S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen


Toronto is hosting a Metamorphosis festival, beginning this weekend and lasting through June. Numerous groups are involved, including the AGO, Tafelmusik, Cinametheque Ontario, The Toronto Consort, Opera Atelier, and, on campus, the Music Department and CRRS. The Centre for Medieval Studies will be hosting its annual conference in mid-March on the theme as well, although it is not currently listed on the master Toronto website for the festival.

I noticed that there were no restaurants, no supermarkets, no food fairs involved in the whole thing. My first thought was that the AGO restaurant, Agora, would probably do a tie-in meal; it usually has a menu themed around the major exhibit of the moment there. Then I wondered about how a painstaking baker might construct a cake of Daphne becoming a laurel tree. My next thought was to wonder how often the food world is excluded - or voluntarily excludes itself - from participation in events such as these.

And my last thought - why should restaurants, supermarkets, and food fairs bother participating in a festival called "Metamorphosis"? Isn't that the essence of food preparation, be it harvesting, pickling, salting, smoking, baking, boiling, or saucing? The act of eating creates a metamorphosis, of food into flavor, into sense, into internal weight, and into energy. The food industry is saturated with metamorphoses. Much as it might be fun to be involved, perhaps it has no need to frame itself around a theme so fundamental to its existence.

Toronto’s Metamorphosis Festival

Launches with FREE event

Co-hosted by Sandra Laronde and Jeff Goodes

Wednesday, January 26, 2005, 6 pm at AGO

Toronto’s unprecedented Metamorphosis Festival, the city-wide festival exploring transformation and the arts taking place from January to June, 2005, will be launched with a free public event at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) Walker Court on Wednesday, January 26 at 6:00 pm.  The celebration features live performances by Tafelmusik, The Toronto Consort and the Chinese Traditional Music Ensemble consisting of George Gao, erhu; Wen Zhao, pipa; and Pin Xin Xu, yang qin. The evening will be co-hosted by Sandra Laronde, Artistic Director of Red Sky, and Jeff Goodes, host of CBC Radio One’s Fresh Air.

The January 26 celebration includes free admission to Metamorphoses: Tales of Transformation, the AGO’s contribution to the Metamorphosis Festival. Generously supported by the Ernest Redelmeier Family, the exhibit runs January 22 to May 15, and is dedicated to the theme of transformation as described in Ovid’s myths. Approximately thirty prints and drawings, illustrated books, and sculptures depicting the stories of Apollo and Daphne, Dedalus and Icarus, Perseus and Andromeda, among others, are included.   

An initiative of Tafelmusik and The Toronto Consort, the Metamorphosis Festival is the brainchild of Artistic Directors Alison Mackay (Principal Bassist with Tafelmusik) and David Fallis (Artistic Director, Toronto Consort), who were intrigued by the connections and parallels between transformation myths found in different cultures. Their primary source of inspiration was Metamorphoses, the collection of over 200 myths by ancient Rome’s famous poet, Ovid, and considered to be the most influential literary work after the Bible. The Festival also highlights tales of change from Asia, Africa and Aboriginal North America.

Music, theatre, dance, opera, film, visual art, architecture and storytelling join forces under the Metamorphosis umbrella to celebrate these great tales of transformation. More than 30 arts, cultural and educational organizations will interpret, re-visit, examine and explore selected Ovidian stories and legends from other cultures — all of them connected by the theme of physical transformation.

For a complete listing of Metamorphosis festival events and participants, please visit www.metamorphosisfestival.ca. For ticket prices and box office information, please contact the participating arts organizations directly. The Metamorphosis Festival wishes to thank The Canada Council for the Arts and the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation for their support. The Metamorphosis Festival is under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency John Ralston Saul, C.C.


Media contact for Metamorphosis Festival:       Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications
                                                (416) 481-1161; ltrisi@sympatico.ca

I haven't read any Ovid in a long time... but I'm not going to start now. Submisson first.

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