Boulez Contra Cage

@ 8:00pm

Advance Tickets: $12 General / $10 Students & WF Members (Processing fees apply)
Door Tickets:  $15 General / $12 Students & WF Members

Boulez Contra Cage dramatizes the relationship between two giants of mid-20th century classical music. Adapted by Vancouver playwright David Bloom from the published correspondence, writings and public statements of Pierre Boulez and John Cage, the piece dramatizes the friendship, conflict and schism of two major Queer composers who embody the polar opposites of post-war musical thought: the resolute structure of Serialism, and the radical spontaneity of Indeterminacy. Starring actors David Bloom, Simon Webb, flute/piano duo Tiresias (Mark McGregor and Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa) and projections by Michael Sider.

Repertoire for the evening includes various piano and flute duos by John Cage, excerpts from Pierre Boulez’ compositions Sonatine pour flûte et piano (1946) and the new work Musique d’art pour flûte et piano by Simon Martin.



Hailed by the Globe and Mail for their “tremendous flair and intensity,” the flute/piano duo Tiresias was formed by flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa in 2002.  A blind seer from Greek mythology, Tiresias was transformed from man to woman and back again by supernatural means.  S/he symbolizes what Iwaasa and McGregor have set out to accomplish: to speak from two very different perspectives with a single voice, to provide fresh perspectives and insights into conventional chamber music programmes, and to anticipate the future trajectories of the chamber music genre through working with composers and artists from various disciplines.

Tiresias has performed extensively throughout Western Canada; they have been featured at New Works Calgary, Powell Street Festival (Vancouver), the University of Victoria’s Adaskin Series, Sonic Boom, and Vancouver’s Queer Arts Festival.  Tiresias was selected by the Banff Centre for the Arts to perform at a gala concert for the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean.  In 2007 Tiresias released their first CD, Delicate Fires, which features the music of Canadian composers Barbara Pentland and Murray Adaskin, as well as new commissions by Rodney Sharman, Jennifer Butler and Jocelyn Morlock.  Delicate Fires was subsequently nominated for “Outstanding Classical Recording” at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards.

Highlights of previous seasons include premieres of new works by Canadian composers Kara Gibbs, James Beckwith Maxwell, Gregory Lee Newsome and Jeffrey Ryan.  2012 will see the release of a CD project on Redshift Records, Halos of the Moon, which celebrates the music of Japanese and Canadian composers.  This album will include recent works by Canadian composers Derek Charke, Anthony Genge, Kara Gibbs, Elliot Weisgarber and Hiroki Tsurumoto, as well as Japanese composers Toru Takemitsu and Jo Kondo.

Simon Webb

Simon is proud to be representing such a massively influential artist as John Cage, and proud to be working with such skilled colleagues.

Recent work includes an acclaimed production of Hamlet, for which his Polonius recently won him a Jessie Richardson Award for Best Supporting Actor; four productions of Pinter’s Briefs, a collection of Pinter’s short plays, which earned him a Jessie nomination for Best Actor; two productions of Great Expectations, in Saskatoon and Vancouver; Debt-The Musical; Into the Woods; My Fair Lady; The Triumph of Love (Jessie Award for Best Production); and Peer Gynt (Jessie Award for Best Production)

David Bloom

Playwright, director, actor and fight choreographer David Bloom is co-artistic director (with Linda Quibell) of Felix Culpa. Last season he performed in Tanya Marquardt’s Transmission for Chrysalis / Proximity Arts and Frost / Nixon for The Playhouse / Canadian Stage.

He co-created and appeared in News of the World for Felix Culpa and co-directed Palace of the End for Touchstone Theatre/Felix Culpa/Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Over the last several seasons he performed his own one-person show My Holiday Photos from Afghanistan, appeared in Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists for Screaming Flea, The Designated Mourner for Felix Culpa, Apple and the Governor-General’s Award-winning play Unity 1918 for Touchstone Theatre. Acting and fight choreography have taken him across the country, including work at The Theatre Festival of the Americas, The Shaw Festival, Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Citadel, and almost every company in British Columbia.

Bloom’s play Revenge was produced in May ’07 by Felix Culpa, under the direction of James Fagin Tait and was nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award for best original play. His plays have also been performed by Green Thumb, Studio 58, Felix Culpa, Carousel, Axis Theatre, Canadian Phoenix and the University of British Columbia. Directing work for Felix Culpa includes the North American premiere of Howard Barker’s Und, The Monument (Jessie Richardson Award nomination, best director large theatre), and his play Two in The Morning which was produced in Vancouver and London, England. He has directed shows in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Kamloops, Thunder Bay, Whitehorse and London. Bloom is a graduate of Studio 58 where he is currently on the faculty.

Simon Martin

Composer of instrumental contemporary concert music, Simon Martin (1981) graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (2006). Finalist for the Jules Léger Prize (2008), his music has been performed throughout Canada, in the United States and in many countries across Europe as well as broadcast by CBC Radio 2 and Espace musique. He is president/founder of Projections libérantes (2011), a production company for which he is artistic director. Based on critical and philosphic reflection, his art aims to be a poetic and symbolic representation of the conciliation between man and matter. His articles have been published by Circuit and Spirale (2011).