"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here is the fabulous poster for "Elizabeth Bishop in Words and Music," Suzie LeBlanc's concert with Symphony Nova Scotia, conducted by Bernard Gueller, on 10 February 2011 at 7:30 p.m. This is the third jewel -- the sparkling diamond -- in our tiara of kick-off events for the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary. Go to SNS's website for information about getting tickets. Don't wait, they are selling fast!

This concert will be the world premiere of settings of a number of Elizabeth Bishop poems by three fabulous Canadian composers: Emily Doolittle, Alasdair MacLean and Christos Hatzis. This is the first time, we believe, that Canadian composers have set Bishop's poems -- and what a trio of composers we have involved -- diverse and brilliantly gifted. Then to have our own amazing Suzie LeBlanc perform these songs, done especially for her, is a rare delight! Suzie and the composers will be talking about these works in other places as the next few weeks pass, but I wanted to say, as someone who has dreamed of having Canadian settings of Bishop's work for years, how thrilled I am that this whole event is happening. We must all be grateful to Suzie and the composers for creating it, and to Symphony Nova Scotia, especially Maestro Gueller, for bringing this music into the 2010-2011 season of SNS, to help celebrate EB100. And what fun we'll have as Maestro Gueller conducts Beethoven's rousing FIFTH in the second half. Bishop would smile at such startling juxtapositions; her life was filled with unusual convergences, combinations and creative endeavours. Espace Musique/CBC are involved, too (stay tuned for more information of what they will be doing). How exciting is this!!?? I can barely contain myself. What a week it is going to be: lots of food and birthday cake, lots of fabulous artists, incredible new work, all in the celebration of Elizabeth Bishop and her 100th birthday. Wish you all could "come flying" and join the party.

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