Canada // Music // Performance  

Life Reflected

A National Arts Centre Orchestra project conducted by Alexander Shelley and directed by Donna Feore

Jun 18, 2017

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Canada’s rich and dynamic history has provided the setting for some of the most captivating, personal and yet universal stories I have heard. What better way to share these stories than through the collaborative voices of some of the best artists and creators Canada has to offer.
– Alexander Shelley, Artistic Director, National Arts Centre
Four Canadian composers created compelling musical portraits of four exceptional Canadian women. Roberta Bondar, Rita Joe, Alice Munro, and Amanda Todd are the inspiration behind Life Reflected, a unique symphonic and multi-media celebration of youth, promise, and courage. The National Arts Centre Orchestra commissioned four works by Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, and John Estacio to create its largest production ever. The staging includes stunning projections, which immerse the audience in sound, motion picture, photography, and graphic design.

Dear Life, based on the short story by Alice Munro is a reflection on memory, childhood and the formative stages of life.

My Name is Amanda Todd tells the story of a vibrant 15-year-old who, after suffering for years from cyber abuse, spoke out against harassment and bullying on YouTube.

Dr. Roberta Bondar’s expertise as an astronaut, physician, scientific researcher, and photographer have been interpreted in Bondarsphere.

I Lost My Talk, based on the poem by Mi’kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe, expresses Joe’s experience at Schubenacadie Residential School and is accompanied by a film by Barbara Willis Sweete, featuring choreography by Tekaronhiáhkhwa San tee Smith performed on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Under the direction of Alexander Shelley, with Creative Pro ducer and Director Donna Feore, and Visual and Stage Design by Normal, Life Reflected comes to Toronto for one night only following a sold out premiere performance in Ottawa in 2016.  
 
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Estimated Run Time:
1 hr 20, no intermission
1 hr 20, no intermission
A National Arts Centre Orchestra production presented by the NAC and Luminato
SUPPORTED BY

Joan and Jerry Lozinski

Janice & Earle O’Born are the NAC Orchestra Tour Patrons for Life Reflected at Luminato.

I Lost My Talk was commissioned for the National Arts Centre Orchestra to commemorate the 75th birthday of The Right Honourable Joe Clark, P.C., C.C., A.O.E. by his family. 

VIA Rail is the Official Rail Partner of the NAC Orchestra.

 

Creatives

In September 2015, Alexander Shelley took up the mantle as Music Director, leading a new era for the National Arts Centre’s Orchestra. Formed in 1969 at the opening of Canada’s National Arts Centre, the NAC Orchestra gives over 100 performances a year with renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. It is noted for the passion and clarity of its performances and recordings, its ground-breaking teaching and outreach programs, and nurturing of Canadian creativity. Since its inception, the Orchestra has commissioned over 80 works, mostly from Canadian composers.
ARTISTIC DIRECTION BY
Alexander Shelley

CREATIVE PRODUCTION  & DIRECTION BY
Donna Feore

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Christopher Deacon

COMPOSED BY
Zosha Di Castri, Dear Life
Jocelyn Morlock, My Name is Amanda Todd
Nicole Lizée, Bondarsphere 
John Estacio, I Lost My Talk

VISUAL & STAGE DESIGN BY
Normal

SOUND DESIGNER
Peter McBoyle

LIGHTING DESIGNER
Kimberly Purtell

ASSISTANT TO THE CREATIVE PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
Ann Baggley

STAGE MANAGER
Susan Monis

FEATURING
Erin Wall, Soprano
Martha Henry, Narrator
Monique Mojica, Actor
National Arts Centre Orchestra

WRITER
Merilyn Simonds

PHOTOGRAPHY
Larry Towell

FILMMAKER
Barbara Willis Sweete

FILM CHOREOGRAPHER
Santee Smith

Santee Smith and dancers in I Lost My Talk filmed by Willis Sweete Productions

More Information

Life Reflected explores the lives of four exceptional Canadian women. Alice Munro, Roberta Bondar, Amanda Todd and Rita Joe, each in their own unique way, encourage us to see, and to see with fresh eyes.

My challenge was to find a way of telling their stories in an orchestral setting that embraced their vision. Believing that many heads are better than one, I assembled an exceptional group of collaborators who drew their inspiration from these extraordinary women. And though each element is capable of standing alone, we built on the impact of the foundational orchestral work of four magical composers led by the incomparable Alexander Shelley, in the hope that we might arrive somewhere new.

The brilliant visual design team at Normal became the heartbeat of our effort. They made it possible to integrate the work of our wonderful collaborators; musicians, photographers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and singers into a seamless whole.

Dr. Bondar has seen us from afar. Alice Munro has seen us from within. Amanda Todd shared her heart and Rita Joe shared her soul. I hope the experience of Life Reflected will thrill and move you as much as it has enlightened and inspired me.”

Donna Feore
CREATIVE PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR