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Even more Tuckamore

By Mandy Cook | July 17, 2015

Chamber music fans who attend the centerpiece performance of this year’s Tuckamore Festival should “expect to be moved,” says Dr. Andrew Staniland of Memorial’s School of Music and the composer of the work.

The Ocean is full of its own collapse is a composition for violin and piano featuring Evelyn Hart, former principal ballerina of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Duo Concertante, Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves, also of the music school and the festival’s artistic directors. A previous collaborator with the Duo, Ms. Hart will narrate excerpts from Lisa Moore’s novel February, which delves into one woman’s grief after the loss of her husband on the Ocean Ranger. St. John’s-based artist Jonathan Kennedy is creating video to accompany the piece.

“In this piece there are some pretty heavy themes: love, loss, deep-sea disasters, it’s a pretty heavy book,” said Dr. Staniland, who spent much of the last six months composing the score. “Music is such a wonderful way to carry those things. It is very poignant, you can’t even say the words Ocean Ranger without hearing a personal anecdote. It means so much to so many people here.”

The Ocean is full of its own collapse will mark the festival’s milestone 15th season. It is the anchor piece to a festival that, as always, has much to offer classical music lovers during its two-week schedule, this year running Aug. 8-23.

In addition to the star power of the internationally renowned Ms. Hart, who will perform in Ocean for all three dates on the festival’s schedule ― debuting as part of Tuckamore Travels in Admiral’s Cove on Aug. 8, again in Port Rexton on Aug. 9, and during the festival’s opening night gala in St. John’s on Aug. 10 ― pianist Janina Fialkowska, CBC personality Tom Allen, violinist Mark Fewer, the Duke Trio and Ariel String quartet are just some of the names on the ever-popular evening concert series’ roster. Early risers can enjoy morning Concert Chat and Coffee sessions and night owls can take in late-night concerts in the Rocket Room in downtown St. John’s, not to mention the Young Artist Program and the Young Composers Program, which both foster the next generation of classical musicians from all corners of North America.

For her part, Ms. Hart says she is “very excited” to be part of the Tuckamore Festival's 15th season celebration.

“I have many wonderful memories of touring across Newfoundland and Labrador with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and it will be lovely to be back,” said the former ballerina. “Tim, Nancy and I have enjoyed workshopping the new piece by Andrew, with text by Lisa Moore, and we're really looking forward to performing it.”  

Since 2001, the goal of the Tuckamore Festival has been to offer two weeks of “inspired, powerful, and diverse” concerts as well as numerous free-of-charge open rehearsals, masterclasses, lunchtime performances and children’s concerts.