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Bricks, bohemians, & passionate lovers

Fall 2007 Program


Northumberland Learning Connection, in association with Friends of Music is pleased to present a new opera series featuring Iain Scott. Bricks, Bohemians, and Passionate Lovers will commence Thursday, November 8, 2007. This time, Iain will be joined by Gary McCluskie, principal architect of Diamond + Schmitt Inc., and musician Clayton Scott (no relation).



Week 1, November 8, 2007

The Architecture of Acoustics: the Design of Toronto’s New Opera House

Gary McCluskie, BES, B.Arch., Principal, Diamond + Schmitt Architects Inc and Managing Principal of The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.


In over twenty years at Diamond and Schmitt, Gary McCluskie has developed expertise in a wide range of building types including academic, cultural & museum, and performing arts. Many of his projects have been recognized with design awards including a Governor General’s Award for the University of Toronto Gerstein Library (2003), and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (2006). Most recently, the Pierre Berton Resource Library was recognized as the best public library in North America by the American Library Association (2005), and was also recognized for design excellence by the Ontario Library Association (2006). Gary will explore the concept and development of the design of Toronto’s new Opera House. The design is the result of a collaboration between architect, acoustician and theatre designers and the presentation will illustrate how the desire for acoustic excellence shaped the architecture of the auditorium as well as the building as a whole. The talk will touch on the history of opera house architecture, the technology of sound isolation and how they were brought together to create a new opera house which has been heralded as one of the finest in the world.



Week 2, November 15, 2007

Puccini’s “La Bohème”

Clayton Scott, B.A., A.R.C.T., O.V.P.


Musician, trainer, creator of the highly acclaimed lecture/performance series, “Music Through the Ages," and storyteller extraordinaire, Clayton Scott has been credited with presenting “the most engaging introduction to an opera that one could imagine.” Knowledgeable, eloquent and passionate, Clayton’s ‘performances’ help us understand and experience the emotions of an opera. In anticipation of the Metropolitan Opera’s high definition broadcast of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème” next spring, Clayton will introduce you to this masterpiece in her own, unique fashion – with energy, drama, music and humour. Discover how Puccini writes – for the first time – wholly in his own voice. Learn why this is the most performed opera in the history of the Met.



Weeks 3, 4, 5: November 22, 29, and December 6, 2007

Verdi’s “Greatest Love Duets”

Iain Scott, M.A., M.B.A.


“Iain Scott can put his finger on any opera subject matter of one's choice within the twinkling of an eye” says Duggan Melhuish in the Newsletter of the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto (2002). Following last winter’s enlightening and entertaining presentations on the four main forms of opera, Iain Scott returns to NLC by popular request. This time Iain will enthrall you with three lectures on Guiseppe Verdi’s greatest love duets. Verdi wrote surprisingly few love duets, but his immense compassion for the tortured human heart shines through. You will find out how much there is to be learned from a Master who combines insight with understanding. Along the way, you will discover much about Verdi, Italian Opera and (possibly) life.



November 22

Germont Pere and Violetta Valery

Second act of "La Traviata"

One of the greatest duets in all of Italian opera. It is a duet about love in all its different facets - a masterpiece of psychological music-drama.



November 29

King Gustavos111 of Sweden and Amelia

Second act of "Un Ballo in Maschera" (A Masked Ball)

Under the gallows at midnight, a King and his best friend's wife declare their love for each other. Verdi probes the despair and elation of true love in this heart-wrenching scene.



December 6

Othello and Desdemona

First act of "Otello"

Perhaps the finest love duet in all opera, right up there with those of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Berloz's Aeneas and Dido.