The Convent of Pleasure - May 7

After a whirlwind weekend of taking care of myriad details to do with the show, attending two glorious concerts - one by the Toronto Children's Chorus and one by Pax Christi Chorale - and rehearsing bits and pieces of The Convent of Pleasure, we had a terrific day today putting all the pieces together. We moved into Studio 2 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts at 1;00 pm. for an all-day rehearsal. Those of you lunching in the Distillery District would have seen the eminent Dutch harpsichordist Noam Krieger and yours truly carting a harpsichord along the cobblestone streets, dodging the massive construction sites that are checkering the area. The afternoon was given over to stops and starts and repeating transitions and then, this evening, we attempted a complete run-through with almost all of the elements and "players" present. I can confidently and happily report that it is a charming, delightful and moving show, filled with energy, humour and action. The music fits beautifully and the three sopranos - Virginia Hatfield, Michele DeBoer and Dawn Bailey outdo themselves in the extraordinary secular cantata by Luigi Rossi. It's a real highlight! But there are many highlights, and I don't want to give away too much, except to say that everyone gets a chance to shine, the acting troupe, the wonderful singers, the little baroque band - featuring, at one point, a gorgeous performance of Divisions by Christopher Simpson by gambist Justin Haynes - and the stylish and elegant dancers. It's a real treat. Now, I would be telling tales if I made you think it was perfect tonight....we still have alot of work ahead of us! But it was reassuring to know that it all works, it's a perfect length and everyone is confident with her (or his) part.

We had some excitement after the rehearsal, as we were "loading out" of the Young Centre. (We move into Hart House Theatre at 8:00 am tomorrow). We were using the loading doors at the back of the theatre and we saw someone attempting to hop the construction fence. Unfortunately, he was not successful, lost his footing and landed hard on the pavement on his left ankle. We needed to call an ambulance and get him attended to, then headed home. Four nights from now we'll be telling each other to break a leg and it will have added resonance!

This is a special show. It's grand to be reunited with my colleagues Derek and Marie-Nathalie, to have old friends in the orchestra, to be showcasing great, new, young talent on the stage, and to be working on such rich material. I hope you'll all join us this Friday or Saturday....or both nights!

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For major support in our 2013/14 season, special thanks to:

Roger Moore

The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation, and the K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation, Sharon Adamson, Ian Alexander, Justina Becker, Teri Dunn & Larry Beckwith, Jean Edwards, Father Brian Freeland, Linda & Michael Hutcheon, Daniel & Carol Kushner, Kathleen McMorrow, John Beckwith, Marja Moens, Kit & Barbara Moore, Matthew O'Gorman & Vivian Moens, John & Ellen Spears, Walter & Marina Unger.

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