Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stratford Summer Music 2013 - Highlights not to be missed

Summer Music is Stratfords other festival and each and every year they provide an amazing lineup of world renowned musical entertainment. Last year the acclaimed Gramaphone Magazine listed this festival as one of the top twelve summer music festivals in North America alongside major players like New York. The festival runs July 15 to August 25. After listening to a presentation by Artistic Producer John Miller here are a few highlights that should not be missed. Recently a group of Canadian Jazz icons got together to perform at a fundraiser. They soon discovered that one of the things they all had in common is that they had all been awarded the Royal Order of Canada. This group now calls themselves Canadian Jazz Legends of the Highest Order and they will be performing a cabaret at the church restaurant. Tickets are $85 including dinner, or $40 for the show only. A group of young opera performers that have been touring Ontario by bicycle will be giving several pay what you can performances at Revel Cafe. Acordian player Joseph Macerollo will be doing a concert series at Rundles Restaurant featuring selections from his time working with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti and Edith Piaf. Miller is also very excited to present the Vienna boys choir this year. He states that it is very rare for this choir to do multiple performances in one location. Now in their 600th year the choir is one of the oldest and most renowned choirs in the world. On July 30 the choir will be joined by internationally acclaimed Canadian tenor, Michael Schade. Miller states that anywhere else in the world a ticket to a concert of this caliber could cost hundreds of dollars, but at this festival it is a steal of a deal at $50. In a tribute to composer Murray Schafer who will be celebrating his 80th birthday during the festival there will be a repeat of his Music Wilderness Lake. In this work 12 trombones play a haunting melodic conversation on the shores of the Avon and sunrise. This is then followed by an aria sung from a canoe by soprano Brooke Dufton. A few years ago we took our guests down to see this performance and it was breathtaking. It is probably one of our most memorable experiences in Stratford and we would highly recommend you experience it for yourself. Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay will also be performing. These young people play instruments built from recycled trash. There story is amazing but it would take me pages to tell it all so please click on the links below to get the details. Recycled Orchestra video 1 Recycled Orchestra video 2 For a complete list of events or for ticket information please visit the; Stratford Summer Music Festival website

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tommy Rocked Our World

Unfortunately we are really behind in terms of our theatre attendance this year, but last Thursday night we started our season off with a bang. The very first note of this years production of Tommy makes the entire audience levitate out of their seats and from that point on you spend the rest of the first act on the edge of your seat trying to take it all in. If you liked Des McAnuff's "Jesus Christ Superstar" two years ago this production is that one time ten. The opening segment of the production is a master class on prologue. They manage to tell you the entire back story in a matter of moments without any dialogue. BRILLIANT! For us there were several standout performances. In his Stratford debut Robert Markus plays a stunning Tommy and he is sure to make a lot of young ladies swoon. Kira Guloien brings a an element of warmth and understanding to the role of Mrs. Walker. Jewelle Blackman is hot, hot, hot. Steve Ross plays the icky uncle very well, and finally welcome back Mr Paul Nolan it is great to see you back in Stratford. Nolans role in this production is the polar opposite of his role as Jesus but he plays it with total conviction and that is one of the many reasons why we love him. Some criticisms we have heard is that once again like J.C.S. it was too loud, we never thought that at all, it might have something to do with where you sit so choose your seats wisely. Besides you are going to see a Rock Opera by the Who you should be expecting loud. Also some patrons say the video wall is too distracting. We felt that it was a great modern update to the production. It is as if the video scenery is another dimensional layer to the production and I saw it as the back up ensemble to the entire show at times quite literally. So needless to say get your tickets soon because this one is going to be a hit people. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.