The Centenary of Armistice Day: 1918 to 2018

that occurred a century ago that has a very special res- onance, because the huge sacrifices of Canadian sol- diers one hundred years ago still has a profound impact on our society and on the world. Each year, as the styl-


ized poppies start appear- ing on the lapels of com- munity members, we are visibly

Trudy Schroeder Random Notes

reminded of the

First World War. In many years the reminder seems to link together all of the different wars in which Canadian

soldiers have

participated, and it seems to be an opportunity to

honour all those who fought, suffered, and died. But this year, the focus seems more specifically linked to remembering the Great War when so very many young Canadians sacrificed their lives on European battle grounds.

Our society was deeply transformed by the experi-

ences and the losses. Communities and the nation lost so many people of great promise, and a deep sadness entered so many families. For me the first item that struck me as remarkable was the commemorative coins introduced by the Canadian Mint this year. More than 650,000 Canadian men and women

served in uniform in the First World War. When you consider those numbers and the impact this had on our nations, the scale of the engagement is no less monu- mental today than it was more than 100 years ago. Of course, no veterans from that war remain with us, but the legacy of their contribution was great. This is a good time and year to read books, attend special ser- vices, look at the stained glass windows in many of our churches and perhaps take in a special commemorative service or concert. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

offers spe-

cial commemorative concerts on November 10 and 11, 2018 at 7:30 at the Concert Hall. The program includes pieces with strong ties to this period. Re- nowned British violinist Tasmin Little performs Benja-

British violinist Tasmin Little. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega.

min Britten’s sublime Violin Concerto. The orchestra will perform Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin which is dedicated to six of the composer’s friends who died in World War One, and the concert ends with Shostakov- ich’s Ninth Symphony. There will be current members of Winnipeg based military troops in attendance at the concert, and it will be a good opportunity to listen, think, and be moved by the importance and ongoing significance of the war that ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. Lest we forget.

Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Manitoba Opera’s 2018/19 season has great options for first-time opera goers

feature some of the most recognizable music ever writ- ten.

T Mozart’s Don Giovanni, considered to be one of the

greatest operas ever written, will open the season No- vember 24, 27, 30, 2018. A timeless classic of tragedy and dark comedy, Don Giovanni tells the legendary story of Don Juan, the dangerous and irresistible cad whose incessant pursuit of women at any cost earns him a dramatic punishment as the supernatural de- mands his repentance. The opera that Bugs Bunny made famous, Rossini’s

funny and frenetic, The Barber of Seville, closes the season April 6, 9, and 12, 2019. It’s one laugh after another as Figaro, the scheming barber and jack-of-all- trades, plots to help his friend Count Almaviva woo the lovely Rosina. In the process, they foil the plans of the spirited young woman’s lecherous old guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who has his eyes on her and her money. “Our 46th season is an opera lover’s dream,” com- mented Larry Desrochers, General Director & CEO. “Mozart is at the top of his game and Rossini’s show- stopping arias and lyrical melodies simply sparkle.” The season will star two of Canada’s most accom-

plished singers. Bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch - “flat out brilliant” (Opera News) - will sing the role of bad boy Giovanni, who in this production is a celebrated matador with a “rock star” persona. Baritone Elliot Madore known for his “exceptional artistry” (New York Times), will make his Manitoba Opera debut as Figaro. Both productions will be sung in Italian, but English

November 2018

his is a great year to test the waters if you’ve never been to the opera. Manitoba Opera’s 46th season will feature two popular works that both

he upcoming Remembrance Day commemora- tion is striking me in a very different way this year. There is something about marking a day

Camerata Nova is something different . . .and very beautiful

performers and composers. Fallen, the second concert in a series dedicated to truth and reconciliation, is the first offering of the season. The brilliant artistic director, Andrew Balfour, sup-


ported by the Camerata Nova team, continues to in- novate and celebrate choral music from the Renais- sance to present day in all its forms. Fallen, will open Nov. 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov.

4, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. (Pre-concert talks at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and 2:45 p.m. on Sunday). Experience the poignant drama of a Manitoba Indigenous hunter/trapper who signs up to fight in World War I. Join conductor Mel Braun and composer-singer-artistic director, Andrew Balfour, with Indigenous cellist, Cris Derksen, tradi- tional drummer-singer, Cory Campbell, and the Win- nipeg Boys’ Choir, among other guest artists. It’s all beauty and drama that is 100 years young. Fallen is the second concert in a series dedicated to truth and reconciliation. In 2020, look for our third concert, Captive, expressing the power and sadness of Indigenous incarceration. Sat., Nov. 17, 2018, will be the Santa Claus Parade

Day Concert at 2:30 p.m. to be held in the Atrium of the Manitoba Hydro Building. This light holi- day concert featuring Camerata Nova is a free per- formance that features Christmas classics, Camerata Nova originals, and some sing-alongs. Sun. Nov. 18, 2018, celebrate the holiday season with the kids of Sistema Winnipeg and Camerata Nova at 2:00 p.m., at St John’s College Chapel. All proceeds will go to support the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Sistema Winnipeg inner-city music educa- tion program, offered in partnership with Seven Oaks School Division and Winnipeg School Division. For more info and to purchase tickets, please visit sistema.

Who is Andrew Balfour?

ing Take the Indian, Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Migiis: A Whiteshell Soundscape, Bawajigaywin, Gregorio’s Nightmare, Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Fantasia on a Poem by Rumi, Missa Brevis and Medieval Inuit. He has been commissioned by the Winnipeg,


Regina and Toronto symphony orchestras, En- semble Caprice, the Winnipeg Singers, and the Kingston Chamber Choir, among many others. His works have been performed and/or broadcast locally, nationally and internationally. Andrew is also founder and artistic director

of the innovative vocal group, Camerata Nova. Founded in 1996, the Winnipeg-based singers present an annual concert series, perform at new and early music festivals, have five recordings and a variety of broadcasts. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts” (Wa Wa Tey Wak, Northern Lights, Medieval In- uit, Chant!, Tricksters and Troubadours) explor- ing a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innova- tive inter-genre and interdisciplinary collabora- tions.

and outreach, particularly in schools located in low-income areas

Daniel Okulitch (as Don Giovanni) and Keri Alkema (as Donna Elivra) in the classic Don Giovanni. Photo courtesy of Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera 2016.

translations are projected above the stage at the Cen- tennial Concert Hall. Subscribe and see both shows for as little as $45!

For more information, call 204-957-7842 or visit The company also offers a number of free events

and lectures in advance of each production. For more information, go to

Andrew is passionate about music education of Winnipeg and northern

communities. Since 2008 he has worked on be- half of organizations such as the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Sym- phony Orchestra and various Manitoba school divisions, offering young students empowering sessions in the joy and freedom of self-expression through music. Andrew was curator and composer-in-resi-

dence of the WSO’s Indigenous Festival in 2009 and 2010, and in 2007 received the Mayor of Winnipeg’s Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the city. 19

ndrew Balfour, who is of Cree descent, has written a body of more than 30 choral, in- strumental and orchestral works, includ-

ollowing a spectacular 22nd season, Camerata Nova starts its 2018-2019 season with a thrill- ing range of music that highlights Manitoba

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