Tom Allen & Friends - "A Poe Cabaret"

An Evening of Live Music & Storytelling

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Tuesday, November 8

7:30 p.m.

$40 / members $34

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" engaging and stimulating entertainment no classical music lover should miss." - Stage Door

The CBC’s storytelling host Tom Allen teams up with the Garneau String Quartet and harpist Lori Gemmell in A Poe Cabaret, described as a “gothic, intense and beautiful experience”.

A Poe Cabaret combines the fascinating and tragic life story of Edgar Allan Poe with beautiful music conjured in his honour by Debussy, Andre Caplet and Alexina Louie. The evening is haunted by three of Poe’s greatest stories: the crumbling gothic shadows of The Fall of the House of Usher, the cautionary quarantine epic The Masque of Red Death, and a startling musical setting of Poe’s greatest success, and deepest heartbreak – The Raven.

Through storytelling, poetry and riveting music performed by an ensemble of absolutely spectacular musicians from front row of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra strings and one of this country's most musically compelling harpists, A Poe Cabaret will bring the chilling life and art of Edgar Allan Poe in from the cold.

A Poe Cabaret was initially co-commissioned by Luminato and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Listen to this fresh retelling of the Romantic master’s greatest works.

“…. [Lori] and I have put together an ever-growing number of shows that combine chamber music and storytelling. It is, apparently, just what we do. We’ve done this ‘Poe Cabaret’ for several years, and even though our own world has now tilted a little closer to his understanding of things, it’s still a flight of fantasy. Poe has been gone for over 150 years, and although his imagery remains compelling, there is a dark relief to be had in revelling in the shadows of his world and hearing the arc of his life and the vision of his work. Art has the power to illuminate our lives, no matter how dark the world around us may be.” - Tom Allen

Meet the Hosts

Tom Allen

Tom Allen was born in Montreal. He attended Marianapolis College and McGill, before finishing degrees at Boston University and Yale. Tom worked as a bass trombonist in New York City when there were still places you just didn’t go, in Toronto, and on tour with the Great Lakes Brass. He began working for the CBC on his 30th birthday. He has written three books, created and hosted countless shows for theatre companies and orchestras, as well as touring a series of cabaret/history/storytelling shows.

Lori Gemmell

Lori Gemmell has been the Principal Harpist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 2000. She teaches at Wilfred Laurier University and for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Lori enjoys being involved in many solo and chamber music projects: with the Four Seasons Harp Quartet, with trumpeter, Larry Larson, harp duo with, Jennifer Swartz, violin and harp with Etsuko Kimura, harp and storytelling with her husband Tom Allen, and playing with pop artists Kevin Fox and Feist. Lori has two solo recordings, Prelude and Canadian Music for Harp, a harp duo recording with Jennifer Swartz, The Garden of Peacocks, and Divertissement with Larry Larson.

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