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REF NO.: 240

SUBJECT: MemorialUniversity’s Petro-Canada Hall set to open on March 17 with four days of celebrations
DATE: March 10, 2005

Note to editors:

Memorial University’s Petro-Canada Hall is set to officially open on Thursday, March 17, 2005, with an opening concert and four days of celebratory events. The new $2 million rehearsal and performance hall — built with $1.2 million in support from Petro-Canada — will be available for university faculty and students and for use by the wider provincial music community. Petro-Canada is the operator of the Terra Nova offshore oil field and a participant in the Hibernia and White Rose developments.

Media agencies are invited to send media representatives to all events. Opening activities include:

March 17 — 11 a.m.- News conference and media tour

Officials from Memorial University, Petro-Canada and the provincial government will host a news conference at 11 a.m. in the Petro-Canada Hall. This news conference includes a technical demonstration and tour.

March 17 — 8 p.m.- Inaugural concert

An inaugural concert will be held at 8 p.m. in the D.F. Cook and Petro-Canada halls and will feature ceremonies with officials from Petro-Canada, Memorial University, and the provincial government. A world premiere performance of Petropen, a percussion-based piece specifically commissioned for the Petro-Canada Hall opening by Petro-Canada from renowned percussionist John Wyre.

March 18 — 8 p.m. Premiere of Nightingale, work-in-progress by Artistic Fraud’s Robert Chafe and Jillian Keiley

Nightingale, a new work-in-progress by Artistic Fraud’s Robert Chafe and Jillian Keiley, will be performed on Thursday, March 18, 2005, at 8 p.m. in the D. F. Cook Recital Hall. Nightingale is based on the life and career of Newfoundland diva Georgina Stirling and features soprano Jane Leibel in the role of Marie Toulinget and actor Nicole Rousseau in the role of Georgina Stirling.

March 19 — 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. - Opera Roadshow performances

Little Red’s Most Unusual Day — Memorial University’s Opera Roadshow will present an opera based on the music of Rossini and Offenbach. Little Red’s Most Unusual Day tells the familiar story Little Red Riding Hood and will be performed in the D. F. Cook Recital Hall.

March 19 — 7 p.m. Kitchen Party

The School of Music will hold a kitchen party and in true kitchen-party style, all performers will share the stage for this high energy performance celebrating the traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador. Anita Best will host this concert. The kitchen party will take place in the D. F. Cook Recital and the Petro-Canada Halls.

March 20 — 8 p.m. Cross-Canada Sing

Cross-Canada Sing, a choral concert, will feature the award-winning chamber choirs from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Alberta. Cross Canada Sing begins at 8 p.m NST in the new Petro-Canada Hall with simultaneous broadcast into the D. F. Cook Recital Hall, both located in the Music Building on Memorial’s St. John’s campus. CBC Radio’s Francesca Swann will host this event.

Petro-Canada Hall

The new 195 square metre (2,100 square foot) rehearsal and performance facility adjoins the M.O. Morgan Music Building near the D. F. Cook Recital Hall, on the east side of the building. With a performance area of approximately 56 square metres. (600 square feet), an audience capacity of 124 people and a rehearsal capacity of 150, the new Petro-Canada Hall positions the School of Music to expand its performance capabilities to meet the needs of the community. The new facility also includes a small suite of offices which are available for university and community music organizations.

The Petro-Canada Hall enables the School of Music to increase the range of services it can offer to the music community, both within the St. John's metropolitan area and through the extended reach of electronic communication. Equipped for both recording and Web-casting, the facility links the School of Music to global communities for real-time distance instruction and multi-site rehearsal.

Gordon Carrick, vice-president, East Coast Petro-Canada, and Dr. Axel Meisen, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, announced the project in November 2003.

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