Last night the main stage of the Four Seasons Centre was the setting for celebrating the award of the twelth Glenn Gould prize to the great Jessye Norman. There were speeches, of course, celebrating Ms. Norman’s life as a singer rising to the top of the profession from unpromising origins as well as her lifetime of educational and philanthropic endeavours. They were decently short and to the point allowing us to get onto to the music, though not before we had heard Ms. Norman’s heartfelt and very touching acceptance speech.
This year’s Soundstreams concert season was supposed to feature a performance by the Nelson Mandela University Choir. The current student and other social unrest in South Africa led to that tour being cancelled and left Soundstreams with the problem of organising a replacement line up in just four and a half weeks. I think they should be congratulated for sticking with the South African theme and producing the line up we saw last night subtitled A Tribute to Nelson Mandela’s Dream.