2023 James Reaney Memorial Lecture: The Beckwith Connection

Join us on November 5, 2023 at Wordsfest at Museum London for the 14th annual James Reaney Memorial Lecture — The Beckwith Connection: An Afternoon of Big Hits from the Reaney & Beckwith Songbook.

Curated by London soprano Katy Clark, the 2023 Reaney Memorial Lecture celebrates playwright and poet James Reaney’s collaborations with a great Canadian composer, the late John Beckwith (1927-2022). Katy Clark leads a chamber ensemble into wonderful music from Beckwith as well as words from James Reaney (Jamie) and Colleen Thibaudeau. We will also celebrate the friendship of two creative couples – Jamie and Colleen and John Beckwith and Pamela Terry, as well as their families. Katy will be joined by London Pro Musica Choir, Paul Grambo, and guest artists.

Beckwith wrote four operas with Reaney, whom he met at the University of Toronto in the late 1940s. They shared a deep interest in creating and telling authentically Canadian stories with local references – both literary and musical – and universal messages.

Above: Four Reaney & Beckwith operas: Night Blooming Cereus (1960), The Shivaree (1982), Crazy to Kill (1988), and Taptoo! (1999)

About the presenter
Soprano Katy Clark has sung as a soloist and chorister with companies across North America. She is a DMA candidate at the University of Toronto, where she studies with Nathalie Paulin, and holds a Masters degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan. In addition to her work as a performer, Ms. Clark is the founder and artistic producer of the London-based opera company Village Opera.

When: Sunday November 5 at 2:00 pm

Where: Museum London, 421 Ridout Street, London, Ontario N6A 5H4

Register to attend in-person or join us online via Zoom at the Words Festival event page: https://wordsfest.ca/events/2023/2023-james-reaney-memorial-lecture-the-beckwith-connection

The James Reaney Memorial Lecture series celebrates the life and work of Southwestern Ontario poet and dramatist James Reaney, who was born on a farm near Stratford, Ontario and found a creative home in London, Ontario.