7 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 9 - June 2004

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
  • Musical
  • Baroque
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Choir

Bon Voyage Baroque by S

Bon Voyage Baroque by S Masha Buell et sail on the 401 for Montreal, June 18-21, to explore the second Montreal Baroque Festival, curated by Susie Napper. Goddess of the gamba, Susie Napper is one half of viola da gam- to establish a colony - Acadia. "In ba duo Les Voix Humaines. Ac- between, in 1704, Marc Antoine tively involved with several Mon- Charpentier , renowned court comtreal-based early music ensembles, poser for Louis XIV, died. So the she teaches at McGill University, · 2004 Festival opening concert has a tours and records - with 24 record- commissioned work "Ballade du fils ings on the ATMA label alone . . She de l'horrnne" by Montreal's Gabriwas in Toronto recently with co-gam- el Charpentier." bist Margaret Little for Toronto Thematic broad strokes and in­ Masque Theatre's inaugural spiredollllllreiltation:Susiewieldsher Masques of Orpheus. curator's wand like her Baroque bow. To gaze on the carved head of a '.'IT ALL has to begin with a parade beautiful viola da gamba is to be re- of course ...." She radiates pure minded of the figurehead of a tall pleasure: suddenly you are there in sailing ship. Sitting with this world the streets With her. renowned gamba player I think of "L;tst year was our first parade both. Susie is warmly empathetic, and we thought - oh well, only a inspiring, but sinntltaneously sphinx- few people will' show up to a parade like, with a mysterious sparkle that for recorder players. But there were COVER STORY community, and invited artists from the international community, France in particular. There will also be a baroque fair: pen and plectra making, horse hair preparation, varnish making. You will be able to attend master classes, conferences, instrument builders' displays, a boat ride, dancing, theatrics. And of course that parade! through rue St Paul to the tune of a three bar canon commissioned for the day (get it ahead to learn if you want) so wherever you are in the the stream of festival musicians, cir- cus artists, drumrrers, and people like yourself, armed with a recorder or spoons, or pots or pans, the music will embrace you. The parade ends with an open-air 17th- century farce, followed by an evening concert in the Chapelle Notre-Dame-

the RCM, sar).g in St. Shmn 's Church Choir, rooved to Elora in 1977, and · has been there, roore or less, ever since "with 2 dogs Christopher and Robin, golf clubs, and a flotilla of friends." He got a BM us from Wilfrid Laurier University, studied conducting with Helmuth Rilling, Wayne Riddell and Robert Shaw, started the Elora Festival Singers in 1980, co-founded the Elora Festival 25 years ago, is also organist and choii directorof Elora's St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church (one of the few Canadian professional church choirs), and conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir since 1997. · Campbell's sojourn at "the Sound" · is roore seasonal. He has been a professor of music (clarinet), at the Music School oflndiana University since 1989, and strides the world's concert stages, classical and jazz, as well. He spoke with me for this story, for example; from Hilvers~ in Holland, where he was perfonrung and winding up "about eight hours of recording for Dutch radio, after which it's on to the Boston Pops under Bruce Hangen where we'll do the Gilliland again" (AllanGilliland's Dreaming of the Masters, ajazz suite ·for orchestra and solo clarinet that wowed Hangen when he did it_ with Campbell in Edroonton ip 2003). Campbell's commitment to FOS, nevertheless, also runs very deep. "I remember one turning point in particular," he says, "about nine years ago. We programmed a: we~ know pop artist as part of the festival, and predictably the artist in question drew a much larger house than the chamber artists. I remember, at the board meeting after, sitting very quietly, waiting to know how people would react. And someone said 'That one concert everyone came to instead of the others ... we shouldn't upset the baiallce like · that again.' That w'as a key . . . that feeling of yes we're on the same page." You hear the same thing when Edison talks about Elora. "To a significant extent a festival takes its identity from the director, it would be disingenuous not to say that, especially where people have been aroun~ as long as Jim and I. But far roore it takes its identity from the town. I'm ahugefan of this place. It's unique, lying between three significant universities, and with its own deep artistic vein as well, both in terms of practising artists and retirees: Our volunteer base is fantastic." As are the golf courses! which he's trying to get onto "whenever possible, two to three times per week," in between editing the latest JUNE 1 - JULY 7 2004 Festival Singers recording ("Hear My Prayer" with luminous guest soprano Karina Gauvin on the Naxos label), working on Beethoven's Ninth and Last Night of the Proms for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and TSO, attending fundraising events, getting ready to audition over 300 people for upcoming seasons with Elora Festival Singers and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and preparing for two tours in 2005, one to British Columbia and one to England. Oh, and the Festival of course. You CAN TELL a lot about the calibre of festivals by the artists they attract and keep, the matches they make in their programming. Dipping into the websites of Elora and FOS leaves you in no doubt that they' re a pedigreed pair, trotting comfortably and collegially parallel, for now, towards their well.earned "Jubilees." How long they'll stay matched is an interesting question, though. Talking with Jim Campbell leaves one with the sense that Festival of the Sound's biggest turning point is in the past - the acquisition of the 470-seat Charles Stockey Auditorium. "We've roore than doubled ca­ .pacity. Before the hall, 200 people was a. good crowd. Now it's a whole new ballgame; year-round concerts, a winter series with Jeunesses Musicales, other groups coming in. Tafelmusikjust visited. There . is a definite sense of arrival." Edison's Elora isn't "there" yet, wherever there is. Yes, there's the · ' Gambrel Barn (on our cover) "an acoustic

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