Top 10 most memorable moments at the National Arts Centre in 2010

(Ottawa, Canada) –The National Arts Centre (NAC) featured many memorable moments during the past 12 months. Here is a list of the top 10 NAC highlights of this remarkable year:

1)      Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh participated in the unveiling of the Oscar Peterson sculpture on June 30, 2010. Mr. Peterson’s family was joined by artist Ruth Abernethy, pianist Oliver Jones and the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, as the Queen unveiled what has become the most popular new statue in Ottawa. Ten thousand people gathered on the corner of Elgin and Albert Street to take part in the ceremony, and many posed for photographs while sitting on the piano bench next to the bronze sculpture of Oscar Peterson, one the world’s greatest jazz pianists. 

2)      The NAC’s Music Director, Pinchas Zukerman performed to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall on November 20, 2010, with pianist Yefim Bronfman. The New York Times music critic, Vivien Schweitzer, praised their performance of Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata writing, “Mr. Zukerman played the sunny melodies with a burnished tone, his collaboration with Mr. Bronfman particularly impressive in the Adagio, one of Beethoven’s most beautifully lyrical slow movements.” 

3)      The NAC’s Artistic Director of English Theatre, Peter Hinton received the Order of Canada at an investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall on November 17, 2010. The award was one of the highlights of a remarkable year during which Mr. Hinton revived the English Theatre Company of the NAC, bringing together more than 20 actors from across the country for the 2009-2010 season. 

4)      The NAC’s Artistic Director of French Theatre Wajdi Mouawad performed and presented Albert Camus’ masterpiece Les Justes from September 28 to October 2, 2010, in an exclusive North American engagement. The play was directed by Stanislas Nordey, who in recent years performed in Mr. Mouawad’s play Ciels, and directed Incendies. Les Justes starred one of France’s most celebrated artists Emmanuelle Béart. 

5)      NAC Dance Producer Cathy Levy presented Éonnagata, an original work of dance and theatre created by three of the world’s most inventive artists: international superstar Sylvie Guillem, formerly of the Paris Opera Ballet; Canadian theatrical visionary Robert Lepage; and award-winning U.K. choreographer/dancer Russell Maliphant. Mr. Lepage served as Artistic Director of French Theatre at the NAC from 1989-1993.

6)      Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin received the NAC Award from former Governor- General Michaëlle Jean on June 16, 2010. On the same evening Mr. Nézet-Séguin conducted Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the Symphony of a Thousand, with the combined forces of 459 musicians including the NAC Orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and several Montreal- and Ottawa-based choirs. 

7)      Québec director Denis Villeneuve’s film Incendies, based on a 2003 play written by the NAC’s Artistic Director of French Theatre Wajdi Mouawad, was selected as Canada’s submission for the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The NAC presented the Oscar-nominated film The Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould, by Canadian filmmaker Peter Raymont. And the NAC presented producer Robert Lantos’ Barney’s Version – the film adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s acclaimed novel – to a sold out audience in Southam Hall.

8)      International superstar Valery Gergiev brought Russia’s Mariinsky Orchestra to the National Arts Centre for the first time on March 15, 2010. Mr. Gergiev is one of the most sought after conductors of our time as Music Director of the Kirov Ballet, Kirov Opera, as well as the Director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

9)      The National Arts Centre’s English Theatre Company collaborated with the National Theatre School’s graduating class in the production of Romeo and Juliet. Twelve students from Montreal worked with the professional actors of the NAC’s English Theatre Company and Artistic Director Peter Hinton to produce a gorgeous rendition of Shakespeare’s classic.

10)  Compañia nacional de danza returned to the NAC after a ten year absence to perform Bach: Mulitplicity, Forms of Silence and Emptiness in Southam Hall on May 11, 2010. The celebrated ballet company founded in Madrid in 1979 performed a beautiful two—part work created by artistic director, Nacho Duato.

 - 30 -

For more information, please contact: 

Rosemary Thompson
Director of Communications
613-947-7000,  ext. 260613-762-4118 (cell)