NOW Magazine praises 21C Dido and Aeneas

April 25th, 2015 § 0 comments

I’m pretty happy with this review from NOW’s Jon Kaplan with its very kind shoutout for my arrangement of Dido and Aeneas!

The most unusual show we saw was Dido And Aeneas: 21st Century Remix, in which music director Gregory Oh took Purcell’s short 1680s opera and blended the original orchestrations with more contemporary musical styles.

The period sections stood quite comfortably alongside the modern percussion, bluegrass, Irish reels, Cape Breton fiddling and more, with Andrea Ludwig a poignant Dido (her lament at the end was mesmerizing), jazz singer Alex Samaras a firm Aeneas and Suba Sankaran a nastily wicked sorceress, singing her melodies with classic South Asian musical intonations. Hailey Gillis shone in a bluesy solo composed by John Millard, who also added some mean banjo playing to the show.

Like previous Global Cabaret workshops such as (re)Birth: E.E. Cummings In Song and Spoon River, which were then developed into full-length productions, Dido And Aeneas is the kind of bracing, entertaining work that deserves a larger audience and a longer run.

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The show has been workshopped and performed a number of times, so there are many people who have contributed to it, including Andrea Ludwig, Patricia O’Callaghan, Miranda Mulholland, Alex Samaras, Suba Sankaran, John Millard, Anna Atkinson, Zorana Sadiq, Michelle DeBoer, Will Reid, Lucas Marchand, Larissa Koniuk, Cindy Won, Michael Follert and Hailey Gillis on vocals, and Aisslinn Nosky, Kathleen Kajioka, Sharon Lee, Carol Fujino, Boris Kupesic, Alex McLeod, Kerri McGonigle, Samantha McClellan, Matthew Fong, Joe Sorbara, Ken Aldcroft, Richard Lam and Kris Maddigan.

It was developed during my residency at Soulpepper Theatre, and would never have happened without that really wonderful support.

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