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30Nov/12Off

ARC Ensemble perform two concerts as part of the 2013 Stratford Festival Forum

Toronto (Canada) ... The Royal Conservatory's ARC Ensemble announces the details of its collaboration with the 2013 Stratford Festival. The ARC Ensemble will present two concerts as part of the festival's Forum initiative, a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary series of events. In its inaugural year, the Forum explores themes of community, especially communities in conflict, and the role of the outsider.

“From the moment I learned of ARC’s presentations of music by Jewish composers lost during the Holocaust, I knew the ensemble could play an important role in The Forum – a festival inside the Stratford Festival, in which we present exceptional events to enrich the play-going experience,” said Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. “Simon has developed two programs for us, one exploring the Russian-Jewish musical roots of Fiddler on the Roof, and another to examine music suppressed by fascist regimes, to inform my production of The Merchant of Venice, which will be set in 1930s Italy. The ARC Ensemble performances promise to add an important musical element to the Festival’s artistic discussion.”

"This partnership provides us with terrific opportunities," said ARC's Artistic Director, Simon Wynberg, "It offers us the potential to broaden our audience while also creating truly bespoke programs that will both illuminate and explore Stratford's main-stage themes and productions."

The ARC Ensemble's first concert program examines the origins of the Broadway classic, Fiddler on the Roof, one of this year’s main-stage productions. While the music is generally regarded as pure Broadway, there are inflections and idioms that draw on traditional Jewish sources. In fact, the over-arching theme of Fiddler is tradition, and the tensions that occur when tradition is challenged and obliged to adjust. This concert will include excerpts from Sholem Aleichem's Tevye stories, complemented by the music of his Russian contemporaries –– composers who sought to integrate Jewish elements into the classical music tradition.

To complement the Merchant of Venice, the ARC Ensemble will present a concert that investigates fascism's impact on music, and, with the introduction of race laws, its suppression. The concert will include a rare performance of Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco's Piano Quintet. Tedesco, whose ancestors had lived in Italy for generations, fled Italy in 1938 and settled in Los Angeles. Here he composed prolifically, both for the concert hall and the cinema, and taught a generation of film composers. One of his students, John Williams, won his first Academy Award for the adaptation of a theatrical score: the 1971 film version of Fiddler on the Roof.

Both performances are part of the Stratford Festival’s innovative new Forum initiative, and take place on Sunday June 16, 2013 at 5:30PM and Saturday September 21, 2013 at 5:30PM. Tickets are available by visiting: www.stratfordfestival.ca

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