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The TSO’s “La Mer”, Oct. 18 & 20, with links to poetry, painting, photography … and Canada!

The TSO’s “La Mer”, Oct. 18 & 20, with links to poetry, painting, photography … and Canada! featured image

Violinist Baiba Skride, featured in Britten’s Violin Concerto

On October 18 & 20, the TSO presents La mer, a program anchored by Debussy’s famous work, conducted by Thomas Søndergård. Here are a few interesting factoids about the works on this program that includes French (Poulenc & Debussy), and English (Britten & Adès). All these works relate to poetry, painting, photography.

· Les animaux modèles by Poulenc (ballet inspired by inspired by the fables of La Fontaine).

· La mer by Debussy (Debussy finished composing the work’s three movements there in 1905, saying that he found more inspiration in paintings of the sea than being near the sea itself).

· Dances from the opera Powder Her Face by Thomas Adès – the opera is based on the life of heiress and socialite Margaret Duchess of Argyll whose marriage to a Duke ended in scandal. For a decade (1930-40, roughly), she became one of the most photographed women in the world and a style icon for millions. Just look at her!

· The program also includes Britten’s Violin Concerto, performed by Latvian violinist Baiba Skride. The work was partly inspired by Spain’s civil war of 1936; so was Picasso’s famous painting 1937 Guernica. Britten was in Canada when he wrote this. In fact, he finished it while he was in St. Jovite (Quebec). See the photo below, taken by Simon Rivard:

· Both English works have a Canadian connection: the world première of Powder her Face in 1995 featured Canadian soprano Valdine Anderson; and Britten wrote his Violin Concerto while he was in Canada.

For concert details, please click here. See you at the Symphony!

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