Parlando: The COC Blog

3/23/2012

Our Evenings with the Raconteurs

 

[This is a guest post by Olga Kwak, our digital marketing co-ordinator]

Stories have a powerful quality of staying with us. I spent much of last weekend mulling over the stories that I heard at the Raconteurs/COC storytelling events: “Love Lost” last Wednesday night and “The Muse” on Thursday night.

As I mentioned last week, Raconteurs presents a monthly evening of storytelling at No One Writes to the Colonel. There are three rules for telling stories at their events: the story must be true, it must have happened to you, and there cannot be any notes (as in, you have to tell it from memory).

"Love Lost" was predictably a woeful evening of painful loses, but there were lighthearted gems as well, like the fellow who tried to win back his ultra-Christian girlfriend with a burning Chia Pet bush. Or the storyteller whose favourite love lost was a five year-old girl named Jennifer — when he was in kindergarten. In his self-appointed Act I, he proclaimed, “She wore her hair in pigtails. And it was awesome.”

For the evening of tales from "The Muse", we saw members of the Canadian Opera Company join us. Long-time Speakers Bureau member John Rutherford recounted his life in England teaching art, after the war — that’s World War II, he reminded the crowd of mostly 20- and 30-somethings.

 

As every good story deserves, some were embellished a little more than others. Comedian James Gangl told the same story both evenings, but in a different manner, so as to fit the theme of each night. It brings to mind the question whether Hoffmann would tell his own stories of Olympia, Antonia and Giulietta differently each time. In a way, that’s what each production of The Tales of Hoffmann attempts to do.

At the concept discussion for The Tales of Hoffmann director Lee Blakeley revealed that, as this was the third time this production has been presented, it’s completely different from the first two. Just like any good story, the facts have been embellished just a little more, to create a completely new picture, one that will excite Toronto when it debuts on April 10. Aren’t we lucky?

Photos: Alex Nursall

In the next post, there's a recipe for the specialty cocktail, "Hoffmann's Muse," created just for this event.

Posted by Olga Kwak / in 2011/2012 / comments (0) / permalink


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