Telling a Tale with Tom Allen
Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 3:00pm
Pre-concert chat at 2:15 with Michael Newnham
Escape from the dregs of Toronto’s long winters with an afternoon of music inspired by stories. Host Tom Allen will guide us through a narrative labyrinth, woven through with an orchestral counterpoint.
- Toronto composer Elizabeth Raum has set the 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as a five-movement orchestra suite. The original Middle English saga features one of King Arthur's best known knights.
- We all know the story behind Prokoviev's ballet Romeo and Juliet ballet. Prokoviev's own story is less well known. Romeo and Juliet is one of two non-political works that Sergei Prokoviev wrote after his return to the Soviet Union. Among its other quirks, it is one of the rare orchestral works that calls for a tenor saxophone.
- Antonin Dvořák's Noonday Witch paints a musical picture of a scary figure from a story told to keep in his native Bohemia to scare children away from playing in the fields under the hot sun.
Michael Newnham – Conductor
Tom Allen – Storyteller and Host
On the Programme
Elizabeth Raum: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Antonin Dvořák: Noonday Witch
Sergei Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet (Suites 1, 2 and 3)
Tom Allen was born in Montreal and went to school there, at Marianapolis College and McGill, before finishing degrees at Boston University and Yale. Heworked as a bass trombonist in New York City when there were still places you just didn’t go, in Toronto, and on tour with the Great Lakes Brass. He began working for the CBC on his 30th birthday. He has since written three books, with a fourth on the way, become a Resident Artist with Soulpepper Theatre, hosted many spectacular concerts there, and written a series of cabaret storytelling shows he calls Chamber Musicals, including Bohemians in Brooklyn, The Judgment of Paris and From Weimar to Vaudeville, The Last Curlew and The Missing Pages.
He lives in Toronto with his beloved, the harpist Lori Gemmell, their son, and a very enthusiastic dog.