Yesterday the COC hosted an update session on the Digital Stage initiative and one of its key components; the Performing Arts Digital Lab (PADL). This is a joint project of the COC and the National Ballet) and yesterday’s update curiously coincided with the Federal Heritage department announcing major funding for the next stage of PADL. I’m not going to report on the update in detail because all the materials and the session itself will be archived at coc.ca/digitalstage. (All the stuff prior to yesterday is already there but yesterday’s material wasn’t at time of writing)
Yesterday I received seven assorted emails about cancellations in Toronto plus news from the Metropolitan Opera. Essentially all the major orchestras and music theatre organisations in Toronto are shuttered until at least the end of the month. Events are also being called off elsewhere so check your location situation. Here’s a quick run down:
The Four Seasons Centre is closed until the end of the first week of April. So, the ballet is off, as is the free concert series. The COC is still planning to run its spring season but we’ll see.
Tafelmusik and the TSO have cancelled performances until the end of the month.
After tomorrow the UoT and the Conservatory are cancelling public events until the end of the month.
Tapestry Songbook on March 21st is sort of cancelled. There will be no live audience but the show will be live streamed at 8pm and the performers are being paid. Go Tapestry!
Amici Chamber Ensemble’s show on the 29th is off.
The Metropolitan Opera is closed so no Live in HD but they are doing free nightly web casts of the HD back catalogue. Details here.
I was at the second Digital Symposium hosted by the COC and the National Ballet this morning. I was at the first round back in September which was basically an environmental scan that didn’t really evoke much of a reaction beyond noting that there were a lot of shiny technologies and they were expensive so I didn’t write about it. Today was different. In both the plenary session, in which KerrSmith presented their “Horizon Scan”, and the break out groups I was involved in some really deep conversations. I want to try and share some of that with you along with some thoughts of my own. I should stress that anything I’m writing here is personal and provisional and certainly doesn’t represent the views of the COC, the National Ballet or KerrSmith.
Needing something suitable to celebrate Britten’s 100th birthday I decided to go and see the National Ballet’s new show Innovation which premiered last night and included a piece set to the Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes. A Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Emma Kirkby and Daniel Taylor was a considerable additional attraction. I’m not a dance expert so take any comments on that subject that follow as the impressions of a complete non-expert.