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February, 2004 - Nr. 2


The Editor
Sweet Surrender
Herz und Rose
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
Toronto Connection
Dear Mom
Consulate's New Address
Neue Konsulatsadresse
KW and Beyond
Symphonic Delights
Fischer-Dieskau Saga
Tony Bergmeier
Business Association Meeting
Sauter's Inn
Kasseler Food
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
At the Berlinale
Movies made in Berlin
Movie "Das Parfum"
"Wunderkind" Phenomenon
Cars fight AIDS
Canada Day Poster
High-Tech Rail Running
Made in Germany vs. EU
Mars Exploration
Engineers Award Nominations
German/US Ties
Munich After All

KW and Beyond

  by Irena Syrokomla

KW Symphony
– Masterpiece Series –
Romantic Monuments

On a bitterly cold January night at the Centre in the Square, a faithful audience climbed through high piles of snow. It was worth it. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 was performed by the KW Symphony and Russian born and trained pianist Alexander Tselyakov. Giving the audience exactly what it hoped for, ultra-romantic, vibrant and passionate – it is difficult to find words for such a performance. Young Montrealer Yannick Nezet-Sequin, barely 28, conducted without notes in full control of this very complex and mature piece. Tselyakov, again without notes, overwhelmed the concert goers as he gave himself to the music of his motherland. The applause was so prolonged and insistent that – rarely on this continent – the pianist played an encore, another Rachmaninoff prelude. It was an amazing accomplishment considering the fact that both Nezet-Sequin and Tselyakov were guest artists who had little time to rehearse with this favoured orchestra.

Joan Tower’s For the Uncommon Woman composed in 1992, provided an interesting fanfare, both emotional and modernistic. Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D Minor completed the evening. Nezet-Sequin obviously had great appreciation of the French composer and handled it with full appreciation for its romantic and operatic style.

In the crowded foyer, music lovers engaged in vivid discussions on the recent dismissal of Martin Fischer-Dieskau. They were not pleased. Repetitive inquiries were made whether they or their friends would renew their subscriptions. Comments about the dismissal were freely offered and exchanged. It is almost two months since the most unfortunate decision was made but the case is not finished by any means.

I cannot add any more to the opinions exchanged on the pages of The Record by professionally qualified, highly regarded and well-known personalities, as well as concert going individuals who feel cheated and disregarded. However, I regret the decision of the Artistic Director and the Board, wait for some disclosure and justification, and wish for a satisfactory turn-around.

The next concert of the Masterpiece Series scheduled for February 20 and 21 was to be conducted by Fischer-Dieskau and themed ‘From Berlin to Kitchener’. Unfortunately, Martin Fischer-Dieskau is not going to be conducting, and our orchestra is not going to Berlin. Regrettable.

On Friday January 23 it has been announced that Martin Fischer-Dieskau will not be rehired and that K-W Symphony has appointed Simon Streateild as a principal conductor for the next 18 months. He is best known as a founder of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, an individual much accomplished and respected in his field. Hopefully Martin’s departure will not be held against him.

Steel Magnolias at The Waterloo Stage Theatre

On yet another one of our cold Canadian winter nights, Steve Roth scheduled an uplifting comedy, and on this Saturday night the house was full and the audience was quite receptive to the light jokes and memorable lines.

Steel Magnolias reminded me somehow of Shaking the Dew from the Lilies which I had seen in December 2002 at The Registry Theatre. It is also very much "a woman’s play", with six women meeting over the period of several years in the feminine environment of a hairdressing salon. A hair salon owner, her assistant, a mother and daughter visiting the establishment, and two other customers show the involved world of their problems: children, weddings, husbands, and careers. These are friends watching out for each other, caring for each other, and supporting each other in times of both crisis and joy.

The play is very emotional, full of exclamation marks and italics, with small humorous details, like a conversation about earrings made as a result of discovering the world of arts and crafts. I am not sure if playwright Robert Harling invented such phrases as " He has more money than God" and "If it does not kill us then it will make us stronger" but these familiar colloquialisms were still strong enough to bring wholehearted laughter from the audience.

The stage design was good, the acting professional and balanced. The strong southern accents and mannerisms were on occasion so heavy-handed that at times it was difficult to understand the dialogue. M’Lynn Eatenton is especially worth mentioning as her stylized character of the southern-belle mother concerned with the well-being of her daughter was particularly touching. Though this play is considered a comedy, it left us with an unexpected insight into mother-daughter relationships and the deep friendships so characteristic between women.

Steel Magnolias is running till February 14. It would brighten up your wintry evening. So give the theatre a call 519-888-0000 and have a pleasant evening.

Next play scheduled from March 4 to April 3 is Man of La Mancha. And I am planning to see it!


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