Dark Star Requiem
Composer, Dr. Andrew Staniland is creating a big impact with his Dark Star Requiem, a dramatic oratorio with text by Jill Battson. Premiered at the 2010 Luminato Festival in Toronto, the work focuses on the worldwide scourge of HIV/AIDS. On December 1, 2010 – World AIDS Day – listeners can hear the premiere performance on CBC Radio 2's The Signal. The show is broadcast from 10pm to midnight EST, except here in Newfoundland where it is broadcast at 10:30pm. Listeners will be able to follow the text and view production images online at www.tapestrynewopera.com. Or, come join us for a late-night listening party at the School of Music!
Dr. Staniland’s oratorio was co-produced by Tapestry New Works Opera and the Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts & Creativity, for the opening weekend of the June 2010 Festival at Koerner Hall in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Royal Conservatory of Music. Tapestry states that "Dark Star Requiem explores the 25-year history of the AIDS pandemic with astonishing power, shining a light on those affected by the fear, confusion and devastation that AIDS has wrought."
The Toronto Star called it "Artistically adventurous and intellectually provocative" and "exactly the kind of project that the Luminato festival wants to be about", comparing it to "the best executions of new music you can find anywhere in the world." . Classical Music Guide called it "a ‘tapestry’ quite consistently mesmerizing to the collective senses and conscience of the rapt audience" and "a work of vital dramaturgy and lasting, thought-provoking power."
Directed by Tom Diamond and conducted by Tapestry Managing Artistic Director Wayne Strongman, Dark Star Requiem features performances from four outstanding soloists, Neema Bickersteth (soprano), Krisztina Szabó (mezzo soprano), Peter McGillivray (baritone) and Marcus Nance (bass-baritone) and two percussionists, Ryan Scott and Mark Duggan, alongside two of Canada’s premiere ensembles: the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Gryphon Trio.
Andrew Staniland joined the School of Music at Memorial University in January 2010, He teaches courses in composition and arranging, and electronic music. He is the recipient of an IRIF Ignite! Grant to create the MEARL: Memorial Electroacoustic Research Laboratory.