A Revolutionary Year for LUMINATO!
By A Correspondent
For Luminato's Jorn Weisbrodt, the thread that ran throughout his debut Festival as artistic director was Revolution and Transformation, both historic and artistic. Indeed, Luminato's sixth season more than achieved Weisbrodt's expectations, including such seminal presentations as the North American premiere of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach (aptly described as the work that transformed opera for the modern age), the critically-acclaimed Playing Cards 1: SPADES by revolutionary director Robert Lepage, and the English-language debut of Montreal's 4D Art's magical modernization of the classic fairy tale La Belle et la Bête.
Capacity crowds turned out for the all-star Kate McGarrigle tribute concert, presented at Massey Hall, all three performances of Sadeh21 by Tel Aviv's Batsheva Dance Company, choreographed by the company's world-renowned artistic director, Ohad Naharin, and for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's first outdoor concert in nearly a decade, featuring the world premiere of Philip Glass' Overture for 2012.
By the time Luminato's 10-day schedule wrapped in grand style on Sunday, June 17, the Festival had presented 14 commissioned and co-commissioned new works and over 200 events at 25 theatres, museums, parks and public spaces throughout Toronto, including eight landmark premieres. Connecting Luminato with Nuit Blanche, Jorinde Voigt's exhibition Beethoven 1-32 will run through to October 8th at the Royal Ontario Museum.
The 950 participating artists represented 13 different countries, including five Canadian provinces. 73% of the artists were Canadian.
Over 500 volunteers contributed more than 7,000 hours to enrich the Luminato experience for audiences and artists alike, including CultureLink Mentor groups, multilingual ambassadors and Youth Photography volunteers.
Fifty new Canadians took their Oath of Citizenship at a special ceremony hosted by Luminato in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
Reflecting on his first Festival, Weisbrodt says, "To me there were two highlights: the audiences and the artists. In the six months since I moved here, I've gotten to know many Torontonians, but had not really experienced the audience of the festival. They were young, old and of all nations, some came from far away. They danced at AfroCubism, jumped at Shantel and the Bucovina Club Orkestar, were mesmerized by Einstein on the Beach and transfixed by the Kate McGarrigle celebration Love Over and Over. It was the same remarkable mosaic of people you see daily on Toronto's streets. This is an audience to build on for the future. Countless artists came up to me and raved about the festival. They said they had never been treated better anywhere in the world and loved Toronto. This is a huge compliment to the entire Luminato team and, of course, to this city itself. These artists will now tell their worldwide peers that Luminato is the festival to be at and Toronto a city to visit. What could be more rewarding for us?"
"A heartfelt thank-you to the dedicated staff, Board Members and volunteers for the thousands of hours that went into presenting this year's Festival, and to our partners - artistic, public, private and corporate - who have helped build Luminato into North America's leading multi-arts festival. With your support Luminato will continue to be a vibrant part of the life of Toronto," said Janice Price, CEO of Luminato.
Music fans of every stripe enjoyed ten days of free concerts at The Hub at David Pecaut Square, brilliantly re-imagined as Windscape by Toronto's Diamond Schmitt Architects, in association with artist Mitchell F. Chan. The Toronto Star called the re-envisioned Square "a magical setting capable of putting the whole city into a festive mood while transforming a somewhat helter-skelter public space into a coherent home of creativity." Luminato Hub artists included K'NAAN, Rufus Wainwright, Ernest Ranglin, Deltron 3030, Loreena McKennitt, Jovanotti, Dan Mangan, and Kathleen Edwards.
Luminato 2013 takes place from June 14 - 23. For more information visit luminato.com.
Luminato is Toronto's fifth season when the Festival stages the best of our city and invites the world to celebrate and transform it with us. Luminato is an annual multi-disciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, film, magic, and more.
Luminato gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its Founding Luminaries, SuperNova donors, and Patron Circle Members. The Festival would not be possible without the support of our Partner in Creativity, L'Oréal Canada. Luminato also acknowledges the support of its Founding Government Partner, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and the City of Toronto.
Picture: Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director | Courtesy: V. Tony Hauser