LSM Newswire

Monday, October 19, 2009

York Artists offer a Contemporary Take on an Ancient Tale with A Compendium of Scenes from Virgil

, October 14, 2009: York University’s Music Department celebrates the heroic genesis of a new era with The Aeneid: A Compendium of Scenes from Virgil, an original cycle of musical tableaux based on the famed Latin epic. 

A dynamic mix of opera, oratorio, cantata, dance and digital media, this contemporary retelling of an ancient tale unfolds November 11 in York U’s Tribute Communities Recital Hall.

The founding myth of classical Roman culture, The Aeneid was the final work of the poet Virgil, who dedicated it to Rome’s first emperor, Caesar Augustus. The story follows the warrior-hero Aeneas and his fellow Trojans as they sail to find a second home after the fall of Troy. Fraught with divine intervention, their journey encompasses momentous battles, love affairs, suffering and sacrifice. It culminates in a final battle in Italy where Aeneas emerges victorious, setting the stage for a glorious new epoch leading to the founding of Rome.

Bringing Virgil’s myth-history to life are professional musicians, performers, academics and students in York U’s Music Department and Faculty of Fine Arts, joined by leading guest artists. 

Music Professor Michael Coghlan conceived the project, composed the music and scripted the (English and Latin) texts, devising a distinctive musical setting for each of the twelve dramatic scenes.

Featured performers include York U faculty members, mezzo soprano Catherine Robbin, multi-instrumentalist Rob Simms, choral conductor Lisette Canton, Bill Thomas, conductor of the York U Wind Symphony, clarinetist Patricia Wait and flamenco guitarist Roger Scannura. Guest artists include the award-winning Mississauga Children's Choir, internationally renowned trumpeter Guido Basso, bass/baritones Daniel Lichti and Peter Wall, and York U alumna, soprano Leigh Anne Martin.

Coghlan, the director of York’s Graduate Program in Music, has extensive professional credits as a composer, performer, conductor, record producer and music director. He has worked in a wide range of musical genres and techniques, from medieval and classical to jazz, popular, world and contemporary music, with dozens of published scores and recorded compositions. His most recent compositions are two pieces, Peregrine Riffs and Lucky Cube 343, commissioned for the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ 100th anniversary this year. A specialist in digital music production, he is known nationally for his work in the development and use of contemporary music technologies in artistic and pedagogical practices.

The Aeneid: A Compendium of Scenes from Virgil is a YU50 event, created in celebration of York University’s 50th anniversary.

When: Wed. November 11 at 7:30pm 
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. Admission: $15 | $5 students & seniors 
Box Office: 416.736.5888 |

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