Holding Out Hope

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For the past several months Lesley-Anne Evans has been curating the social media campaign Holding Out Hope.

Beginning with a commemorative poetry wall (see CBC article here) immediately prior to the demolition of Metro’s drop-in centre, Metro Community members are invited to share words that humanize and build understanding. Lesley-Anne and others listen, record and share.

Holding Out Hope invites Kelowna’s marginalized and vulnerable ‘others’ to be known, rather than passed by in fear, disinterest, or hurry. Stories are raw, surprising and authentic. Some of our storytellers are homeless, some live in shelters, halfway houses, and the suburbs. All share the poverty of living ‘outside’ an inner circle, a poverty of relationships. All share a hunger to be loved and to belong.

Holding Out Hope is a powerful and risky exchange. Each candid photo puts a face to a name. Each story becomes an opportunity to see the humanity we all share.

Where do we find the courage to let ourselves be challenged and transformed so that we might rise up as messengers or peace and unity? I pray and hope that this…may encourage more and more people to risk crossing the barriers that separate us, and to risk becoming friends with those we have rejected, so that they too might rise up in hope.

Jean Vanier, Tears of Silence, A Meditation

 

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Story Synopsis | Lake of Tears

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Darling, do you write prose? Can you write a libretto for a commissioned opera? Alexandra Babbel, Artistic Director, Opera Kelowna.

And so the conversation began, in early winter, 2014. Opera Kelowna commissioned Lesley-Anne Evans to write a libretto, and enter into a creative collaboration in which a visual art installation by Jane Everett, and filmography by Daniel Cameron, would come alive in a new Canadian operatic production, to a musical masterpiece created by one of Canada’s most renowned composers, Imant Raminsh.

A little background.

Before an opera is performed, a narrative or story is written, perhaps based upon a theme, and for an assigned performance length. Before any musical notes dance in a composers mind, characters and symbols and themes come to life in a librettists imagination. Time, research, input, editing, testing, editing, and a story begins to morph and solidify. Characters are named. Personalities are developed. Relationships grow. A story line is committed to, and written down as truth, in a format called a libretto. The libretto is the script of the operatic work.

Then, a magical melding of words and music takes place, as the composer takes the libretto and sets all dramatic conversations and clever pronouncements and interactions between each character to a new musical score. The composer creates each character’s identifying melody, makes audible the sound of hopes and dreams and conflicts, writes the connecting musical themes between acts, and the openings and closings of the overall work. The composer makes the words…SING! Yes, and he has the power to make the librettist and the future audience weep with the beauty of his music.

And then, finally, after much application of time and gift and patience and input, a new operatic composition is born, with words and music blended seamlessly into a score.

Meanwhile, brilliant artwork is created, filmography is envisioned and shot, funds are raised, singers and orchestra members are hired, costumes are dreamed alive, custom jewelry ‘vial-of-tears’ is handmade, and the collaboration of a large team of creative individuals continues to synergize, mold and develop to bring the work to the stage in a huge outlay of time and energy and excitement. Opening night is anticipated by all, and it is almost here!!!

Alexandra Babbel’s idea, has become a reality!!!

Following is the narrative of LAKE OF TEARS, a new Canadian Opera, to the libretto of Lesley-Anne Evans. And very soon, the gorgeously haunting music of Imant Raminsh’s score will be heard as LAKE OF TEARS is performed for the very first time, in Kelowna, British Columbia. Jane Everett’s installation of luminous canvases and iconic art pieces, along with Daniel Cameron’s filmography, will create an sensuous stage for the audience’s experience of an Okanagan fantasy. You won’t want to miss it!

Tickets and details through Opera Kelowna, and at Rotary Centre for the Arts.

LAKE OF TEARS

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, the Loon people transformed at will at the water’s edge, and enjoyed living on land in human form, or on the water as loons.  Brothers Turmoil and Gavia, both in line for the Throne of Loons, and for the rule of the Loon people, are secretly in love with the beautiful Viviana whom they hope to marry, and with her produce a royal heir. The brothers pursue Viviana to win her love, and Viviana gives her heart to Gavia.

Rejected by Viviana, and now filled with hatred for his brother Gavia, Turmoil seeks power through dark magic. Turmoil curses Viviana and Gavia to live separate lives forever; Viviana, to remain on arid land in human form with all the Loon people; Gavia, to live alone on the great lake as a loon.

Heart broken, Viviana secretly collects her tears of love in a magical vial she wears around her neck. According to ancient legend, a royal heir has power to lift the curse, but only in their 16th year on the anniversary of their birth. Before sunset on that day, the heir must pour true love’s tears into the headwaters of the sacred pool to set the Loon people free.

With Viviana and Gavia now cursed to live separate lives, Turmoil vows to destroy the sacred pool, preventing the Loon people from ever transforming at the water’s edge, and any possibility of the lovers being reunited. Turmoil is unaware of the existence of an heir. Masika, the secret love child of Gavia and Viviana, and their royal heir, carries power to end the curse and strip Turmoil of his dark magic.

Sixteen years have passed, and Masika is now coming of age to fulfill the ancient prophecy and free her people.  Join Masika as she goes on an extraordinary journey and discovers the power of true love.

Lesley-Anne Evans, SDG

News Bits

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1. Cascadia Review is publishing four of Lesley-Anne’s poems in their Fall 2015 Issue. Stay tuned.

2. We have just learned that Lesley-Anne’s blog, Buddy Breathing, specifically her post “Of Bugs and Bones” will be featured in the May 4, 2015, SOUL TELEGRAM – a newsletter of the best spirituality writing on the web.  For more information on SOUL TELEGRAM, check out www.soultelegram.com.

3. Geosi Gyasi interviewed Lesley-Anne about her writing and poetry for an upcoming article on his blog, Geosi Reads.

4. April 2015, another National Poetry Month well celebrated, included Lesley-Anne’s recent Pop-Up-Poetry forays in Kelowna, and a collaborative Flash Poem, called Re-Vitalize.

5. Rumours of Opera Kelowna’s collaboration with Kelowna Art Gallery in the creation of a dramatic visual arts installation and premier performance of a new opera work in Kelowna this October, are true. Lesley-Anne reports she has just completed the libretto/script, as work continues on the musical composition. More news to follow.

6. Interest continues to grow for Lesley-Anne’s innovative photographic arts products, available through Nuvango. Lesley-Anne’s recent additions include the patina of “Camo” on t-shirts, gel skins and canvases.

Posters are up…

DSC_0046 Thanks to the marketing team of the Okanagan Regional Library, posters, radio spots, and newspaper ads are spreading word of an upcoming Poetry Reading at the Mission Branch, Kelowna.

Lesley-Anne Evans will read poems and share her experiences of getting poetry out into the community through Pop-Up-Poetry initiatives. Local creative, Dörte Meyer, will provide atmospheric instrumental backdrop to a fun evening of poetry readings, and interactive poetry with the audience.

Sign up on Facebook. Let us know you’ll be there.

Thursday, October 17th @ 6:45 pm

The ORL Mission Branch is located on Gordon Drive, in the Capital News Centre.

Save the date… September 28, 2013!

Inspired word reading_2An evening of engaging poetry readings and interactive poetry, with poet Lesley-Anne Evans, and musical guest, Dörte Meyer.

Lesley-Anne will be showcased by The Arts Council of the Central Okanagan as one of 60 Artists in 60 Spaces, celebrating 60 years of ARTSCO’s enrichment and support of the Okanagan arts community. Free events are by donation, and are scheduled across the Central Okanagan, including, Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank, and Peachland. A full list of artists and venues is available HERE.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

7 – 9:00 pm

Hosted by: Pulp Fiction Coffee House*

Arrive early to ensure a good seat!

Refreshments, including really great coffee, will be available for purchase.

Contract

images-5Signing a contract today with Leaf Press, who are publishing an oak leaflet chapbook of one of my poems. I am thrilled. Release date and name of poem to be announced soon.