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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Jorn Weisbrodt's eclectic 2013 Luminato festival crosses disciplines, highlights collaborations

By John Terauds on April 16, 2013

Atom Egoyan directs Feng Yi Ting at this year's Luminato Festival (Stephanie Berger/Lincoln Center photo).
Atom Egoyan directs Feng Yi Ting at this year’s Luminato Festival (Stephanie Berger/Lincoln Center photo).

The first thing artistic director Jorn Weisbrodt did when introducing the 7th edition of the Luminato Festival was talk about a new logo and the New York branding firm the organization had hired to do the work. Only then came talk about the 10 days of artistic content.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

Weisbrodt spoke of how the festival’s new logo represents the “colourful mosaic” that comes together for  a “total work of art” — and he didn’t hesitate to use Wagner’s term: gesamtkunstwerk.

Many of this year’s shows and installations — running from June 14 to 23 — cross genres. Weisbrodt also stressed how many shows emphasize interaction with the audience.

“Great art does not need to be understood; it needs to be experienced,” he explained.

That said, the artistic director stressed pre-performance talks as well as the star interviews to be led by visiting journalists from the New York Times.

From the point of view of someone concerned primarily with art music, there isn’t much on offer. It makes me wonder if art music is still seen as not interactive enough or difficult to adapt to multidisciplinary projects. But there is a lot of stimulate thinking in different directions.

In any case, traditional classical music is represented at Roy Thomson Hall by a late-night concert by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on June 15.

The Toronto Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra are calling on anyone and everyone who plays an instrument to join in on a Music Mob in David Pecaut Square at 1:30 p.m. on June 22. There is music (simplified) as well as tutorial video available for every traditional instrument. You’ll find details here.

Atom Egoyan directs a 50-minute modern reinterpretation of traditional Chinese opera, sung in Mandarin, called Feng Yi Ting at University of Toronto’s MacMillan Theatre on June 20, 21 and 22. It had its premiere at last year’s Lincoln Center Festival.

Mark Morris Dance presents its much-loved dance-meets-baroque-music take on Geroge Frideric Handel’s L’Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato at the Sony Centre on June 21, 22 and 23. This production is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — and I think this is the first time we’re seeing it in Toronto. Members of Tafelmusik will be conducted by Jane Glover.

There is an intriguing show that has been classified under the mysterious category of “Magic,” called Concerto for Piano & Pasteboards, (a play on the title of a book about magicians’ card tricks) which runs June 14, 15 and 16 at the Royal Conservatory’s intimate Mazzoleni Hall.

The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic is a musical play for people in the mood for something reminiscent of experimental theatre of the 1960s and ’70s, on at the Bluma Appel Theatre on June 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Puppetmaster Ronnie Burkett is presenting The Daisy Theatre, a daily cabaret show by marionettes that will include music as well as text, at the Berkeley Street Theatre during every night of the festival.

There are daily doses of pop and world genres at the Luminato Hub at David Pecaut Square designed, in Weisbrodt’s words, to reflect the cultural diversity of the city. Jason Collett has also been called on to curate a different musical show every night at the Berkeley Street Theatre.

You’ll find all the details here.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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