Magazine article Opera Canada

A Midwinter's Night Dream

Magazine article Opera Canada

A Midwinter's Night Dream

Article excerpt

A MIDWINTER'S NIGHT DREAM

Somers

Centrediscs CMCCD 12306

Centrediscs continues its "A window on Somers" project with a delightful recording of an opera commissioned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus in 1988. With a libretto by Tim Wynne-Jones, the piece is about a young aboriginal boy, Jimmy, who is having a hard time readjusting to traditional life in his Arctic community after spending time down south in Edmonton. In a complicated and fantastic series of events along the divide between dreams and harsh northern reality, Jimmy goes on a voyage of personal discovery that teaches him how to reconcile the tensions between ancient and modern in his life. This recording is based on the 2003 production in Soundstreams Canada's Musicools festival. While Harry Somers died in 1999, Wynne-Jones used the revival as an occasion to rework the book and libretto somewhat, so this is, as it were, a record of the second, revised edition of the work. And a very fine issue it is, with a lively and committed performance cleanly captured in Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio. This may be a work written for children, but Somers' music is never child's play. …

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