Official Press Release
Victoria – The Victoria Philharmonic Choir (VPC) is pleased to announce
an exciting collaboration with artist Michel Gagné (Iron Giant, Insanely
Twisted Rabbits), and award-winning Canadian shadow puppeteer, Tim
Gosley (Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock), to present an exciting production of
Dvorak’s Spectre’s Bride on October 30th and 31st at the University of
Victoria’s Farquhar theater in British Columbia, Canada
The choral group, lead by artistic director Simon Capet, will present
Dvorak’s tale of a dead lover who returns to claim his fiancé with a
live shadow theatre dramatization. Using the artistic skills of renowned
artist Michel Gagné, and award-winning puppeteer Tim Gosley, the drama
of Dvorak’s compelling work will be cast in shadows on the walls of the
UVIC Farquhar theatre as the choir and orchestra perform. “We are
delighted to be collaborating with such talented artists of
international stature to give this work a new life that will enchant
modern audiences,” said Capet.
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) is one of the masters of the late Romantic
era, whose well-loved melodies embody the folk traditions of his Czech
homeland. Dvorak’s The Spectre’s Bride, debuted to great acclaim in 1885
and for the next 20 years was one of the composer’s most popular and
frequently performed works. But by the early 20th century it had faded
from play, largely due to an awkward English language libretto. Capet
came across the forgotten work in a London library nearly 15 years ago.
Inspired by the beautiful, lush orchestration, he vowed to restore
Dvorak’s ghost-story cantata to “audience favorite” status once again.
The piece will be performed by a 65-piece orchestra and 80-voice choir,
along with soloists Ken Lavigne, tenor, Anne Grimm, soprano, and Bruce
Kelly, baritone. The performance will feature a new English libretto by
Kaye and Capet realized the haunting tale would be perfectly suited to a
live shadow puppet dramatization. They contacted Gagné, who immediately
showed great interest. “I thought the project lent itself perfectly to
my artistic sensibilities. Seeing my work in the context of a live
performance and having master puppeteer, Tim Gosley, bring the whole
thing to life is beyond exciting. This is the type of work that makes me
happy to be an artist,” said Gagné.
The Victoria Philharmonic Choir (VPC) was created June 2005, as a
non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to arts and cultural
innovation through the performance of high quality symphonic choral music.