Sunday, November 12, 2006

An evening at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

The construction of the building appeared to take a lifetime, so it was with great interest that I read the article in the February 2006 issue of Canadian Geographic:

After having endured years of discomfort (in the seats and on the ears) at the old O'Keefe Centre, my wife and I were really looking forward to the performance of the Canadian National Ballet, the Sleeping Beauty. We were not disappointed.

The venue feels cosy and intimate, in a way the O'Keefe was not. Light coloured woodwork and stainless steel give the place a sense of airyness. Inside the hall, another surprise: it is light beige and silver. The seats appear to be larger than those of the O'K. and have a ventilation outlet underneath them - what a clever idea!

In the past, our seats were in row T, which felt quite far from the stage. In the FSC, it felt like some 30 feet had been removed in front of us. The orchestra pit is larger and shallower but it is the sound of the music which really surprised me. It did not sound like music coming from a loud-speaker! As the Canadian Geographic article describes it, acoustician Robert Essert used a "sound-burst diagram" in which sound emanating from the stage is depicted as tiny points radiating through the hall and reflecting of its every surface. ....."as the particles reflect back toward the stage, up to 90 percent of the sound audible to the audience will have bounced off the walls".

Pendant le ballet, un petit détail: les lumières dans les allées indiquant les rangées de sièges restent allumées (par précaution de sécurité?) mais sont distrayantes. Les services techniques devraient les mettre en veilleuse.

Le spectacle lui-même s'est mérité les éloges du Globe & Mail :

Les artistes de la soirée, Sonia Rodriguez et Alexandr Antonijevic, se sont admirablement acquittés de leurs rôles et ont bien mérité les applaudissements de l'auditoire.

En un mot, une soirée bien agréable, précédée par un repas for appétissant au nouveau restaurant Tundra de l'hôtel Hilton, sis à une rue au sud du FSC.

De passage à Toronto? Ne manquez pas une visite au FSC.

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