09 May 2005

Toronto show - du succes


[view from our Toronto hotel room]

I am just about to leave for Montreal, as there's a school show there tomorrow morning. But how could I fail to try and describe the last few days?

The performance at Fort York, on Friday in Toronto, was (if I may say) a huge success. A correspondent mentioned a while back that I seem to say that of most shows; but there's a logical explanation which doesn't involve self-boosterism. Basically, our standards are rising! At the beginning of the Tour, a successful performance involved few missed lines, an attentive audience, no technical breakdown, and sincere applause. Nowadays, it means flawless meter, spellbound listeners, complete video and sound, and a sustained
ovatio. That, modesty completely aside, does describe the Toronto public performance.


[Getting ready for the Toronto show]

In fact, the audience was particularly appreciative -- which meant all the more in light of its constitution. The whole of the "Epic Tour Team" was there, for starters: Annie Forget, Alison Faulknor, and Rudyard Griffiths (as well as Dave and myself, of course); Prof. Jonathan Burgess, eminent Homer scholar, and Prof. Alison Keith, both of U of T Classics; numerous luminaries of the Toronto literary scene; my cousin Madeleine and her family; many old friends of mine; a number of Fraser Highlanders of the York Garrison (including Mjr. John Stirling, OC, who gave a great historical introduction).


[Mjr John Stirling introducing the poem, prior to the introduction by Rudyard Griffiths]

The audience size was quite large, for word had been spread by print and radio: about 65 in the audience, bringing the total number of listeners at public shows over the 200 mark. The venue was acoustically perfect: though I was wearing two wireless mics (one for the documentary video, one for the CityTV camera, which was recording the show), I was performing in my natural voice, and the Highlanders at the back heard every word.


[Performing at Fort York; in back row are Highlanders; CityTV cameraman at rear]

They later gave an impressive display of musketry outside, loading and firing authentic Brown Bess muskets; one remarked that he could fire 3 rounds a minute, which is excellent even by 18th century standards. They let me fire a round; what a huge explosion those things make! I have to admit I blinked hard when it went off. One old friend of mine, Madhava Enros - a talented photographer - took some fine pictures of the event, posted and described on his elegant blog. You can see me about to fire the musket in one of the shots!


Ah yes, I was interviewed by CityTV for the Books program, which should be airing soon; I sat atop one of the walls of Fort York with the CN Tower in the background.


[Sitting atop the wall being interviewed for CityTV]

I had meant to include in this post a description of the Ottawa shows -- the public one was a big hit, the school shows today were intense, 6 in one day! -- but we are about to head off to a farewell dinner with our dear parents. (It was particularly great to do the public performance here yesterday on Mother's Day, with my mother in the audience; and on VE Day, with commemoration in the air.) Farewell -- because I head off to Montreal tonight! Yes indeed, the pace is intense; Ion had nothing on me.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Impressive!

Anonymous said...

great

Anonymous said...

great

Anonymous said...

great

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Anonymous said...

The scots look like they forgot there pants at the hotel room

ashley hollett said...

it is a very good site and it was very intresting what you talked about ! i enjoyed the performance at my school and it was awe
somee !