Monday, 22 September 2014

Rain every day

Last Friday, we took youngest daughter to the Fourth Stage at the National Arts Centre to see a show entitled "Swinging the Bard".



How could we possibly pass it up?

It had been an exhausting day, the kind when I'm really resenting evening performances.  (I've always preferred matinées, which are a relative rarity in Hades.)  I was even more resentful when we became embroiled in the general admission politics which bring out the competitive killer instincts in Ottawa concert-goers.

However,  when Diane Nalini took the stage and began singing settings of Shakespeare songs -- and a couple of the sonnets --- which she had written some years ago, all negativity drained away.  The music    ranged from swing to blues to a folksy sort of jazz which reminded me strongly of Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs.  The Resident Fan Boy bought both CDs for younger daughter during the break (naturally, she loved the performance).  Couldn't find a video, but there's a link at the Canadian Adaptions of Shakespeare Project websitto three of the songs she sang and I rather like her version of "When that I was and a little tiny boy" from Twelfth Night.

While I was looking all this up, I discovered that Dr (yes! Doctor!) Nalini is a -- wait for it -- physics professor who was a Rhodes Scholar.  She's also married to Adrian Cho, who played the bass and directed the Ontario Jazz Orchestra through Duke Ellington's Shakepearean jazz work "Such Sweet Thunder" after intermission.  These are seasoned jazz musicians, so they'd only really had one rehearsal. This backfired, but only slightly, when Mr Cho introduced one segment as featuring "a chorus of coronets", then played through on his own. Evidently, a cue was missed.

"We'll try that again some other time," he said calmly, before proceeding to the next bit.

That's jazz.

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