Apollo and Daphne by G.F. Handel
& Enoch Arden by R. Strauss and A. Tennyson

A candlelit table
A glass of wine
A historic setting
Two short tales of love & loss, obsession & heartbreak

17, 18, & 19 November 2016, 8:00 p.m.
Pre-show event at 7:15 p.m. each evening
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity Street, near the Distillery District

Apollo & Daphne, a dramatic cantata by G.F. Handel
Cupid carries two types of arrows: one with a golden point, which fills the wounded Apollo with uncontrollable desire; the other a tip of lead, which leaves the nymph Daphne filled with loathing for the god who now pursues her relentlessly. 

Following our acclaimed 2014 production of Acis & Galatea, Toronto Masque Theatre returns to the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse to present Handel’s great Italian dramatic cantata Apollo & Daphne; a profound exploration of the devastation unrequited love can have on those caught in its thrall.

Featuring:

Canadian opera superstars Jacqueline Woodley & Geoffrey Sirett
Dancer Stéphanie Brochard

With Larry Beckwith leading, from the violin, a baroque orchestra including:

Christopher Bagan, harpsichord
Anthea Conway-White, flute
Ruth Denton, oboe
Margaret Gay, cello

Gillian Howard, oboe
Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon
Kathleen Kajioka, violin
Anthony Rapoport, viola

Directed and choreographed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière.

Enoch Arden, a melodrama by Richard Strauss & Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The original definition of a melodrama was a dramatic work with musical accompaniment. In the late nineteenth century, Richard Strauss transformed Tennyson’s epic narrative poem into a popular melodrama, telling the story of a shipwrecked sailor who returns home after a ten year absence only to discover that his wife has married his childhood rival. 
 
Performed by actor Frank Cox-O'Connell  & pianist Angela Park.

What does Larry have to say?

"These two pieces are worlds apart, musically, but still their stories share a deep humanity. That seems funny to say, given that Apollo is a Greek god but in telling of his complex encounter with the nymph Daphne, Handel makes him a full-figured musical character. In the end, this intimate work teaches us less about these ancient figures than it does about the universal poignancy of unrequited love. Though very different in nature, Tennyson's eloquent and detailed story of Enoch Arden is given a sweeping pianistic setting by the ultra-Romantic Strauss. I am struck by how brilliantly both composers understand and reflect the cruel fate of these beautiful stories. Tears will be shed."

About Apollo & Daphne
A secular cantata, Handel composed Apollo and Daphne (Apollo e Dafne) early in his career in 1709–10. One of his most ambitious works in the cantata form, it’s indicative of the brilliant operatic career that was to follow over the next 30 years of his life.

The piece starts with Apollo celebrating his victory over the monster Python and his liberation of Greece from its tyranny. In an arrogant mood, he boasts no one matches his prowess with a bow and arrow, even Cupid is no match for his talents.  Upon hearing this, Cupid shoot Apollo who, spying a young nymph named Daphne, instantly falls in love with her.  He attempts to convince her of his charms, but she rejects his advances, stating that she would rather lose her life than her honour. Apollo’s anger is incited and he pursues Daphne more forcefully until he catches her. All seems lost until she is transformed into a laurel tree. Bereft and filled with unrequited love, Apollo promises his undying affection and dedication to the laurel wreath.

About Enoch Arden
Written as a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in 1864, Enoch Arden tells the story of a happily married fisherman who becomes a merchant seaman after running into financial straits. He ends up ship-wrecked and lost to his family for ten years. He finally returns only to find his world turned upside down.  

In 1897, Richard Strauss adapted the poem for the actor Ernst von Possart, turning it into a melodrama for speaker and piano. The two of them successfully toured with the piece, performing a German translation. Enoch Arden was popular in its day – and greatly enhanced Strauss’s reputation – but slipped into obscurity when fashions changed and recitations, declamations and melodramas came to be considered passé. In recent years, interest in the work has been revived with perhaps the most notable performance being a recording from 1961with Glenn Gould on the piano and Claude Rains as the speaker.  

Bios:

Geoffrey Sirett continues to impress musicians and audiences in performances of opera, concert and recital repertoire. A native of Kingston, he is one of Canada’s leading young baritones, highly sought-after for a wide range of repertoire.  Sirett’s current season includes Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins (Toronto Symphony), Messiah (Newfoundland Symphony), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Grand Philharmonic Choir), Oreste in Elektra and Ping in Turandot (Edmonton Opera), Bell in The Bells of Baddeck (Cape Breton) and Elijah (Pax Christie Chorale). He has also been featured by the Canadian Opera Company, Opéra de Montréal, Calgary Philharmonic, Soundstreams, VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, Thirteen Strings, Winnipeg Symphony, Talisker Players, Against the Grain, Choeur St. Laurent and Victoria Symphony. Winner of the Norcop Song Prize and a University of Toronto alumnus, his recordings include Vagabond – English Art Song, Airline Icarus ( Brian Current), The Heart’s Refuge and The Vale of Tears (Theatre of Early Music).

Stéphanie Brochard is trained in both dance and theatre. She studied at the Conservatoire National de Région in Angers, France, and at L’École de Danse de Québec, and went on to graduate from the teacher training program at Toronto’s National Ballet School. She also studied at l’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where she discovered the world of physical theatre and clown. Stéphanie joined  the Sursaut Dance Company in 2008. She performs in all the company’s productions as a dancer and has also been the assistant artistic director since 2011. She choreographed the company’s latest production, Me2, which is her first choreographic work. Stéphanie also works with Les Jardins Chorégraphiques and Danse Cadence, two baroque dance companies in Montreal, and teaches on a regular basis in various dance training programs.

Soprano Jacqueline Woodley has been praised for her fearless versatility, changing styles fluidly from early music to contemporary, from opera to art song. Acclaimed as Milice in Svadba-Wedding (Toronto, San Francisco and Philadelphia), upcoming performances include Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate  (Edmonton Symphony), There was a Child (Grand Philharmonic Choir) and Woglinde in Die Götterdämmerung (Canadian Opera Company). Recent highlights include the premiere of Harris and Chen’s M’dea Undon (Tapestry New Opera); Bach and Finzi (Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings), Messiah (National Arts Centre, Symphony Nova Scotia and in Montreal), a recording of Norbert Palej’s music with Canadian Art Song Project; and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas at the Vancouver Early Music and Ottawa International Chamber Music festivals.  She has also appeared for the Montreal Symphony, Edmonton Opera and Les Voix Baroques. Jacqueline holds a master’s in opera from McGill University and was a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio. 

Frank Cox-O’Connell grew up in Toronto and studied at The Etobicoke School of the Arts, The National Theatre School of Canada and the Soulpepper Academy. Earlier this year he performed Hamlet and the role of George Tesman in Hedda Gabler for Canadian Stage and directed Albert Camus’ The Just for Soulpepper Theatre where is also a member of the acting company (Marat/Sade, Spoon RiverThe Crucible,Tartuffe). He is a regular collaborator with the experimental performance companies Public Recordings (300 Tapeswhat we are saying- Dora Award), Small Wooden Show (Dedicated to The Revolutions,Antigone Dead People) and One Reed Theatre (Nor the Cavaliers…Never Underestimate The Power). With his long-time collaborator Evan Webber he created and performed Ajax and Little Iliad, a double bill of short plays that have toured across Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. Frank was a drummer in the Toronto-based rock group Boys Who Say No.

Canadian pianist Angela Park has been praised for her “stunningly beautiful pianism” (Grace Welsh Prize, Chicago), “beautiful tone and sensitivity” (American Record Guide), and for playing “with such brilliant clarity it took your breath away” (Chapala, Mexico). She has received numerous awards and prizes from major competitions, including the International Grace Welsh Prize for Piano in Chicago, World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Canadian National Music Festival, Honens International Piano Competition, and the Maria Canals International Piano Competition. A founding member of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo with cellist Rachel Mercer, and the Seiler Trio with violinist Mayumi Seiler and Rachel Mercer, Angela regularly performs across Canada as well as internationally as soloist and chamber musician. Angela earned her DMA in Piano Performance from the Université de Montréal, and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano-Woodwinds at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (2011-2014). She is currently Artist-in-Residence at Western University with EMIC.

This production of Apollo & Daphne / Enoch Arden is sponsored by