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The Short, Extraordinary Life of a Rehearsal

Dick Harington, Amanda Forsyth, Elim Chan, Marjan Mozetich and Gail Harington

Attending intermission chats and open rehearsals are one of the many benefits donors receive when they support performance, creation and learning across Canada through the National Arts Centre Foundation.

In a long awaited return to the Southam Hall stage, Amanda Forsyth, former principal cello of the NAC Orchestra, captivated NAC Foundation supporters during an open rehearsal for the premiere of a new work by leading Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich on November 14. The Cello Concerto was commissioned for the NAC Orchestra by the donor Charles Richard (Dick) Harington, who generously funded this project, and was written specifically with soloist Amanda Forsyth in mind. On the podium was young conductor Elim Chan in her Audi Signature Series debut, who previously participated in the Conductors Program at the NAC Young Artists Program in 2012.

During the rehearsal break, Amanda happily discussed the composition and answered audience questions. They learned that a significant amount of the work to bring a composition to stage is done in isolation. Amanda revealed — to some amazement — that she rehearsed the piece with the Orchestra for the first time just the day before. She explained that the composer typically sends the music in advance by computer, and that it is the musician’s job to interpret the composition. The piece “comes together” with all of the musicians often just a couple of days before the performance.

The rehearsal, Amanda said, was practical. When a piece is rehearsed for the first time, sometimes ardent discussion regarding interpretation takes place, and with help from the conductor, compromise is reached.

With the premiere of Marjan Mozetich’s Cello Concerto just hours away, the ability of the composer, conductor, soloist and NAC Orchestra to “fine tune” the composition with such expertise was a wonder to behold.

A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these sessions possible for NAC Foundation donors.

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.