Autumn and the Arts

Over the past few weeks the leaves have slowly been turning colour and flocks of birds are heading to warmer locations. Autumn has arrived in Winnipeg and this time of year also marks the beginning of the season for various Arts organizations. The 2012-2013 seasons for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet , Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Manitoba Opera (just to name a few!) all have so much to offer. Take a moment to view their online season guides and you will be amazed at the variety. Music and performances for all ages to experience and enjoy!

More often than not, before I take in a performance I like to re-familiarize myself with the work or perhaps review its history or acquaint myself with the composer. Winnipeg Public Library has numerous resources to help enrich your experience before attending the symphony, ballet or opera.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet has entitled their 2012-2013 season ‘Fairy Tale Fantasy’. It will begin with the Canadian Premiere of Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin, based upon the classic children’s fairy tale by Victorian novelist George MacDonald.

The production’s roots in children’s literature made for a perfect opportunity for Winnipeg Public Library to partner with the RWB and host a free program for children. The program included a booktalk, games, classical music and a craft in which they decorated authentic ballet slippers!

Watch for two more ballet programs at the Millennium Library this coming season. In December, we will host a ballerina reading of The Nutcracker which celebrates the classic fairy tale as well as the ballet’s annual production.  During the Winter months, the focus will turn to the well-known characters of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales with the production The Sleeping Beauty.

The 2012-2013 season is also officially underway for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The new WSO season began their 65th season opener with Strauss’s Don Juan as well as some Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Many of the works that will be performed this year can be borrowed from the Library. Just check our catalogue.

If it happens to be opera that strikes your fancy, not only will you find full CD and DVD recordings of numerous operas at the library, but you can gain further appreciation for the story by checking out the libretto or gain a bird’s eye view of the production by examining the score. You can search specifically for CDs, DVDs and Musical Score titles in the catalogue!

If you still can’t get enough, the Library has many great reads about classical music – both fiction and non-fiction.

Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music  by Blair Tindall.

A tantalizing memoir written by the gifted American oboist, Blair Tindall. Not for the faint of heart, in this book Tindall looks back on her 25 year career as a symphonic musician. It’s an exciting and candid portrayal of the inner-workings of orchestral life in the highly competitive New York City.

The Tristan Chord: Wagner and philosophy by Bryan Magee.

This is a must read for opera lovers and those striving to further understand the complexity of Wagnerian opera. Magee titles his biography after what is arguably the most innovative use of 4 notes of the 19th Century. Experience the stunning power of the chord for yourself by downloading the Prelude from Tristan und Isolde from Freegal Music. Once again the score, libretto, CD and DVD recordings of the opera are all available at the Library!

The Violin Lover  by Susan Glickman.

This moving novel set in 1930s London follows the story of a man and a woman who are brought together by the intense musical relationship the man forms with her 11 year-old prodigy son. Glickman, “well known for her lithe, rich poetry and brilliant literary criticism, has infused her first novel with music. Beautifully evoking all the senses awakened by playing and listening, this brilliant work of fiction accomplishes the rare feat of recreating the experience of one art form in another.”

As you can see the Library offers many ways to engage yourself and your children in the sensational world of art music and its history.

Arrivederci!

Alix-Rae

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