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The Journals of Susanna Moodie – May 13, 1990 | Walter Hall, Toronto
A visit to 19th century Ontario

date: May 13, 1990

This was the first of several programmes in which we focussed on the lives of 19th century women in Ontario.  The redoubtable pioneer, Susanna Moodie, had long fascinated us, her story only acquiring more significance when we discovered that she lived as a child and young woman in Reydon, Suffolk, just a few miles north of Aldeburgh.  John Beckwith reworked his incidental music for Margaret Atwood’s poems to provide us with a substantial second half to the afternoon; four singers, five keyboards and an array of percussion were employed.  Songs, mostly from the early 19th century and performed with the Faculty of Music’s Chickering square piano, filled our first half, together with extracts from Moodie’s own writings and some examples of Canadian song as our heroine settled in Ontario.  Our reader throughout the afternoon was the distinguished actor, Clare Coulter (recommended to us by Atwood herself).  We took a version of this concert (without the Atwood/Beckwith section, which was beyond our touring capabilities) on our UK tour in 1992, which included a performance at the Aldeburgh Festival.

Song Artist Composer Poet
Oh! can you leave your native land? – A Canadian song Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, fortepiano Scottish folksong Moodie, Susanna
The Foggy, Foggy Dew Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Suffolk folksong, arr. Britten, Benjamin anon.
Oliver Cromwell Neff, Daniel, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Suffolk folksong, arr. Britten, Benjamin anon.
Allegro (Duett in E flat) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, fortepiano Webbe Jr., Samuel n/a
Vaga luna che inargenti Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, fortepiano Bellini, Vincenzo anon.
Now I’m prepar’d Whicher, Monica, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, conductor Webbe Sr., Samuel anon.
Tom Bowling Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, fortepiano Dibdin, Charles Dibdin, Charles
The Warning Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, fortepiano Hook, James Rowson, Susanna
How sweet the answer Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Irish folksong, arr. Britten, Benjamin Moore, Thomas
Welcome, welcome little bark Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, fortepiano Moodie, J.W.Dunbar Moodie, Susanna
The Canadian Herd-Boy Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, fortepiano Moodie, J.W.Dunbar Moodie, Susanna
Canadian Boat Song Whicher, Monica, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, fortepiano Moore, Thomas Moore, Thomas
The Canadian Sleigh Song Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano; Ubukata, Bruce, fortepiano Russell, Henry Mackay, Charles
I wish I was in Dixie’s land Whicher, Monica, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, fortepiano Emmett, Daniel Emmett, Daniel
One sweetly solemn thought Whicher, Monica, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Ambrose, Robert Carey, Phoebe
At the mid hour of night Whicher, Monica, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Irish folksong, arr. Britten, Benjamin Moore, Thomas
This Canada of ours Whicher, Monica, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Ridout, Elizabeth Edgar, James
INTERMISSION
The Journals of Susanna Moodie Whicher, Monica, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Neff, Daniel, baritone; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano; Johnston, Beverley, percussion Beckwith, John Atwood, Margaret