Brock to host Canadian musical theatre conference in Niagara

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Brock to host Canadian musical theatre conference in Niagara

Published on October 19 2010

For the first time, an international collection of composers, performers and librettists will gather in Niagara as part of a new conference on Canadian musical theatre.

Canadian musical theatre is like Canadian film and Canadian writing. It takes place in our own backyard, but our brightest stars are often hidden from public consciousness.

Virginia Reh, an assistant professor at Dramatic Arts, is on a mission to change that. She is the driving force behind an upcoming Brock conference called Lyric CANADA from Oct. 21 to 23.

Working with co-organizer David Vivian, associate professor and director, Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture at Brock, she hopes to push Canadian musicals and opera into the minds of academics and the general public.

“There are hundreds of musicals in Canada, and there are two books written about Canadian musical theatre,” says Reh. “I’m hoping this is the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. I’m a woman on a musical crusade.”

Most people associate the term “musical theatre” with the lavish, multimillion-dollar American and European productions shown in Toronto, Reh said. But Canada has a rich and varied musical theatre scene that is understudied and underappreciated.

Lyric CANADA is held in conjunction with the Shaw Festival. Its daytime program will be at Brock. Its evening showcases will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The conference’s 30 paper presentations and 10 showcases are open to the public.

The keynote is Stewart Wallace, a New York-based composer of operas such as Harvey Milk and The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Jim Betts, composer, lyricist and librettist from projects such as Colours in the Storm and Thin Ice, will give the plenary speech “Why Canadians Can’t Write musicals (And Why Almost No One Else Can, Either).”

Conference presentations will incorporate performance and audio-visual materials.

LyricCANADA 2010 is produced with the generous support of: Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant (BSIG), The Humanities Research Institute of Brock University, The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, The Department of Dramatic Arts, The Department of Music, Brock University Co-op Programs, Centre of Teaching, Learning and Educational Technologies at Brock.

Tickets to presentations and showcases available through the Brock Centre for the Arts box office, 905-688-5550 x3257 or 1-866-617-3257


LYRIC Canada 2010