Parlando: The COC Blog

11/17/2010

The School Tour goes to Nunavik, Day 1

[This is a guest post by our Director of Public Relations, Claudine Domingue. Claudine is accompanying the Cinderella cast and crew to the Xstrata Raglan nickel mine in northern Quebec this week as part of the Ensemble Studio School Tour]

We started well before dawn on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, at the COC’s Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre.  Seen here are Andrea Grant (Cinderella music director), Michael Lewandowski (Cinderella stage manager), Heather Jewson (Cinderella’s stepsister Tisbe); Ambur Braid (Cinderella’s stepsister Clorinda), Michael Uloth (the Beggar/the Page), Michael Barrett (the Prince), Rihab Chaieb (Cinderella), Katherine Semcesen (COC’s Senior Manager of Education and Outreach) and me. The only person missing from this shot is our photographer, Michael Cooper, who is behind the camera. And, yes, you've read correctly: There are four men on this trip, and every one of them is named Michael!

 

Unfortunately, some of our set luggage couldn't fit on the two tiny King Air 100 planes (each seats up to six passengers only). We were very fortunate that Xstrata's CEO Ian Pearce was with us, and he quickly commandeered another plane so that electric piano, piano stand, backdrop screen and two larger boxes got to take an unaccompanied trip straight to Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec.

 

 

On board the King Air 100 plane taking them to Montreal, Cinderella cast and crew members (l-r) Andrea Grant, Rihab Chaieb, Michael Barrett, and Ambur Braid, settled in for the flight. 

 

 

Michael Barrett waves to the camera as we board the Air Inuit Dash 8 plane that will take us from Montreal to Rouyn-Noranda. 

 

 

Some of the in-flight materials on board Air Inuit. You know you’re flying to the sub-Arctic when you see signs like these!

 

Michael Barrett showing our box of bubblewrap some love. The bubblewrap is the metaphoric glue that holds the Cinderella school tour together.  All the set pieces have been wrapped carefully to withstand several plane rides. Katherine brought extra to re-wrap if necessary! (In Rouyan-Noranda at about 2 p.m.) 

 

 

We saw these stickers in the store room at the Rouyn-Noranda airport as we were being fitted for our Arctic boots and coats (Xstrata won't allow you on-board the plane if you don't have either of those articles).  Everyone took a shine to them.

 

 

Even Xstrata's CEO Ian Pearce, who accompanied us the entire way, pasted one on his sweater!

 

 

Here we are boarding our final plane of the day at the Rouyn-Noranda airport on our way to the Donaldson airport near Xstrata’s Raglan mine. It's about 3:30 p.m. You can see we're all wearing our new coats and boots.  This last flight lasted over three hours and we arrived at Donaldson about 7 p.m.

 

 

We're so happy to be here!  That's Michael Barrett and Katherine Semcesen walking into the building at 7:45 p.m.

 

 

They kept the cafeteria open for us because the whole plane load of us and the rest of the Xstrata employees who flew with us arrived much later than expected. Here we are having dinner with Mike Welch (yes, another one!), the General Manager of Raglan, before taking a quick tour of the complex. Tomorrow, off to Salluit for a performance!

 

All photos © Michael Cooper 2010.

Posted by Claudine Domingue / in Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour / comments (1) / permalink

Ali S (11/18/2010 1:59:00 PM)
This is so exciting. Thank you for sharing the Arts with all of Canada. Special congratulations to Ambur! xo

Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001