Today is a day of nostalgia. The news of Maureen Forrester's death brought back a wave of memories, taking me to the Festival Theatre on a Sunday afternoon, where I sat enthralled, listening to her soaring voice filling the auditorium. In those days, (1967, 1974) there were no microphones used to amplify the sound, just the singer and the piano. In searching the Festival Archives this morning, I discovered that in the 1967 concert, her accompanist was none other than Mario Bernardi, and in 1974, Raffi Armenian. She also starred in the Festival's 1984 production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe.
Looking through the list of concerts in the archives, once again took me to that place in my youth where Stratford was filled with the sounds of classical music every Sunday afternoon during the Festival season. What a time we had as young people being exposed to so many great musicians. These music archives can be viewed at http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/about/history.aspx?id=9201
Thanks to the Stratford Summer Music Program, now in its 10th season, music will once again be filling our city from July 19 - August 22 this summer. Part of their anniversary program features a group of concerts honouring Maureen Forrester. It is called the "Next Generation of Canadian Artists" series. You can find out about all of this season's concerts by checking on line at www.stratfordsummermusic.ca
So, to Ms. Forrester, thanks for the memories. Thanks for enhancing the Canadian music scene for so many years. May you rest in peace.