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, Canadahttp://www.uvic.ca.
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 Mollie Kaye.
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.