Sept. 21, 2023

Gertrude Stein Shenanigans — A night of classic fusion and contemporary ingenuity

Faculty and Friends Concert Series presents stirring blend of the historical and contemporary
Gertrude Stein Shenanigans - Laura Hynes, Sandra Joy Friesen, William Jordan

On the evening of Sept. 23, audiences at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall in Rozsa Centre will be enthralled as past and present come alive in harmonious interplay. Gertrude Stein Shenanigans is a musical tribute of sorts, honouring the literary and musical past, while simultaneously introducing fresh contemporary sounds.

William Jordan, UCalgary SCPA professor emeritus, Canadian composer

William Jordan

Canadian composer and University of Calgary professor emeritus of composition William Jordan has ingeniously intertwined the coloratura prowess of Canadian soprano and School of Creative and Performing Arts professor of voice Laura Hynes with the gripping texts from Gertrude Stein's Stanzas in Meditation and The Geographical History of America. The work, composed specifically for Hynes in 2018, is structured as 13 enchanting concert arias that promise a journey for the imagination.

As companion pieces to this world premiere work, Hynes and collaborative pianist Sandra Joy Friesen will also perform songs by Samuel Barber (with text by James Joyce), Erik Satie's 1923 Ludions, and Two by Marianne Moore, composed by Virgil Thomson.

Laura Hynes, known for her radiant energy, is often referred to as a “10-thousand-megawatt coloratura.” Her vast repertoire stretches from traditional opera roles to art song recitals and contemporary chamber music, earning acclaim across Europe and North America, and has most recently collaborated with the renowned Land’s End Ensemble as part of Calgary’s new Sound Atlas Festival.

Joining Hynes in this musical odyssey is collaborative pianist Sandra Joy Friesen. Friesen, with her nuanced grasp over contemporary works, brings an added depth to this performance. She is not just recognized for her virtuosic skill but also for her interdisciplinary pursuits that fuse visual art and musical improvisation. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout North America, as well as in Austria, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Poland, and Slovenia.

For lovers of Gertrude Stein's writings, Satie's groundbreaking compositions and Jordan’s new composition, or the unmistakable talents of Hynes and Friesen, this is an evening not to be missed.

The concert takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall of the Rozsa Centre.

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