Voyageur Storytelling: Repertoire Current Year

Voyageur Storytelling

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On this page

we tell you about

our Repertoire and Concerts

for 2011


To celebrate our 10th Anniversary we decided to revert to our old preoccupation with the Four Elements, that is, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Needing only three concerts, however, one of them dedicated to the Sabbath (called Sabbath Balm this year for reasons we cannot remember if there were any beyond appropriateness), we lumped Air and Fire together in Fire Flies, Earth and Water in Ground Water. We thought the spirit of anniversary celebration would be best served if we brought out old favourites from our past concerts, at least in the latter two concerts. (We put some new pieces in the Sabbath concert, most notably Tamar Yellin's wonderful story "Return to Zion".) This may have been a mistake, at least for us, because we found as the season progressed that we wished we had included more new material. In 2012 we did.

Our 2011 Summer Concerts

Note: where no author or composer is shown, the material is our own.

Fire Flies


Your Country — Gatien Lapointe, translated by John Glassco

Storytelling Concert

Preparation — poem by P.K. Page

The Woodcarver and the Painter — our own take on a traditional Mongolian tale

Voice of Fire — telling the story of the famous Barnett Newman painting

The Operatic Grizzly Bear — music by Arthur Sullivan (the "Sir" came later); the lyrics have complex parentage.

Goodbye and Good Luck — a moving story of love in Yiddish theatre by Grace Paley

The Abduction from the Cooking Pot, or Three Little Pigs: the Opera — Mozart wrote the music, which we appropriate for a controversial take on a traditional tale

Intermission (pie and ice cream)

How Fire Came — A mythological education all in itself

Artists' Wives — a peek into the interesting domestic life of the P.P. Rubens family, by Morris Bishop

The Firefly's Advice to the Artist — we recruit Mozart again to assist with this instructive interlude

Tumble Down — our salute to the memory of the famous mountaineer George Mallory

Who Needs Nightingales? — Indeed, who does, given the resources of Bruce Peninsula?

The Best of All Possible Peninsulas — Our composer for this bit of plain-speaking singing is Leonard Bernstein

Home on the Bruce — our candidate for Bruce Peninsula's Official Song

Image: "The Abduction of Psyche" (by Cupid) by William-Adophe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

Ground Water


To Hold by a Tale, poem by A.J.M. Smith, slightly modified for our purposes

Storytelling Concert

Look, Stranger — an invitation adapted to Bruce Peninsula from a poem by W.H. Auden

Muskoka Memoir — an Ontario mini-epic of hard land, based on writings and stories by Matilda Wood Stone, Al Purdy, and others

When I First Came to This Land — a favourite song by Oscar Brand.

Why the Great Lakes Are Not Salty — a clear explanation of an unexpected phenomenon.

Mixed Bathing — a personal story, based on a similar experience by Terry Thomas.

Midsummer Voyageur — we would like to think that no voyageur ever did such a thing, but the lady narrator seems sincere, with music to match based on a theme by Jim Parker.

The Wonder Fish — the best fish story ever, quite true, told with Beethoven's help.

Intermission (pie and ice cream)

Enoch Lightning and the Alvar — another mini-epic of hard land.

Great Aunt Rebecca — a pioneer tribute by poet Elizabeth Brewster

Fawn Attack — strange things can happen in the woods, and need Mozart's music to do them justice.

The Road Not Taken — a subtle memoir by Robert Frost.

nobody loses all the time — a consoling family story by e.e. cummings.

Quiet — a meditative moment by Marjorie Pickthall

Mukwohnaeyaasheeng — Bear's place, almost an island.

The Best of All Possible Peninsulas — Our composer is Leonard Bernstein.

Home on the Bruce — our candidate for Bruce Peninsula's Official Song

Image: Jean Routier, from "Maria Chapdelaine" (1921)

Sabbath Balm


Sabbath Blessings

Storytelling Concert

Shalom Aleichem — Israel Goldfarb & Gil Aldema

The Wooden Sword — Hasidic tale

Bread & Teeth — Boris Bruser

Nigun Talmudei Besht — Ben Steinberg

Wandering Jews — anecdotes of Canadian Jewry

Tshiribiri — Yiddish nigun

The Dying Rabbi — story of unknown origin

Dona, Dona, Dona — Aaron Zeitlin & Shalom Secunda


Return to Zion — Tamara Yellin

Cuando el Rey Nimrod — traditional Ladino song

Coat Tale — traditional story

The Age-Old Question — Yiddish song

Three Poems — A.M. Klein

Eli, Eli — Hannah Senesh & David Zahavi

Image: "Angel Leading Elijah" by Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Links to Concerts from Other Years

(This page is 2011. If that's the year you want, you're already there.)

Voyageur Storytelling, December 2012

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