Exploring themes of poverty, mental illness and addiction, this strikingly original chamber musical unfolds as a memorial service for a young woman. Requiem was created and is performed in partnership with a chorus of men, women and children who know the experience of homelessness – a raw, gorgeous and heart-altering blend of true stories and the theatrical that gives voice to the streets of North America.
Approximate Running Time: 1:30; no intermission
Onalea is a singer, theatre artist, poet and musician who enjoys experimenting with a wide variety of material from cabaret to concert hall. Her poetic song cycle BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame had it's Off Broadway premiere this fall as a special event of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. BLANCHE was voted #13 in the top 20 shows in NYC for 2011 by the Huffington Post. This summer BLANCHE will perform at the Capital Fringe in Washington DC, and the NYC Fringe.
As a theatre artist, Onalea spent 7 years as an ensemble member of Canada’s award winning One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre Playing roles ranging from Sylvia Plath in Sylvia Plath Must Not Die to a member of the maverick think tank in the brilliant Beat Oratorio Dream Machine. Other selected show credits include: Squeaky in Assassins, Cordelia in Falsettos, Joni Mitchell: River (Betty Mitchell Award) (Alberta Theatre Projects); Time After Time: The Chet Baker Project (Crow’s Theatre); Cinderella in Into The Woods (Citadel); and Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Vertigo).
Onalea's concert work includes Bernstein’s Mass with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (Hans Graf conducting); Frank Zappa’s Freak-out Burlesque (Whip It Out Ensemble); and being featured as a guest soloist and a recording artist with the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble.
She has recorded four CD's ranging from big band to jazz standards, electronica to original material. With her Jazz trio she has opened for Bob Newhart, Daniel Lanios and the East Village Opera Company. With Dandi Productions, she has co-created and performed shows with symphony orchestras across Canada, and the Hallé Symphony in Manchester UK.
Currently Onalea is directing What Brought Us Here a new Opera about Immigration premiering in September 2012 for Calgary Opera. Whenever she can Onalea performs Only Love Knows Love: An Intimate Salon of Theatre Songs with Canadian composer David Rhymer showcasing his 30 years of composition.
It is an honor that REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL will have its Off Broadway debut this summer at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. www.onalea.com
For the last 20 years, Marcel has enjoyed an active musical career as a performer, composer, improviser and teacher. A laureate of several international competitions (as one half of the acclaimed Bergmann Piano Duo) Marcel performs as a duo pianist, soloist and chamber musician nationally and internationally. He has recorded for the CBC, for several stations of the ARD in Germany, National Public Radio in the USA, as well as the Koch, Arktos, Brilliant Classics and Naxos labels.
Marcel has written numerous works for two pianos, film, theater and cabaret productions, as well as choral and chamber music. He has been commissioned by various organizations including the CBC, The Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Foundation, the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, the Spiritus Chamber Choir and the Langley Community Music School.
For 10 years, Marcel was a core musician of the Calgary based group Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, recipient of both the 2005 and 2006 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Classical Recording. Marcel is also internationally active as a clinician, juror, and lecturer and has been involved as a collaborative pianist and vocal coach. In 2004/2005, Marcel and his wife were Artistic Directors of The Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and Foundation in Miami. He has been on faculty at Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary, and served as Artistic Director of the Langley Community Music School. He has been involved in various musical activities at The Banff Centre for the Arts in recent years. Currently, he is Professor of Music at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont.
Doug appears in all manner of live performance across Canada. Favourite past productions: his one-man show DOOM 2012: When will YOU Flee? (GRT); The Alan Parkinson’s Project (GRT, Betty Award Best Performance); Arcadia, The Optimists and Glengarry Glen Ross (Theatre Junction); Little Mercy’s First Murder (GZT/Vertigo); Treasure Island and Pinocchio (ATP/Old Trouts); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Kurt Weill: Berlin to Broadway and Into the Woods (TC); The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime (Vertigo), Urinetown and The Full Monty (GZT/H&M). Doug’s company Dandi Productions creates concerts for Symphony Orchestras that have been performed from Quebec City to the Hollywood Bowl. They toured the UK in 2009. Doug produced and hosted A Tribute to Vaudeville, the first live show at Calgary’s Grand Theatre in 50 years, and recently performed in Enron at Theatre Calgary. Doug’s Symphonic Sorcery piece will be presented by the Singapore Symphony this September.
Odette Heyn as Co-founder, has co-directed the Professional Program of The School of Contemporary Dancers for many years. She has been among the prime trainers of most members of Winnipeg's contemporary dance community. Odette has choreographed works for various performances including The Festival of Canadian Modern Dance, the Olympics Danscene (Calgary 1988) the Kuan Du Arts Festival in Taipei, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Last season, Odette created a full-length piece for The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s ‘La Noche de los Mayas’. Odette is thrilled to be returning this season with the WSO to remount her 2010 ‘The Rite of Spring’.
ANDREW BLOCK is an award-winning director, producer and teacher and is thrilled to be part of this year’s NYMF and Requiem for a Lost Girl. Andrew won the 2011 Ovation and 2012 L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards for Best Director for the world premiere of John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair in L.A., (also Best Play), which will receive its NY premiere in 2012. Other recent honors include: the critically-acclaimed, sold out run of Lost and Found at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival – invited to the Encore Series at the Lucille Lortel; the West-coast Premiere of Adam Rapp's Bingo With the Indians – GLAAD award nomination for Outstanding Theatre 2009; Best Director and Best Play in the 2010 Network One-Act Festival for Illuminati. Other recent work includes: Recovery in 2011 FringeNYC; Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things at Adelphi University where he serves as Guest Director; and Assistant Director of the Off-Broadway revival of T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party with TACT/The Actor’s Company Theatre. He is a founding member of Rogue Machine Theatre in L.A., where he curated their late-night theatre series, Off the Clock and created and produced the hit short-play festival, Shorts & Sweets. Other directing credits include Dancing at Lughnasa, Twelfth Night, Noises Off, City of Angels, Little Shop of Horrors, and Tartuffe. Andrew currently makes New York his home and is a proud native of New Orleans. He received his MFA from DePaul University in Chicago, and BFA from Adelphi University, and is a member of SDC. www.andrewblock.info
Elizabeth has spent the last 30 years singing, acting, dancing, coaching, teaching, choreographing and directing. Some of her favorite experiences have been playing the roles of Mamma Rose Gypsy, Emma Song and Dance, Mattie Fae August : Osage County, Mrs. Potts Beauty and the Beast , Florence Foster Jenkins Glorious!, Mrs. Peachum The Beggar`s Opera, Nurse Romeo and Juliet, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd as well as singing in a World Beat Trance Dance Band and Persian Fusion Ensemble. She also spent 6 seasons with One Yellow Rabbit making crazy beautiful theatre and playing it in Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Elizabeth is the recipient of 2 Betty Mitchell Awards for her work in Stone and Ashes and Marg Szkaluba: Pissy`s Wife, as well as an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for her work as Fraulein Kost in Cabaret.
Land's End in Cornwall, England, reaches out to the Atlantic Ocean into what were uncharted waters before the time of Columbus. The chamber ensemble of the same name was created twelve years ago to explore the boundaries of contemporary music. The ensemble hosts a concert series in Calgary as well as an extremely popular annual cabaret at the Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club downtown. Land’s End is becoming increasingly known for its musical excellence and relaxed presentation, and has performed throughout Canada. The two Land's End CD's, Four Degrees of Freedom and Rollin' down #1, were both winners of the Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Classical Recording, in 2005 and 2006. The musicians of Land’s End are currently Laura Jayne Bowler, artistic director, John Lowry, violin; Susanne Ruberg-Gordon, piano; and Beth Root Sandvoss, cello.
For six years Louise Gallagher told the stories that moved people and changed perceptions and awareness of homelessness in Calgary and Canada. A professional communicator with over 25 years experience, she is a published author, documentary producer and has been an indefatigable blogger for over 5 years. Her personal memoir, The Dandelion Spirit, a true life fairytale of love, lies and letting go, published in 2006 has helped countless men and women heal from abuse. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Calgary Herald and Avenue Magazine. As the Director, Public Relations & Volunteer Services at the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, Louise was the editor of Connections, the agency’s quarterly newsletter where she told stories about the people who worked and lived at the Calgary Drop In Centre. She was also producer/production manager of Stand by the DI, a 15 minute documentary telling the story behind the creation of the agency’s version of Ben E. King’s Stand by Me which she co-produced on behalf of the DI with Lewis Levin Productions. Louise knows story and what makes them work – whether telling her own remarkable personal story that has turned tragic circumstances into a life filled with passion and joy or sharing stories about others.
Max grew up in Edmonton where he attended his first visual art classes at the Edmonton Art Gallery. By the age of 10 he had created his own home darkroom. He began doing home repair and renovation projects as a child to help around the house, gaining skills and practical experience in the process. He has continued to take art classes here and there, and has always made a point of learning from those around him. He enjoys working in watercolours but has turned his hand to a variety of other visual art media including acrylic painting and sculpture.
For 15 years Max partnered in a production company dedicated to theatrical set design and construction which undertook projects across western Canada. He`s been living in Calgary since 1996. He now works as a specialty cabinet-maker, creating decorative woodwork for high-end renovation projects.
A resident of the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Max is grateful for the opportunities for creative expression offered by the Centre and This is My City (TMC). He has been actively involved as a contributor and actor in several TMC and related theatre projects including Maxim Gorky`s The Lower Depths with Ian Prinsloo (2009), Two Bit Oper-Eh?-Shun with Land`s End Chamber Ensemble and Onalea Gilbertson (2010), David Diamond`s Power Play (2010), and The Eviction of the Stuart Block with Col Cseke and Onalea Gilbertson for the 2012 High Performance Rodeo, among others.
Max is one of the original members of the DI Singers and continues to meet weekly with this group to sing and perform. He also writes daily and is compiling his thoughts on creating performance art in a transient environment, which he hopes will one day become a book to guide others in creating their own theatrical projects.
John Harris is a quintessential Baby-boomer born of a hill girl and a huckster in the wilds of Northern Saskatchewan shortly after Hitler's ashes lay smoldering in the bunker. After being dragged (screaming) through the usual educational institutions - including a BA from Simon Fraser and dabbling in a Heinz 57 variety of carreers plus 10 happy years of marriage (wife says 5) the peripatetic Harris crash-landed at the doors of a homeless shelter in Calgary, Alberta. Whilst there he discovered certain predilictions for writing, singing and creating under the patient tutelage of our own Onalea Gilbertson, and is now honored to appear before you in this, her masterpiece of Musical Theater.
Please check back as we are continuing to confirm our NYC special chorus guests and collaborators for REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL. We are working with the following community organizations.
Henry Street Settlement
Ruth Kwan most recently completed her graduate studies in Collaborative Piano at New York University, studying with Martin Canin and Grant Wenaus, as the 2011 Walter Reinhold Scholar. She graduated with both her Bachelor's and Master's diplomas in Piano Performance from Le Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau in Quebec, Canada under the tutelage of Marlene Finn. Over the years, Ruth has competed and won numerous awards at the Kiwanis Music Festival (National Capital Region) and the Canadian Music Competition, placing nationally on several occasions. An active member of the musical theatre community, she has been rehearsal/audition pianist and keyboardist for The Orpheus Musical Theatre Society (Fame - The Musical, Nunsense: The Mega-Musical, The Full Monty) and The Savoy Society of Ottawa (The Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, The Zoo, The Yeomen of the Guard). She has also played keyboard for the National/North American Tours of A Chorus Line and Mamma Mia! at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She will be continuing her studies at the Manhattan School of Music in the fall with Jeffrey Cohen.
John is a founding member of Calgary's Land's End Chamber Ensemble. He has been Associate Concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 1987, and has served as Guest Concertmaster for a variety of orchestras. John has also appeared as soloist with orchestras in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, and Red Deer with such conductors as Hans Graf, Mario Bernardi, James Judd, Jean-Francois Rivest, Timothy Vernon, and Ivars Taurins.
Aaron T. Patterson, originally of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is nearing completion of his D.M.A. in Saxophone Performance at Manhattan School of Music with Dr. Paul Cohen. He holds B.S. Music Education and M.M. Saxophone Performance degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Dr. Keith Young and graduated summa cum laude. He currently works as an Arts-in-Education Outreach doctoral fellow, Center for Music Entrepreneurship doctoral fellow, and graduate assistant at MSM. Previous teaching experiences include adjunct saxophone professor at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, woodwind artist-in-residence at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland, woodwind artist-in-residence at Harrisburg State Street Academy, middle school choral and orchestra teacher at Elizabethtown Area School District in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, middle & high school instrumental music teacher at Tyrone Area School District in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and elementary instrumental music teacher at Marion Center Area School District in Marion Center, Pennsylvania. Aaron has also instructed dozens of private lesson students of all ages, teaching saxophone, flute, & clarinet.
For nearly fifteen years, Aaron has been a very active pit orchestra woodwind doubler (saxophone, clarinet, flute and piccolo, oboe), most recently playing regional engagements in New York City (Side Show, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Ragtime). He has regularly played for musicals at Totem Pole Playhouse, Mountain Playhouse, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and Altoona Community Theatre, among others. Favorite past shows include West Side Story, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Company, Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street, The Producers, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago, and Secret Garden.
Aaron is the alto saxophonist of Manhattan Saxophone Quartet alongside fellow members Jordan P. Smith, soprano; Daniel Kochersberger, tenor; and Jay Rattman, baritone. Founded in 2008, the quartet presents a diverse and fascinating repertoire spanning nearly 150 years of original saxophone quartet music. MSQ has performed at Lincoln Center, New York University, Rutgers University, the College of New Jersey, Yale University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and will make its Symphony Space debut this fall. MSQ has premiered works by composers Marc-Antonio Consoli, Rex Isenberg, Robert McMahan, and most recently, David Noon’s Saxophone Quartet No. 2 and Jeffrey Nytch’s Four Winds for Winds. The ensemble performed by invitation at the 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference in West Point, New York and the 2011 & 2012 International Saxophone Symposiums in Fairfax, Virginia.
Aaron recently performed Fernande Decruck’s Sonata in C# as guest soloist with the Butler County Symphony Orchestra (PA). He last performed with the Butler Symphony in 2001, performing Darius Milhaud’s Scaramouche, as winner of the ensemble’s Young Artist Competition. Other previous solo engagements include the Johnstown Symphony, International Festival of Women Composers, Sound of America Honors Band and Chorus European Tour, International Youth Wind Orchestra in Jonköping, Sweden, and Carlisle Community Concert Band. He has performed as an ensemble member with the Queer Urban Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Wind Ensemble, Keystone Wind Ensemble, and as a chamber musician at Symphony Space. Aaron has presented numerous clinics and performed in masterclasses and recitals at various annual events including the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, U.S. Navy-sponsored International Saxophone Symposia, and regional middle and high schools. In 2002, Aaron and fellow members of A Few Good Reeds saxophone quartet won Third Prize at the internationally-acclaimed Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and subsequently played at the inauguration of Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.
Aaron holds membership with the American Federation of Musicians (Local 802) and actively participates as a professional member of the Harrisburg Wednesday Club and Carlisle Musical Arts Club. He resides in Washington Heights in Manhattan with his pet lovebird, Shostakovich.
Jamie Pittle is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree at the New York University Steinhardt School, studying with Jonathan Haas and artist faculty members Simon Boyar, Josh Quillen, James Saporito, and John Hadfield. Prior to coming to NYU, Jamie studied with Jeffrey Moore and Kirk Gay at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and has had supplemental instruction from Gary Moffatt of .38 Special. At NYU, Jamie has appeared with the Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Concert Band, Marimba Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble, of which he has also acted as manager, and World Percussion Ensemble.
As a member of the NYU Percussion department, Jamie has had the opportunity to perform with world renowned vibraphonists Dave Samuels, Ted Piltzecker, and Emil Richards as a part of the 2011 New York Day of Percussion. Additionally, he performed alongside steel pan virtuoso Liam Teague in 2011 at the Drum Boogie Festival in Kingston, New York. Jamie has performed at Carnegie Hall as a member of the National Youth Orchestra as well as the Florida Young Artists Orchestra. The latter of which he performed two separate marimba concertos with having won the annual Concerto Competition in 2008 and 2009. Internationally he performed in the pit of “A Funny Thing… Forum” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He is thrilled to be making his Off-Broadway debut in the pit of Requiem.
Recent regional designs include: Factory 449's World Premiere of The Ice Child (Washington DC), Puro Tango (Gala Hispanic Theatre Washington DC) Ballet Spartanburg's DansSynergy IV, Dead Man Walking (American University), Distracted, Wait Until Dark, Tartuffe, Annie (Kalamazoo, Michigan), The Sound of Music, Macbeth, and Future Preludes (Washington DC), as well as the American premiere of Blanche: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame for the New York Musical Festival. Joseph is the resident lighting designer for Factory 449. Upcoming: Impossible Theatre Company's World Premiere of Missed Connections (Washington DC). Previous other work includes The Washington Ballet, The Kalamazoo Civic, Centerstage, Kindleberger Summer Festival, Bard Summer Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Pine Mountain Music Festival. He received his BFA in Design and Production with a specialization in Lighting Design from the University of Michigan.
The Drop In Centre Singers were created in December of 2008 to make a place for music and theatre at the Calgary Drop In Centre, (Canada's Largest Homeless Shelter). The group meets every Monday night, everyone is welcome and there is no experience necessary. Since REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL the group has created DI WEDDING: THE MUSICAL, and co-produced with the Mustard Seed Street Ministry THE EVICTION OF STUART BLOCK. Both shows received a platform for performance at Canada's International Festival for the Arts - the High Performance Rodeo.
This piece was directly inspired by the members of this group. Not all of them can come and be a part of the show in NYC, but all of them will be with us in spirit.
2- Lullaby for a Summer's Afternoon
Credit: Lyrics: Onalea Gilbertson, Music Marcel Bergmann
1-The Day and it's Significance
Credit: Onalea Gilbertson lyrics. Marcel Bergmann Music
3-Something for the Children
Credit: Lyrics: Doug McKeag, Music: Marcel Bergmann
Credit: Onalea Gilbertson lyrics. Marcel Bergmann Music
Credit: Onalea Gilbertson lyrics. Marcel Bergmann Music
Credit: Onalea Gilbertson lyrics. Marcel Bergmann Music
7-If Greed is Gone
Credit: Onalea Gilbertson lyrics. Marcel Bergmann Music
8-Afraid To Cry
Credit: Lyrics: Onalea Gilbertson Music: Marcel Bergmann
NYMF's Requiem for a Lost Girl: Calgary Herald Review
An oratorio on homelessness.
They first met a year ago in December. They weren't sure of the outcome. There wasn't a destination, or path. Just a group of people coming together to share some time to sing and chat and learn and grow.
Saturday night, the destination became apparent. The path clear. They had come together to create a story of life. To stir our hearts in Love.
Sounds of the streets; A daring music project about homelessness reveals stories about lives and dreams
Two years ago, Onalea Gilbertson was asked by Calgary's Land's End Chamber Ensemble to write a libretto on the theme of poverty and homelessness. That's when she decided she needed a homeless chorus, which led to the creation of the Drop-In Centre Singers.
Calgary Drop-In Clients to hit New York Stage
Members of Calgary’s homeless community will be taking to the New York stage this summer, performing in an off-Broadway production they helped create.
Calgary Homeless Choir to drop In Off Broadway
When Max Ciesielski found out he'll be performing Off-Broadway this fall, his first thought was, "Yahoo!"
"I still don't believe it," says the musician, composer, and client at Canada's largest homeless shelter, the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre.