This summer I’ll be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I with a concert performance on July 19th at the Elora Festival. Canada, Fall In! The Great War Remembered in Words, Images and Song will tell the story of Canadians in WW1 through their letters and diaries as narrated by me and actors Christopher Newton and Brigitte Robinson, complemented by a screen show of remastered footage and archival images. The Elora Festival Singers under the baton of Noel Edison will bring to life the music of the period, from forgotten Canadian songs like ‘Canada, Fall In’ and ‘Boys from Canada’ to familiar favorites like ‘Tipperary’ and ‘Roses of Picardy’ to haunting choral anthems by Healey Willan and Benjamin Britten. I know this will be an unforgettable experience for any Canadian.
Two performances of ‘Unsinkable: The Titanic in Words, Images and Song’ were greeted with prolonged standing ovations on July 14th at the Elora Festival. Distinguished actors Christopher Newton andBrigitte Robinson assisted me in narrating the story while images and footage played on a large screen. Musicians and soloists from the Elora Festival Singers under Noel Edison evoked the music of fatal maiden voyage in a haunting and beautiful way.
The show will remounted on Friday October 12th at Casa Loma in Toronto as part of ‘A Night to Remember’ Gala for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. This will be the ultimate Titanic dinner along with the performance of ‘Unsinkable’ in a memorable evening of Gilded Age drama and splendor. For more information go to: www.tmchoir.org/gala.
I had suggested the idea of a festival to celebrate Broadway’s unique artistic heritage to local gallery owner John Noott in 2007 when I returned there with finished copies of my bookCarnation, Lily, Lily, Rose: The Story of a Painting. John promoted the idea, a committee was formed and the first festival took place this year and was a great success.
I took part in a performance ofCarnation, Lily, Lily, Rose adapted from the book. There was a splendid exhibition of paintings by John Singer Sargent and members of the Broadway colony that was opened by Sargent’s great-nephew, Richard Ormond as well as a full complement of other exhibitions plus concerts, plays and tours. The next Broadway Arts Festival will take place in June of 2012.