"Making Trudeau Sing!"
- by Lucy Purdy  
Barrie Advance
June 13th, 2007
- Read entire article

"Jackson brought down the house..."
- by Stephen Pedersen
Chronicle Herald, Halifax
September 28th, 2007

- Read more of this article

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Read about the opera:

The cast consists of five singers, three men and two women, some playing multiple roles in order to represent many of the key characters that Trudeau meets in his fictionalized life-journey, among them Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Oscar Peterson (Or Roscoe Robertson here), Margaret Trudeau, and two composite fictional characters, flautist and poet Yu Xuanji and reporter Simone Cixous.

In a similar vein, composer D. D. Jackson utilizes a flexible ensemble of three musicians, with each player assuming a range of musical roles. The intent is to provide fresh settings for the world-wandering Trudeau with the requisite exoticism and variety. The result is a fresh and exciting mix of Cuban, Chinese, and contemporary classical themes fused with jazz and improvisational elements interwoven into the predominantly notated musical textures.

Read about the liibretto:

George Elliott Clarke's newest dramatic poem, Trudeau, makes an irreverent, jubilant portrait of the life and politics of one of Canada's most controversial political heroes, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Clarke's poem provides a whimsical and informative look at the balance of world powers in the 1960s and 70s, infused with the spirit of the many revolutions taking place throughout the world during these years.

The poem opens on a hillside in Nanjing, China, April 1949, in the midst of the country's civil war. Our hero exchanges political stances with Mao and falls for a beautiful young flautist. From China the drama moves to Fredericton, NB, where Trudeau chats with Massachusetts Senator and future American president John F. Kennedy, who has just received an honorary doctorate from the university. The two men cavalierly discuss the perks of political power, each on the cusp of leading their countries. Then, in Havana, on the eve of the Bay of Pigs invasion, Fidel Castro treats Trudeau to rum and cigars and offers his take on revolutions, Cuban and otherwise. When the focus moves to the Quiet Revolution and Trudeau's response to this crisis in his leadership, Clarke presents a leader at once loved and loathed at home, who perseveres through both political and personal upheaval.

George Elliott Clarke Biography pdf

A revered poet, George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960.  A graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.A., Hons.,1984), Dalhousie University (M.A., 1989), and Queen’s University (Ph.D., 1993), he is now the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto.  An Assistant Professor of English and Canadian Studies at Duke University, North Carolina, 1994-1999, Clarke also served as the Seagrams Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at McGill University, 1998-1999, and as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia (2002) and as a Visiting Scholar at Mount Allison University (2005).  He has also worked as a researcher (Ontario Provincial Parliament, 1982-83), editor (Imprint, University of Waterloo, 1984-85, and The Rap, Halifax, NS, 1985-87), social worker (Black United Front of Nova Scotia, 1985-86), parliamentary aide (House of Commons, 1987-91), and newspaper columnist (The Daily News, Halifax, NS, 1988-89, and The Halifax Herald, Halifax, NS, 1992-).  He lives in Toronto, Ontario, but he also owns land in Nova Scotia.  His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1998), Governor-General’s Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and five honorary doctorates.

D.D. Jackson Biography pdfor go to: http://ddjackson.com

D.D. Jackson is an award-winning jazz pianist/composer whose work spans 12 CD’s as leader or co-leader (including two for the major label RCA Victor/BMG) featuring almost entirely original material. His most recent CDs are Serenity Song (2006 Justin Time), Suite for New York (2003 Justin Time) (a meditation on the events of 9/11), and Sigame, a Latin-tinged work featuring drummer extraordinaire Dafnis Prieto. An alumnus of the prestigious Lehman Engel BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop, Jackson's theatre work includes the opera Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path on the former Canadian Prime Minister and the musical-comedy “Depressed, Depressed” written with Chicago City Limits veteran Carl Kissin. Jackson performs all over the world with his groups and has also appeared and recorded with some of the most distinguished names in jazz including saxophonists David Murray and drummer Jack Dejohnette. He is also an accomplished classical pianist and recently released a recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on Summit Records. Jackson also writes a regular column for Downbeat magazine entitled “Living Jazz” and maintains the related “D.D. Jackson Living Jazz Podcast”. Jackson is also a member of the Manhattan Producers Alliance, an organization of active producers, engineers and composers writing for film & t.v., and he is currently writing music for a children's television show produced by Little Airplane for BBC Worldwide.

This Production is sponsored by:

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An Opera with music by: D.D. Jackson
Libretto by George Elliott Clarke

June 16th through 20th, 2010 at 8:00PM
Mattinee: June 20th at 2PM Sir James Dunn Theatre
6101 University Avenue , Halifax NS
For reservations call: (902) 429 1797

Tickets are $30 / $25 (seniors /students)