors before and after her concert, and during intermission.  Some were later exhibited at the Canadian Music Centre.

The paintings will be synchronized with the actual performance via video screen projection when Petrowska Quilico repeats her Visions concert for the Kindred Spirits New Music Festival on May 4 (see above). 

UPCOMING: Upcoming are the launch of a two-CD set of Brazilian Tangos, a Women’s Gems CD, and plans to record further selections from Ann Southam’s Glass Houses Revisited.  Together with violinist Jacques Israelievitch, she is preparing Mozart sonatas, as well as piano quintets and works for violin and piano by Canadian composers for concerts and possible recordings.  One of these new works is a commission from Constantine Caravassilis for violin and piano.

Canadian Opera Company Ensemble artists will compete Monday, May 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, in the annual Christina and Louis Quilico Awards.

William Christie Conducts Charpentier's David et Jonathas April 17 - 21 2013 at BAM (Brooklyn)

From a release:

David et Jonathas
Apr 17—Apr 21, 2013

Peter Jay Sharp Building
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Part of 2013 Winter/Spring Season

By Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Les Arts Florissants
An Aix-en-Provence Festival production
Conducted by William Christie
Directed by Andreas Homoki

Buy Tickets

“Conductor William Christie brings the score dazzlingly to life… through buoyant, tripletime dances and aching laments.” —The Guardian (UK)

BROOKLYN - Following their landmark revival of Atys in 2011, venerated conductor William Christie and early music group Les Arts Florissants return to BAM with a Baroque gem fashioned from the roiling dramas of the Old Testament: French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s (1643—1704) rarely staged sacred tragedy David et Jonathas, directed by Andreas Homoki.

The deepest of male friendships must contend with jealousy, a witch’s premonition, and, ultimately war in this story of the begrudging King Saul’s rash decision to banish his son’s best friend on the eve of battle. Told from multiple points of view and featuring Charpentier’s stately choruses, dances, and airs, David et Jonathas unfolds with Christie’s trademark rhetorical flair. Melodies heave and sigh with gossamer elegance, transforming a neglected biblical parable into a sonically gripping psychological tableau.

Scene design by Paul Zoller; Costume design by Gideon Davey; Lighting design by Franck Evin

RUN TIME: 2hrs 30min with intermission

David: Pascal Charbonneau
Jonathas: Ana Quintans
Saul: Nel Davies
Archis: Fréderic Caton
Joabel: Kresimir Spicer
La Pythonisse: Dominique Visse

Co-produced by Opéra Comique and Théâtre de Caen in association with Les Arts Florissants with the support of The Selz Foundation

The Canadian Opera Company Presents Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor April 17-24 2013

From a media release:

the Canadian Opera Company:
donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece, lucia di lammermoor, returns to the coc with an acclaimed production created for and starring soprano anna christy
April 17 - 24, 2013

Toronto –
Opening the Canadian Opera Company’s 2012/2013 spring season is Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece, Lucia di Lammermoor, starring American soprano Anna Christy in a production created especially for her by director David Alden at English National Opera.  American conductor Stephen Lord, named one of the “25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera” by Opera News, leads the COC Orchestra and Chorus through Donizetti’s cascading romantic melodies.  Last presented by the COC in 2004, Lucia di Lammermoor returns for nine performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 17, 20, 26, 30, May 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24, 2013, and is sung in Italian with English SURTITLES™.

One of the world’s most influential and prolific directors of opera, American David Alden has been called “a leading light … a force in international opera today,” by The Financial Times.  He returns to the COC after more than 30 years, having directed the company’s The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1980.  This production of Lucia di Lammermoor premiered at ENO in 2008 and was remounted in 2010.  In its review of the 2010 production, The Daily Telegraph noted, “David Alden’s production makes Lucia di Lammermoor seem like a novel that Emily Brontë or the young Charles Dickens should have written but didn’t; it’s set in some haunted, dream-like early Victorian limbo … where walls are crumbling, fortunes have decayed, cupboards are full of dusty legal papers and suppressed desires are matched by explosive hatreds.”

The Gothic world of Lucia di Lammermoor, conceived by Alden and his creative team, transports audiences to the ominous, brooding Scotland of Sir Walter Scott’s popular novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, on which the opera is based.  An immediate success with critics and audiences at the time of its 1835 premiere in Naples, Lucia di Lammermoor remains one of the most popular operas in the repertoire.  Young Lucia, who is treated as little more than chattel within a brutal, power-driven society, is deceived by her brother, and forced to betray the man she loves and marry another.  When confronted by her discarded lover, the expression of Lucia’s broken heart, and now-fractured mind, results in one of the most famous and stunning mad scenes in all of opera.  The quintessential bel canto opera, Lucia di Lammermoor is a showpiece for extraordinary singing.

Anna Christy’s shattering performance in the title role was met with critical and popular acclaim when this production premiered in 2008.  The Daily Telegraph described her Lucia as “doll-like” and “all fey intensity, unaware of her sexual allure and pitched from the start at the edge of sanity.  Her dazzling sketched coloratura in the mad scene is electrifying.”  The Guardian said her Lucia “knocks sparks off Donizetti’s vocal lines,” a sentiment shared by The London Times with the comment that “she produced a mesmerising performance – and a top F that shook the West End.”  Christy has delighted audiences around the world with her extraordinary blend of sparkling voice, powerful stage presence and innate musicality.  She is a frequent performer at such major opera houses as the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and English National Opera, and has appeared at Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Teatro alla Scala. Anna Christy makes her COC debut as Lucia.

American tenor Stephen Costello makes his COC debut as Lucia’s lover, Edgardo.  Costello, called “a first-class talent” by Opera News, has established himself as one of the current generation’s most impressive artists.  In recent years, this young tenor has accumulated a notable roster of debut performances at a number of the world’s most important opera houses and music festivals, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Salzburg Festival, and the Vienna State Opera.

Also making his COC debut, as Lucia’s vengeful brother Enrico, is American baritone Brian Mulligan.  Praised by Opera News for his “velvety, evenly and effortlessly produced baritone and nuance-rich phrasing,” Mulligan performs regularly with the leading opera houses and orchestras of the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Washington National Opera.  Abroad, he has been heard in London, Vienna, Dublin, Auckland and at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.

American tenor Nathaniel Peake, a 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Winner who also performs in the COC’s 2013 spring production of Salome, makes his COC debut as Arturo, Lucia’s intended groom.  American Oren Gradus, a bass quickly gaining recognition in North America and in Europe, makes his COC debut as Raimondo, Lucia’s family chaplain.

COC Ensemble Studio soprano Sasha Djihanian, who recently made her company mainstage debut as Annio in the Ensemble Studio performance of La clemenza di Tito, is Alisa, Lucia’s confidante.  COC Ensemble Studio baritone Cameron McPhail makes his COC mainstage debut as Normanno, Enrico’s captain.

Conductor Stephen Lord last appeared with the COC leading the 1998 production of Norma.  Currently the music director for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and recently named music director of opera studies at the New England Conservatory, Lord returns to conduct the COC Orchestra and Chorus.

In working with David Alden to bring Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor to the stage, set designer Charles Edwards and costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel have created a world in keeping with the Scotland of Scott’s novel.  Edwards, who makes his COC debut with this production, and Reiffenstuel, who designed the costumes for the COC’s 2012 production of The Tales of Hoffmann, are joined by lighting designer Adam Silverman and choreographer Maxine Braham, who both make their COC debuts.

• Single tickets for Lucia di Lammermoor are $12 – $325 (includes applicable taxes).  Tickets are available online at, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Check the website for Standing Room, Young People, Opera Under 30 and other discounts

David Yip's Gold Mountain on Stage in Montreal April 16 - 27 2013

From a media release:

Part of Les Deux Mondes’ 40th anniversary season!
Les Deux Mondes presents a co-production with Unity Theatre, Liverpool (with French surtitles)
Gold Mountain
Written by David Yip and Kevin Wong, Directed by Daniel Meilleur
Tuesday, April 16 – Saturday, April 27, 2013
At Théâtre Aux Écuries, Montreal

“You must leave, go and bring honour to your family. Find your gold mountain, make your fortune.  Then and only then can you return.” 

Montreal - Award-winning Montreal theatre company Les Deux Mondes is excited to present their internationally acclaimed show, Gold Mountain, for the first time in their home theatre, Aux Écuries, from April 16-27. Written by talented British playwright, actor and filmmaker David Yip, along with Kevin Wong, the play is performed by the original actors: David Yip as father figure, Yee Lui and Eugene Salleh, as his son, David Yee. This visually stunning multimedia presentation is the collaboration of the inspired Les Deux Mondes creative team: director/designer Daniel Meilleur, visual artist Yves Dubé and sound/multimedia designer Michel Robidoux.

Despite their difficult relationship, David Yee elicits from his father, Yee Lui, the story of his tragic life; having to flee a small village in China and its political upheaval with the hope of finding his ‘gold mountain’-  a name given to North America’s west coast by Chinese immigrants looking for riches during the 19th century gold rush. Yee Lui finds himself in Liverpool married to an English woman and with a family, but without the trappings of the success he dreamed of. Loosely based on actor David Yip’s own father's life, Gold Mountain is an intimate tale of father and son, immigration and belonging, told with breathtaking theatrical magic. David tries to piece together the broken jigsaw of his father Yee's life - exploring his rambling stories in search of family truths. But every answer asks more questions- will David find the man he barely knew? In this epic journey, follow Yee’s story of personal exile against the backdrop of Communist China, war, gambling, addiction, adversity and friendship. Les Deux Mondes’ striking environment, including a transporting soundscape and brilliant images created by lighting, shadow play and film, is coupled with riveting performances. Follow Yee’s search for fortune and happiness, and David’s ultimate understanding, through the multimedia poetry of this celebrated, contemporary show.

For writer Yip, the play is a cocktail of stories shaken and stirred, “Some accounts are true, others made up, but the emotional roller coaster of the piece is very close to the mark.” It was also important for Yip to shed light on the often untold stories of his heritage, “With nearly 40 years as an actor, I have become more and more frustrated that so little writing comes from the British-Chinese community.” He continues, “All through my childhood, the veil of secrecy and suspicion hung heavy, the past was to be forgotten and only the future could be contemplated and talked about. It is up to artists like myself to help lift that veil and allow the younger generations to be able to ask, ‘why’?” Yip enjoyed talking to artists from the Chinese community in Vancouver when Gold Mountain played there in November, “Canada is fortunate to have a thriving community with great historic links to the ‘gold mountain’. I was inspired by our exchanges of ideas and thoughts.”

Though a memory-play, the story’s themes address today’s issues. Les Deux Mondes has had the opportunity to play in 35 countries during its forty years of existence. Daniel Meilleur, Gold Mountain director (and company co- Artistic Director with Michel Robidoux), discovered the issue of immigration all over the world, lived more or less harmoniously or confrontationally, “No wonder that a story that depicts a Chinese emigrant in Liverpool can move spectators in Sweden just as much as it touched us as Quebec artists. The concerns are universal.”

For the designers, the company’s Villeray neighbourhood is ever-present. This from Michel Robidoux- “Any play about the integration of newcomers into a society is automatically relevant for audiences everywhere. The story is also about hope and the willpower of continuity.” Yves Dubé adds, “Besides tackling the reality of immigrants, Gold Mountain speaks to the generation gap, racism, interracial marriages and forgiveness.”

The play is personal for Robidoux, “Being a huge Beatles fan and the son of a Montreal harbour longshoreman, I would have been drawn to any story taking place in Liverpool and around its harbour. My father worked for the Cunard Steamship Company operating between Liverpool and Montreal.” When Robidoux came back from Les Deux Mondes’ first tour in China, he started building virtual musical instruments from samples he had recorded and composed a number of musical themes, “Many compositions fit the Gold Mountain project and the rest were inspired by this crossbreeding of China and Liverpool, the cradle of The Beatles, whose music was some of the first I learned.”

With a solid reputation for artistic innovation and experimentation, this Les Deux Mondes production is no different. Here, text influences the multimedia universe and vice versa. Having seamlessly collaborated together on four previous productions, this first-class team is reunited for this gorgeous show: concept, lights and costumes, Daniel Meilleur; visual concept and video design, Yves Dubé; and sound design, Michel Robidoux; with credit for the overall concept shared by all three.

Gold Mountain April 16-27, 2013 in English with French surtitles
Les Deux Mondes with Unity Theatre, Liverpool
At Théâtre Aux Écuries
7285, rue Chabot (near metro Fabre)
Tuesday to Friday at 8:30 pm, Saturday at 4:30pm
Tickets: $12.50-$25.00

• Box Office: 514 328-7437 (514 Écu-ries) no service charge
or online
• Images by Sam Heath