It's a shame that the musically and dramatically talented members of the Canadian Opera Company 's Ensemble were saddled with a gimmicky director for their annual production, a double baroque bill of Henry Purcell 's Dido And Aeneas and a staged version of J.S. Bach 's Coffee Cantata . Colleen Skull and Peter Barrett were the strong leads in the Purcell, and Andrea Ludwig played the manipulative daughter who got the coffee she wanted in the Bach. The Coffee Cantata was supposedly light-hearted fun, though what might have passed for comedy in opera decades ago was here wooden, forced and unfunny.
But the Purcell was worse. Who could tell that there are powerful emotions in the piece, given the contemporary and bizarre production by director Dmitri Bertman that had everyone traipsing through a mini-lake that crossed the stage and all the principals performing some action that distracted from what they were singing. Diction was also far from perfect, but maybe because the players had to concentrate on their absurd business under Bertman's directorial wanking.
Sometimes way out means way bad.
Performance art call
Like to showcase a work that falls outside the conventional bounds of performance? The group 7a*11d is looking for entries for its fifth International Festival of Performance Art . Even if the artist can't attend the festival, organizers are soliciting edited tapes three minutes or shorter for potential screening during the festival. For more info and submission forms, check out the company's Web site at www.7a-11d.ca. Deadline for applications is January 30. Fado , another performance art group, is sponsoring the fourth Five Holes series, a site-specific event curated by Paul Couillard that "focuses on the act of listening as a way to 'place' oneself" and explores "how sound reveals the relationship between one's body and its surroundings." Find more info at www.performanceart.ca; submissions are due by January 16. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org