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The Owl and the Pussycat – matinée | Young People's Theatre, Toronto
Songs for young people about the animal kingdom

date: February 13, 1989

The raison-d’être of this programme, commissioned by Musical Mondays at the Young People’s Theatre, was a performance of a new work by Harry Somers, his setting of Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat, commissioned with the assistance of the Canada Council.  Our four vocal soloists included a fine boy treble, Jesse Clark, who had performed with us the previous year in the premiere of Derek Holman’s Nicholas Knock, which sets a narrative poem by Dennis Lee.  That work provided our final item here.  Other repertoire included a number of songs by Benjamin Britten and also a fair amount of humorous material, ranging from Rossini (attrib.) to some familiar favourites by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann  –  one of which, The Gnu, was “sung” by Artistic Director Stephen Ralls.  For the benefit of the mostly young audience, songs were introduced by the singers; in the afternoon matinée, whose audience was entirely composed of schoolchildren, most of the non-English songs were omitted.

Song Artist Composer Poet
I bought me a cat: Children’s Song (Old American Songs) Clark, Jesse, treble; Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Copland, Aaron anon.
Villanelle des petits canards Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Chabrier, Emmanuel Gérard, Rosemonde
Tit for Tat (Tit for Tat) Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Britten, Benjamin Mare, Walter de la
Les Chevaux de bois – Scherzo, Op.22/4 (Jeux d’enfants) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bizet, Georges n/a
Robinson Crusoe (Ten English Rhymes) Clark, Jesse, treble; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Beckwith, John anon.
The north wind doth blow (Ten English Rhymes) Clark, Jesse, treble; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Beckwith, John anon.
Cuckoo! Op.7/3 (Friday Afternoons) Clark, Jesse, treble; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Britten, Benjamin Taylor, Jane
Ee-oh! (The Fox and his Wife), Op.7/4 (Friday Afternoons) Clark, Jesse, treble; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Britten, Benjamin anon.
Cat’s Creed (Paul Bunyan, Op.17) Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Britten, Benjamin Auden, Wystan Hugh
The Owl and the Pussycat Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Stravinsky, Igor Lear, Edward
The Owl and the Pussycat Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano; Ralls, Stephen, conductor Somers, Harry Lear, Edward
Duetto buffo di due gatti Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano anon., attrib. Rossini, Gioachino anon.
INTERMISSION
Le Grillon (Histoires naturelles) Burgess, Norine, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Ravel, Maurice Renard, Jules
The Serpent (Songs for Leontyne) Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Hoiby, Lee Roethke, Theodore
The Gnu Ralls, Stephen, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Swann, Donald Flanders, Michael
The Warthog Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Swann, Donald Flanders, Michael
Nicholas Knock Clark, Jesse, treble; Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Holman, Derek Lee, Dennis
The Hippopotamus – ENCORE Clark, Jesse, treble; Jones, Gaynor, soprano; Evans, Glyn, tenor; Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Swann, Donald Flanders, Michael