In our Continuing coverage of Pride Toronto we were invited by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra TSO presented in part by Pride Toronto as a Cultural Partner to cover an amazing performance from our City’s Fine Orchestra performing Barber’s Adagio for Strings following with BartÓk Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. What a Beautiful rendition of these pieces, I might say, which simply intensified the audience in me and others as I could hear the resistance to cough during any of the performances. This is always a good sign, especially when you feel the pulsating music within the soul and you can hear the affect of great tension within the audience. At that moment you know the passion and skill of great Art is at play.

The music simply filled the room with so many emotions, even though Bartok maybe a little macabre in his music, and the use of minor keys, odd percussions and high tonalities you would think, what does this have to do with Pride Toronto, well a lot, our perception of Pride is mostly based upon Colour and Disco, so to be part of such a Cultural Event was something that I admire, especially the progress for Pride Toronto in continuing these events. These compositions may sound like somewhat of a horror movie to the new listener but it also in context would seem appropriate to discuss the struggle and pain that many of the LGBTTiQQ2SAA community go through on a daily basis. The musical choice was well reflected.

Which brings us to the final performance, of The Seven Deadly Sins that could be considered a great adaptation of the original Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht originally entitled “Les sept péchés capitaux” which is a satirical ballet chanté or sung ballet with nine movements. A Very unique adaptation of the original, considering the limited space at the front stage, and then extending the stage to the Audience with a full orchestra just behind; well my hats off to you Joel Ivany the Stage Director for bringing movement and song to a brilliant adaption of Weill and Brecht’s Musical Piece. But like all great performances it is not without its cast and talents gracing the stage with passion and ease, making it look easy. The translation with subtext and some visual video montage above the symphony really helped with the storyline, as the seven deadly sins are expressed through these collective mediums, it reminds me of the Italian Live Opera La Traviata, which I had the privileged of speaking with the Producer Andrea Andermann; in saying this, it would be nice to hear behind the scenes of conflicts between three mediums from the Choreographer, Stage Director, Video Director and Conductor.

But still in the end what a Fantastique performance from Mezzo Soprano, Wallis Giunta, ( sorry I need a gay moment) “OMG she is so amazingly awesome and Fabulous and sexy… along with her Fabulous sexy and flexible, just saying, Dancer & Choreographer Jennifer Nichols… and the handsome “The Family” of sexy men, Isaiah Bell (Tenor), Owen McCausland (tenor), Geoffrey Sirett (baritone), Stephen Hegedus (bass-baritone) singing and dancing in various poses … just highlights the show entirely.”

But seriously The Seven Deadly Sins tells the story of two sisters, Anna I and Anna II. Anna I, the singer, is the principal vocal role. Anna II, the dancer, is heard only infrequently and the text hints at the possibility that the two Annas are the same person, yet it would not be much a stretch to interprete it be a Lesbian relationship or simply sisters. Yet the premise of the original piece it would suggest a duality figure in one, Anna the singer has the brains but equally beautiful, and Anna the dancer has the looks, the human heart, the attraction, yet both Anna’s are on a journey to find fortune in the big Cities of America, so they could settle down back to the banks of the Mississippi River in Lousiana, and have enough money to build a little house on the river for their Family.

What a great evening at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, with an amazing performance, that will be one my highlights of Pride Toronto Celebration 2017. Here a few links from the rehearsal and the photographs provided by Jag Gundu.