Confederation Singers Celebrate the Messiah

Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre presents an afternoon celebrating of one of the most enduring pieces of music in the Western choral tradition. On Sunday, December 3 at 2:30 p.m., the Confederation Singers, orchestra, and four guest soloists perform Handel’s Messiah, the Baroque-era oratorio that celebrates the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Written in 1741, Messiah is the most famous creation of German composer George Frederic Handel, and its performance still awes listeners more than 250 years after the composer’s death. Ludwig van Beethoven himself, citing Messiah, said that Handel was the “greatest composer that ever lived.”

The concert is an annual tradition at Confederation Centre of the Arts, led by Choral Music Director Donald Fraser. Joining the Centre’s adult choir this year are guest vocalists: mezzo-soprano Hannah O’Donnell, soprano Shannon Scales, baritone Parker Clements, and tenor James Smith.   

Scales and Clements, both Islanders, have previously performed Messiah with the Centre’s Choral Programme, while this marks the debut performance for fellow Islander, Hannah O’Donnell. Also making his first performance with the Centre is James Smith, a tenor from Des Moines, Iowa currently completely his Master’s of Music degree at The University of Western Ontario.

The Confederation Singers include 70 members this year from across the community. The Singers present an interesting and varied program of music throughout the year, performing seasonal concerts on local stages and at a variety of events. Other concerts include Choral Music on a Holy Day and the popular holiday tradition Sing Along Messiah, where the audience is invited to participate.

Handel’s Messiah will be presented on Sunday, December 3 at 2:30 p.m., in the Homburg Theatre of Confederation Centre of the Arts. Tickets are $25 and are available at the door, at Confederation Centre’s box office, online at confederationcentre.com, or via phone at 902-566-1267 (toll free at 1-800-565-0278.)

Special thanks are extended to Maritime Electric, sponsors for the Centre’s Choral Music Programme, and Sobeys, the title sponsor for LIVE @ the Centre! Media sponsors are The Guardian, Ocean 100, and Hot 105.5.

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A New Superstar

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce that Island treasure, Aaron Hastelow will play the role of Jesus Christ in The 2018 Charlottetown Festival production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

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Jesus Christ Superstar is one of the most iconic and revered pieces in the musical theatre canon, and Jesus is easily the most iconic and revered name in history,” says Hastelow. “Being trusted to tell this story is a responsibility I don’t take lightly, and I’m honoured to have the opportunity.”

Hastelow has spent several summers at the Centre, including roles in Mamma Mia!, Ring of Fire, Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™, and with the Young Company. Since the summer, Hastelow has been busy promoting his self-titled EP which is nominated for two 2018 Music PEI Awards; New Artist of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year. He is currently performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Theatre Aquarius in Ontario. In spring 2018, he will play the role of Bert in Mary Poppins at The Capitol Theatre in Moncton alongside festival regulars, Josée Boudreau and Glenda Landry.

In 2015 Hastelow made history, becoming the first native Islander to play the romantic lead of Gilbert Blythe since Anne of Green Gables-The Musical™ came to life in 1965. After two seasons of playing Avonlea’s sweetheart, school is out for Hastelow as he takes on this larger-than-life role.

He ends by saying, “I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal hall with our astounding cast and brilliant creative team to discover this man for myself and to share the love and compassion he fought so hard for.”

Stay tuned for more exciting news as this is the first of several cast announcements for The Charlottetown Festival’s 2018 season.

Jesus Christ Superstar opens June 7 and runs until September 22. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2018 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian.

Hear Some Racket and Symphony

On November 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tapage et Symphonie (Racket and Symphony) featuring poet Dominic Langlois and musician Andrew Creeggan will be performing in the Gallery as part of this year’s Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre program.

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Langlois, who hails from Quebec, spent many years on Prince Edward Island before moving to Moncton, N.B. He is deeply involved in the cultural and musical scene in both provinces. Langlois also has published two books of poetry at Éditions Perce-Neige: Mener du train (2010) and La rue en eaux troubles (2012), and a novel, Le trésor de Memramcook.

Creeggan is a founding member of Barenaked Ladies along with his brother Jim. The pair also released four albums as The Brothers Creeggaan. After being accepted into the Faculty of Music at McGill University, Creeggan went on to pursue instrumental music, focusing on theory and composition, and now lives in Moncton, N.B. Creeggan’s three solo works: AndiworkAndiwork II, and Andiwork III, are largely instrumental pieces that consist of more contemporary classical, with touches of jazz and rock.

 The first part of the evening will consist of a poetry reading accompanied by original piano compositions by Creegan and will be followed by a solo performance by Creegan.

Humbug at the Harbourfront

Back by popular demand this Christmas, Fandango Musical Players Inc. is proud to once again bring the Broadway Musical, “A Christmas Carol” to the Harbourfront stage.

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Broadway heavy hitters Alan Menken (Disney’s Beauty And The Beast, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Little Shop Of Horrors) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once On This Island) breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of A Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated “Bah! Humbug!” Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he’s forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present, & Future.

Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful “Happy Christmas” before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him. (MTI Shows)

See A Christmas Carol at the Harbourfront Theatre on November 30, December 1, or December 2 at 7 PM.

Join the Sisterhood

Menopause can be a difficult time in woman’s life. Hot flashes and night sweats can be annoying, but finding the humour in the experience can make it a little bit better. That is where Menopause The Musical comes in. It’s a show that celebrates women on the brink of “the change” and those who’ve survived it.

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Set in a department store, four women with nothing in common but a black lace bra come to realize that they have more to share than ever imagined. This off-Broadway sensation uses musical parodies to help bring a comedic spin to an otherwise serious topic. The show takes liberties with classic hits – turning the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive into Staying Awake – and audiences will leave with their faces hurting from laughing so much. 

Co-producer Mark Zimmerman describes why there is a need to have a musical about menopause, “At one time this is a topic that people didn’t discuss, but we bring it to life with this show through comedy.” Zimmerman goes on to explain, “By the end, the women in the audience form a sisterhood.”

Spoiler alert…the cast invites all women to come up at the end of the show to participate in a kick line which is supposed to represent the women joining a sisterhood.

The show was actually created from a hot flash and a bottle of wine,” laughs Janet Martin, Co-producer and cast member. “The show’s writer, Jeanie Linders, had a hot flash one night while drinking a bottle of wine with some girlfriends, they started discussing ‘the change’ and so from there she decided to write Menopause The Musical.”

Over the 11 years that Zimmerman and Martin have been involved in this show they’re still amazed at the absolute joy they see on the faces in the audiences.

“Mothers take daughters, sisters take sisters, and friends take friends. It’s a party every night,” Martin states.

And they insist that the show is also MAN-datory viewing for men.

“Men leave the show with a new perspective and new appreciation for what their partner is going through,” says Zimmerman. “Couples that do come seem to walk out of the show closer and happier.”

Martin ends by saying, “Laugher is healing and the show is relatable. It’s so exhilarating for me to see the standing ovations at the end of the night and to know that I brought a lot of happiness to women.”

This hilarious musical parody staged to classic tunes from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s will have you cheering and dancing in the aisles. Join us on November 25 @7:30 in the Homburg Theatre.

Visit http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/show/363-Menopause-The-Musical  for tickets.

Is the PM On Your Calendar?

The 2017 Symons Medal and Lecture starts at noon on November 23rd. This year the Symons Medal is awarded to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin P.J. Trudeau. For the safety of the public, security measures have been put in place. We asking for the public’s assistance in helping us expedite this process in the most efficient manner.

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 When can I pick up my tickets?

Please pick up your tickets as soon as possible to avoid wait times at the box office on the 23rd. Box office is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on November 22.

What time can I line up to get in the building on November 23?

We’re asking all attendees to enter through our Richmond Street entrance; doors open at 9 a.m. (all other entrances to the Centre will be closed).

Due to public demand, ticket holders must be seated in the Homburg Theatre by 11:45 a.m. or risk losing a seat.

Please have photo identification with you and allow for at least 15 minutes to complete the security process.

Can I bring personal belongings into the building?

There will be a mandatory coat and bag check for security purposes. You’re encouraged to arrive early in order to give yourself enough time to go through the security checks and please remember city parking will be limited.

When can a ticket holder enter the Homburg Theatre to get a seat?

Doors to the Homburg Theatre open at 11 a.m.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

What other options are there to see the Symons Medal and Lecture and Dream Catchers performance?

Seating and livestream on large television screens will be provided in Memorial Hall. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Or join the livestream of the event from the comfort of your home or office via the following links:

–       French YouTube  

–       English  YouTube   

For more information please visit www.confederationcentre.com/symonsmedallecture and follow event updates on social media @confedcentre and via hashtag, #Symons2017.

Watermark Hosts Community Gathering

Watermark Theatre is excited to announce our 3rd Annual Watermark Community Gathering taking place on Friday, December 8th at 7:00 pm.  Doors will open at 6:30 pm.

Our first two Gatherings were a resounding success. This season there will be music, treats and awesome door prizes once again. Art works by students of North Rustico’s Gulf Shore School will be displayed in the Watermark Gallery.  A fantastic Christmas basket will be raffled off as well.

Carl Peterson (Scrooge in North Shore Players’ A Christmas Carol) will be our talented Emcee! Entertainment will include Janet McGarry and Serge Bernard, our own MLA Brad Trivers with his band “Party Mix”, Becca Griffin and Todd MacLean, Magician Jeremy Buote, Olivia and Barb, step dancing and storytelling with more acts to be confirmed.

Entrance will be by donation at the door with proceeds being shared between the Gulf Shore Consolidated School music program and Watermark Theatre.

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com