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Canadian Artists Series

Freedom, Flight & Frailty
- Carmen and The Last Curlew

Written By Tom Allen
An adaptation of
The Last of the Curlews (1955), by Fred Bodsworth (1918 – 2012)
Commissioned by Music Niagara and
The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival

Sunday, October 25, 2015
2:00 pm

Tom Allen of CBC Radio 2 - narration & trombone

Tom Allen is from Montreal. He started playing trombone in high school and decided not to stop. He spent six years at three universities and got two degrees, lived in New York City when there were still places you just didn’t go and stayed long enough to play a couple of gigs he still brags about. His brass quintet was working where the snow was clean and the concert hall was downstairs from the bowling alley, so he moved to Toronto and eventually found work at the CBC. Now he’s an author, Resident Artist at Soulpepper Theatre, songwriter, host of Shift, storyteller and creator of a series of chamber musicals that combine classical music, original songs and music history, and sometimes he still plays trombone. He can’t imagine there’s anything else you’d like to know, but if there is you could visit his website, www.tomtomallen.com.
Tom and Lori live with their son, two other children that aren’t children anymore and a dog, all in a house that is so full of art, music and unlabeled boxes that nobody really knows where anything is, anymore.

Lori Gemmell - harp

Lori Gemmell started as a street-corner busker in Montreal. She is now Principal Harpist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, has toured Europe and Japan with the Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, and teaches both privately and at Wilfred Laurier University. She plays regularly with the Toronto Symphony, COC, and National Ballet orchestras. She is a member of the Four Seasons Harp Quartette. Her most recent recording is Canadian Music for Harp. She has also recorded as a soloist on Prelude, with Jennifer Swartz on their harp duo recording The Garden of Peacocks, with Trumpeter Larry Larson on Divertissement and with songwriters Kevin Fox, Feist and Patricia O’Callaghan.

Julia Aplin - dancer

Julia Aplin’s dance career had taken her across artistic boundaries into theatre, music, design and visual art. Julia has worked with companies such as Tiger Princess Dance Productions, Toco Loco, SoulPepper, Inter Arts Matrix, Urban Vessel and Company Blonde. With Dusk Dances, she won the 2014 Audience Choice Award for Inner City Sirens Part 2. Julia was a performer with Dancemakers, under the Artistic Direction of Serge Bennathan for 15 seasons; an experience that inspired and shaped her ever widening view of what dance can be. She is also very excited about her new canoe. www.juliaaplin.com

Patricia O'Callaghan - voice

Patricia O’Callaghan grew up in Northern Ontario towns so tough enough they make Toronto hide its lunch money. Her opera and theatre credits include Threepenny Opera with Vancouver Opera and Soulpepper, and international touring of the Juno winning multi-media Opera Constantinople. She has her own special on Bravo!, Live at the Rehearsal Hall, and has appeared as a lead in the Ken Finkleman series Foolish Heart and the CBC/Rhombus movie Youkali Hotel. Her recording career has so far yielded 5 solo CDs out on Marquis/EMI and several collaborations. Her most recent are Matador: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, and Broken Hearts and Madmen with The Gryphon Trio, as well a brand new Christmas record on Roaring Girl Records called Deepest December.

Etsuko Kimura - violin

Etsuko Kimura is currently Assistant Concertmaster with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. One of the exciting performers of her generation, she catapulted to the international stage as a prizewinner of the 24th Joseph Szigeti International Violin Competition. Born and raised in Japan, she studied violin performance with Tomotada Soh at the Osaka College of Music, and later with Lorand Fenyves in Canada. Etsuko has been a featured soloist with orchestras internationally, and has lead a number of premier ensembles in the past including the Kobe City Chamber Orchestra in Japan, and Sinfonia Toronto. Her performances can be heard frequently on the radio. Etsuko currently teaches at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto and you don’t want to mess with her.


Freedom, Flight & Frailty
Carmen and the Last Curlew

Ralph Vaughan-Williams: Excerpt 1 from The Lark Ascending (1914)

Alexina Louie: From the Eastern Gate (1985)
Haiku I
Ceremonial music
On impermanence

Vaughan-Williams: Excerpt 2 from The Lark Ascending (1914) Louie:
Haiku II
The mandarins
Birds at the mountain temple Haiku III

Vaughan-Williams: Excerpt 3 from The Lark Ascending (1914)


Camille Saint-Saens - Fantasie (1907)

Georges Bizet- Selections from Carmen (1875)