This is the point in the Westben Season where we find ourselves saying “one foot in front of the other”. The “we” refers to not on the Westben Box Office staff but the volunteer catering team, volunteer front of house team, production team and billets. After months and months of planning, organizing, and marketing for Season 2015 we are passed the mid-point with only three weeks left in the summer season. Every day I remind myself how wonderful it is to be surrounded by these musicians and actors, watching them rehearse, prepare and perform. I find their energy inspiring and the stories of their travels very interesting. A common theme again this year is that the artists say they enjoy coming to Westben, not only because they love performing in The Barn, but because they find the area so beautiful and the people friendly and welcoming. Well done everyone!
If you have seen the Westben brochure (and please tell me you have), the beautiful woman on the cover, Marie Josée Lord, will be performing this Saturday, July 18, 2 pm at The Barn. As the Montreal Gazette says, Marie Josée Lord is “spellbinding.” She sings with such freedom and passion that she is totally engaging. You likely won’t notice the beautiful meadow and birds and openness of The Barn this time as you will be so enthralled with her performance. The program, says Westben’s Artistic Director, Brian Finley who will be accompanying Marie, “is a variety of opera, art songs and spirituals ranging from Puccini’s La boheme to Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Cole Porter’s Just One of Those Things.” On Sunday, July 19 at 2 pm one of Canada’s finest concert pianists, Stewart Goodyear will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Join Barb Hobart for a pre performance chat at 1 pm. Stewart was born in Toronto but is now based in New York has performed with the major orchestras of the world including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and many others. On Thursday, July 16 at 7 pm is a “Brian’s Pick” concert called Romancing the Harp with Valerie Milot, harp and Antoine Bareil, violin. TGIFun! returns with Mary Lou Fallis and Peter Tiefenbach in Primadonna and Friend Strike Back. Mary Lou Fallis is “…the fabulousest, Canadianest diva of them all… with wit as dry as a vodka martini…” says the Toronto Star. Kings on Broadway concerts begin Wednesday July 22 and continue to Saturday, July 25 with selections from Camelot and The King and I. TGIFilm! On Friday evening, 7 pm at The Barn will feature the 1946 black and white film, Anna and the King of Siam and on Sunday July 26 features the a capella choir of Le studio de music ancienne de Montreal in Music from the Sistine Chapel. The summer season ends with Jazz at The Barn and the new Jazz Fringe Festival across Trent Hills, but more on that later. See you at The Barn!
Written for the Community Press