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A concert inspired by Greek poet October 24, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.

It took first-century Latin poet, Publius Ovidius Naso, otherwise known as Ovid, to inflame the creative minds of artists, writers and musicians for the next 2,000 years, from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, and Bach, to Mozart, Beethoven, Picasso and Margaret Atwood.

It is said that his 15-volume anthology Metamorphoses, next to the Bible, is the most influential book in the history of European culture.

On Sunday October 29, at 2:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre, the Vancouver Island Symphony is honoured to present the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, with famed Canadian actor R.H. Thomson portraying Ovid, in Metamorphosis: From Myth to Music.

Artistic director and concertmaster Jeanne Lamon will lead Tafelmusik in works by Rameau, Lully, Vivaldi, Purcell, Marini, Bach and Marias, in a program designed to recapture the spirit in which Ovid’s stories were painted in music, particularly in seventeenth and eighteenth century France and the court of Louis XIV.

Thomson, as Ovid, will provide the telling of a few of those Greek myths that influenced the music of the baroque period, tales of transformation and metamorphoses, like Castor and Pollux, Axis and Galatea, Echo, Pygmalion, the Three Graces, the Contest of Pan and Apollo, and Alcyone.

Tafelmusik, Canada’s revered period instrument orchestra, was founded in 1979 and since 1981 has been under the direction of Lamon. The orchestra’s success has taken it around the world, with regular tours across North America, Europe and Asia, and the production of an impressive collection of over 70 recordings. Tafelmusik also performs over 50 concerts each season at its home base, the historic Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in downtown Toronto.

The orchestra has a core of 18 musicians, each a specialist in historical performance practice. They perform on original instruments or modern replicas, faithful in design and construction to the originals, that means hand-made sheep gut strings instead of nylon and metal. The result is an entirely different orchestral sound; softer, richer, fuller.

Tickets for Metamorphosis: from Myth to Music are available at the Port Theatre at 754-8550.  

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