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.
It’s good to see a company like Opera by Request doing contemporary Canadian work. Better still when it’s a comedy. So I was very eager to see what they would do with John Metcalfe and Larry Tremblay’s A Chair in Love, presented last night at The Array Space. The work itself is, shall we say, “unusual”. An avant-garde film director falls in love with a chair and, despite the warnings of his jealous dog that the world isn’t ready for human/furniture relationships, makes a film about it. He is duly condemned by critical and popular opinion and despairs. The doctor prescribes her experimental Lovekiller pills. He, apparently kills his dog and is sentenced to the electric chair (what else?). Fortunately this whole episode turns out to be a hallucination brought on by the untested medication. Meanwhile the chair has run off with the film critic who condemned such things and man and dog are reconciled. Got that?
OK everything about this has me intrigued. Opera by Request are putting on a semi-staged version of John Metcalf and Larry Tremblay’s A Chair in Love. It’s about an angsty film director who falls in love with a chair despite his dog’s best efforts to avoid disaster. It’s on Friday July 17th @ 7:30pm at the Array Space (155 Walnut Avenue), and features William Shookhoff (music director and pianist), Abigail Freeman (Chair), Michael Robert-Broder (Truman), Gregory Finney (Dog), and Kim Sartor (Dogtor/Doctor). Tickets are $20 and available here. Despite Metcalf’s heritage I don’t think it’s in Welsh though the chance to see Greg bark in Welsh would be worth the price of a ticket.