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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Talisker Players Presents Time and Tide

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Time and Tide
History, Memory, and the Meaning of Lives Lived
Tuesday & Wednesday, March 5 & 6, 2013 at 8PM
Trinity St. Paul’s Centre

For Immediate Release – Toronto, February 5, 2013: As spring approaches, with its promise of renewal, the inventive Talisker Players offer Time and Tide, a reflection on the meaning of lives lived. Presented on March 5 and 6 at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, this production explores the inevitable loss that time and change will bring, but also the way in which memory and history enrich our lives. The musicians of the ensemble share the stage with a trio of splendid performers: soprano Carla Huhtanen and baritone Peter McGillivray, as well as by theatre artist Stewart Arnott.
Time and Tide features two rarely-heard gems of the early 20th century. Gerald Finzi’s By Footpath and Stile is an early work by one of the great masters of English song-writing. A lyrical setting of poems by Thomas Hardy, for baritone and string quartet, it expresses a gentle nostalgia for times past and a deep faith in the natural order.
Ernst Toch was arguably one of the greatest and most original composers of the last century. Forced into exile from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, he settled in California but never entirely adjusted to North American culture – although his music is now finally enjoying something of a revival. Poems to Martha is a setting of simple and touching verses by Joseph Haft, a businessman and amateur poet (and a close friend of Toch) on the death of his wife.
Talisker Players proudly include music by two Toronto composers. Deuil engoisseux, by Scott Good, confronts the loss of a loved one. The text is from the deeply personal diary of Christine de Pisan, a 14th century writer -  the earliest professional woman writer whose name has come down to us - after the death of her beloved husband. Good’s setting, for soprano and string quartet, is a brilliant modern take on baroque style.
Walther Buczynski’s Three Songs looks at the passage of time from an entirely different perspective. Based on poems by Dorothy Glick, and set for soprano and string quartet, it is a lyrical and light-hearted reflection on watching her teenaged son grow up and become independent.
Solveig’s Song, a lovely old favourite from Edvard Grieg’s incidental music for “Peer Gynt”, rounds out the evening. The arrangement for soprano and strings is by Laura Jones.

As always, this Talisker Players production blends instrumental music, song and the spoken word.  Talisker Players welcome back Stewart Arnott. The acclaimed actor and director will perform passages from some of the most graceful memoirists in the English language, such as the celebrated American writer William Maxwell, who writes hauntingly about the lives of great and ordinary people, in ways which “refresh our idea of existence, and hold oblivion at arm’s length”.

Soprano Carla Huhtanen is in demand internationally for her soaring, translucent voice, her winning stage presence, and her diverse repertoire, gracing stages throughout Europe and across North America. The versatile singer appears regularly with Opera Atelier. A leading interpreter of modern and contemporary music, she is a member of Tapestry New Opera’s Studio Ensemble, where she has developed and premiered many roles. Among her many recent engagements, Carla has appeared in Queen of Puddings’ acclaimed production of Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba - Wedding, which was premiered in Toronto in 2011 and recently toured nationally and internationally.

Since he burst onto the scene in 2003, the award-winning baritone Peter McGillivray continues to win acclaim on opera, oratorio and recital stages across Canada and internationally. An alumnus of the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company, he has appeared frequently with the COC. In addition to his many concert performances, Peter is invited to work regularly with Tapestry New Opera Works, and with the opera companies of Calgary, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Québec City and Victoria.

Time and Tide
History, Memory, and the Meaning of Lives Lived
Carla Huhtanen, soprano, Peter McGillivray, baritone, Stewart Arnott, actor/reader
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 & Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8 PM
Trinity St. Paul’s Centre: 427 Bloor Street West
Individual tickets:  $30 / $20 (seniors) / $10 (students)
Box office: 416-978-8849
Information: 416-466-1800

Talisker Players Chamber Music offers one of the most imaginative and exciting concert series in Toronto. In collaboration with some of Canada’s finest young singers, Talisker Players present the rarely-heard repertoire for voice and chamber ensemble. Their unique programming includes readings that illuminate the music and delight audiences with a stimulating, theatrical concert experience. The music, engaging and varied, includes both celebrated works and unknown gems from all styles and periods, with a strong presence of Canadian compositions.

Talisker Players Upcoming Event

On the Wing: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 & Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8 pm
An exploration of the magic of birds
Erin Bardua, soprano, Vicki St. Pierre, mezzo soprano, Graham Abbey, actor/reader
Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West

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