Professional, Live Premiere of a Unique and Compelling Canadian Chamber Opera
1873: On a strangely stormy day, Susan Allison peers out over Lake Okanagan, anxiously searching the waters for the boat which her husband, John, and their Métis guide, Johnny MacDougall, have taken to deliver flour for grinding at the grist mill in Okanagan Mission. As the winds whip the trees and waves, and her aboriginal child-nurse, Marie, urges her to come indoors, Susan spies a long, undulating figure in the water, “like a huge tree trunk …. moving fast.” Is it n’ha-a-itk, the fearful creature of the Lake? And what has become of John and MacDougall?
Astrolabe Musik Theatre is proud to partner with Turning Point Ensemble in celebrating outstanding Canadian composer Barbara Pentland’s centenary with a live, professional premiere (60 years after its composition) of her 1952 one-act opera The Lake, with libretto by trailblazing Canadian poet Dorothy Livesay, performed in a semi-staged, concert version.
Rounding out the program is music by one of Pentland’s teachers, Aaron Copland. Two of his early chamber works – Sextet for clarinet, piano and string quartet (1937) and Vitebsk (Study on a Jewish Theme – 1929) are paired with the premiere of a new sextet (Ascendant) dedicated to the memory of Aaron Copland by New York composer and Grammy-nominated jazz musician Dave Douglas.
Presented in partnership with Turning Point Ensemble
November 14-15, 2012
Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (Vancouver, BC)
John Arsenault, tenor, as Johnny MacDougall
Angus Bell, bass-baritone, as John Allison
Heather Pawsey, soprano, as Susan Allison
Barbara Towell, mezzo-soprano, as Marie
Owen Underhill, conductor
James Fagan Tait, director
Mark Eugster, lighting designer
Turning Point Ensemble
Sextet – Aaron Copland
Vitebsk (Study on a Jewish Theme) – Aaron Copland
Ascendant – Dave Douglas
The Lake – Barbara Pentland