Skip to main content

The Ballad of Hugh: Screenings June 16, 20 & CD Release June 19 in Toronto

From a media release:

Film at NXNE

a film by Marco DiFelice
a documentary about 82-Year-Old Sensation Hugh Oliver
Saturday June 16, 2012 - 3:00pm
National Film Board  - 150 John St. - 3:00pm &

Wednesday June 20, 2012 - 7:00 pm
The Royal Cinema  - 608 College St West

Film premiere coincides with release of Hugh’s first feature length album …And All That Crap

Hugh Oliver CD Release Party
Tuesday June 19 @ 8:00pm
Tranzac Club (Southern Cross room)
292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, ON

(Toronto, ON)
– Hugh Oliver, an 82 year-old-musician, poet, and internet sensation is set to take the world by storm with the release of The Ballad of Hugh, a documentary featuring the recording of his first feature length album …And All That Crap.

The film will premiere at 3:00pm on Saturday June 16, 2012 at NXNE music and film festival, and just a few days later the CD will be released on June 19 (same day as Justin Bieber’s new one). 

Poet, musician, novelist, sculptor and now viral sensation, Hugh Patrick Hoblyn Oliver was born in 1929, a loyal subject of the great British Empire. In the early ‘60s, Hugh was writing songs with record producer Glyn Johns and getting recorded by such heavyweights as Decca, EMI and HMV. Glyn went on to become one of the biggest producers of all time (The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles).  Hugh, on the other hand, gave up his burgeoning writing career and immigrated to Canada to take a job at the University of Toronto and raise a family. His songwriting aspirations were put on hold while he worked to support his wife and four kids.

Now in his 80’s, Hugh has traded in material pursuits to fully rededicate himself to artistic ones.  He has written over 100 songs and 200 poems, and produced 72 sculptures. Let’s just say he’s ready for his shot. 

The album titled ...And All That Crap was recorded on a single golden day at Canterbury Sound and includes some of Toronto’s top musicians (Christine Bougie, Chris Coole, Michael "Rosie" Rosenthal, Emilie Mover, Nichol Robertson, and Polaris prize winner Patrick Watson). Hugh’s music producer and friend Marco DiFelice decided to film the recording sessions and the idea for a documentary about Hugh was born.  In addition to the studio footage, Marco interviews Hugh about his life, his art and his aspirations, and adds quirky animations to illustrate some of Hugh’s songs and poems. Through his stories and lyrics, and with an incredible amount of candor and charm, Hugh teaches us that any age is a good age to dream, to play, to write, to learn.

On screen, we also meet director Marco DiFelice. A musician in his own right, Marco is Hugh’s producer, mentor, disciple, and biggest fan. Determined to make Hugh a star, Marco pours his energy (and money) into making Hugh’s album, but over the course of their conversations and recording sessions, a portrait of friendship between two artists emerges. Tackling everything from death and aging to love, war, pop culture and the human condition, Hugh’s lyrics and poems are at once delightfully irreverent and excruciatingly honest. A tale of friendship and artistic endeavour, The Ballad of Hugh is a heart-warming, inspirational doc that sheds a hopeful lyrical light on the intricacies of aging.

The Ballad of Hugh is director DiFelice’s first film. Based in Toronto, DiFelice is a man of many musical hats - Marco the composer, the singer, the player, the producer, the music supervisor, the manager… and now, the Director.  His song credits in TV range from Grey’s Anatomy to Degrassi Junior High.  In film, he supervised the music for One Week; Score: A Hockey Musical; and a slew of others.  His band cred stems from his days as lead singer of indie pop punk stalwarts, Supergarage, and now his own project, Marco Solo.  He also music supervises adverts for Telus, Virgin Mobile, GM, Rogers, Lotto 649, and Blackberry, to name a few.

A CD Release Party for Hugh Oliver will be Tues., June 19, at Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave.

After its debut at NXNE, The Ballad of Hugh will have a special one night public screening at The Royal, 608 College St., Toronto, on June 20, at 7pm, then the film will be followed up with a wider theatrical release in the Fall of 2012.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…