Photo Cutline: Chilina Kennedy, pictured here in Evangeline from The 2013 Charlottetown Festival, is one of several original cast members coming together this month to record the musical album The Music of Evangeline (Louise Vessey photo).
(Charlottetown, P.E.I.) – The Charlottetown Festival turned heads across the country last summer when it staged the world premiere of the musical epic, Evangeline. Now, Confederation Centre of the Arts is revisiting this love story with The Music of Evangeline, an album featuring the songs and stars of the hit summer production.
“Evangeline resonated with Islanders, Maritimers, and visitors from across the continent in a major way,” says Anne Allan, artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival. “We heard again and again, ‘Where can I hear this music?’ Well, we are thrilled to be continuing the legacy of this epic story and soaring score, and will have the album available for our 50th anniversary celebrations.”
Created by Ted Dykstra, Evangeline is based on Longfellow’s famed heroine who becomes separated from her betrothed, Gabriel, during the Acadian Deportation. Driven by vibrant Acadian, Maritime, and Cajun music and dance, this sweeping musical starred New Brunswick native, Chilina Kennedy, and Toronto’s Adam Brazier. Both highly-touted performers will be featured alongside a studio orchestra.
“I have been a fan of the show and especially the music since I first heard it in 2005; it is haunting and incredibly beautiful,” says Kennedy. “It is important for Canadians to celebrate their own stories and record their own musical albums. It happens so rarely and I feel lucky to be involved in such a special project.”
“I am very proud of this show and of the work that Ted has put into it over the last decade,” she adds. “I think people will love it.”
Tracks include ‘I Only Hear Your Voice’, ‘If it Takes’, ‘Freedom’, and ‘Our House,’ among others. Other original cast members featured include Sandy Winsby (Evangeline’s father, Benedict), Marcus Nance (Clairborne, the free slave in Louisiana), and Charlottetown Festival veteran, Terry Hatty (Father Felicien, of Grand Pré). P.E.I. guitarist Chris Corrigan, a member of the original orchestra, will also be featured throughout the album.
Confederation Centre will serve as executive producer forthis recording, with Evangeline’s original music supervisor, Bob Foster, and Dykstra as co-producers. The Music of Evangeline will be available for pre-sale by spring 2014, and will be for sale on iTunes and at the Centre’s gift-shop by the start of The 2014 Charlottetown Festival. Stay tuned for further announcements in the months to come.