The Canadian Art Song Project (CASP) has announced that Laurence Jobidon (right) and Jesse Plessis (left) are the inaugural mentees in the Chung-Wai Chow and John Wright Art Song Mentorship Programme for Composers; a new CASP initiative designed to support emerging composers working in the field of Canadian Art Song. They will be working with mentors Luna Pearl Woolf and Jocelyn Morlock, respectively.
Over the course of the next year, Laurence Jobidon will be working with Luna Pearl Woolf on her project that sets the poetry of Blanche Lamontagne; the first French-Canadian woman poet to publish under her own name, while Jesse Plessis will be working with Jocelyn Morlock on a project entitled Time’s Kiss that will interweave texts by Rabindranath Tagore, Anne Carson, and Geneviève Plessis.
Full details on the programme and the selected composers can be found here.
Last night, at the Ernest Balmer Studio, we got to see somewhat more developed versions of the works presented earlier in the week in the RBA but this time in staged format. I’m not sure my opinions changed much as a result though I think I’m even more convinced that here we have five pieces of substance that deserve to be seen in fully realised form. So, some brief thoughts on each. Note that, except for Book of Faces we only saw extracts from pieces that are still WIP. Continue reading →
Yesterday’s concert in the RBA was a sneak preview of the material for a longer workshop/performance in the Ernest Balmer Studio on Saturday night. The five works involved and the background are covered in this post.
We got excerpts from all five works with Jennifer Szeto at the piano and various combinations of Suzanne Rigden, Kristin Hoff and Lindsay Connolly singing. There were also brief introductions to each piece from the creative teams. What struck me most was how different the pieces were but how they seemed to reflect regional differences in musical expectations across Canada. For example, the two works from Quebec both used extended/prepared piano with a bunch of extended vocal techniques in Margareta Jeric’s Suites d’une ville morte. Laurence Jobidon’s L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi was perhaps more conventionally lyrical but it wasn’t a sound world one hears much in Toronto (at least in opera).
Suzanne Rigden performing in the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre