Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stratford Summer Music

Stratford Summer Music is celebrating it's tenth season this year and the line up is spectacular. Last night we had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by the events Artistic Producer, John Miller who gave us some wonderful insight on what one shouldn't miss this year.

Opening the five weeks of festivities is a wonderful concert that will be held on Tom Patterson Island. Although the concert is a private event for sponsors the music and fireworks display can be enjoyed by all. The piece de resistance of this evening will be a barge decorated with Chinese lanterns which will float down the Avon river, flanked by two Dragon boats. On the barge will be a choir, and if Mr Millers enthusiasm is any indication of how spectacular this will be, we are in for a treat.

The festival will be full of amazing talent, and I will try to point out a few of the highlights;
Canada’s great tenor to the world Ben Heppner will be performing five times during the first week of the festival including a performance with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada right next door to Hughson Hall at Central United Church. The Lanley Ukulele Ensemble is the most requested group in the festivals history and they will be returning this year. If you have an opportunity take advantage of Picnic Basket auctions that will take place every Saturday during the festival. These picnics are supplied by local restaurants and always prove to be a wonderful surprise.

Another festival favorite has been the Saturday night Cabarets at the Church Restaurant. These are after theatre performances that begin at 11:30 pm but this year there is also a dinner and show option that should prove very popular. The tickets in highest demand this year are the Bach at Rundles performances. Winona Zelenka, acting principal cellist of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, presents J.S.Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello on the famed Guarnerius/Starker cello which was built in 1707. Additional performances have been added so there are still some tickets available at this time.

In week three keep your ears peeled for local 60's rockers "Reload" who will be performing classic rock on the barge. You can also catch the three act performances of "My Audia" in the downtown core. Each act of this three act tragicomic street opera will be performed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The basis of the plot is "what happened to the children of Hamelin after the Pied Piper took them away." On another level this opera will explore the power of sound and how it can save us.

In week four check out Jan Lisiecki, a 15 year-old piano sensation from Calgary. After his performance in Stratford Jan will be heading to Warsa to perform at the 5th International Festival “Chopin and His Europe” On the barge this week check out the sounds of New Orleans with the female Cajun Band, Swamperella.

Finally in Week five watch for the Tivoli Boys Band from Copenhagen Denmark, and don't miss the RBC Festival Finale featuring Jackie Richardson. This performance will also be held next door to Hughson Hall at Central United Church.

It looks like an outstanding event, so please try to take in "Stratford's Other Festival" this summer.

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