Frank Horvat has been successfully exploring states of the human condition in contemporary times…his message is clear: music is an important tool in raising the level of positivity and hope on this planet as well as in our individual lives. Change is possible. – Ivana Popovic, WholeNote Magazine
A truly special world premiere Friday April 14, 2023 in Toronto (Humbercrest United Church) at 7:30pm. FRACTURES, composed by Frank Horvat, is an environmental song cycle for soprano and piano. Soprano Meredith Hall’s performance will be moving, dramatic, beautiful, gracious, and inspiring.
Tickets are by pay-what-you-can donation to Ecojustice. All are welcome. Masks preferred but not required. No intermission.
Canadian soprano Meredith Hall delights audiences internationally with her “lustrous sound and fluent legato” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “bravura musical performance matched by a riveting sense of the dramatic” (Boston Globe)
FRACTURES is an environmental song cycle of 13 pieces for soprano and piano that is based on the destructive environmental practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
Fracking is an issue that often flies under the radar in the discussion about energy options but the resources, chemicals, and the fracturing of bedrock required to extract natural gas and petroleum through fracking are staggering, and the impact it has on the land and people who live around these operations is truly heartbreaking. Our hope is that the perspectives shared in this song cycle will humanize the issue.
The idea for this project first started to percolate in 2016 when composer Frank Horvat was giving a presentation about environmental music at the Canadian New Music Network Forum in Ottawa. He then found the FRACTURE anthology (essays, poems and stories on fracking in America), and it inspired him to conceive this song cycle. Frank and soprano Meredith Hall then began to collaborate on this project. We are grateful that the following American and Canadian poets have allowed us to tell their poignant stories and perspectives about fracking through music:
Kathleen Burke, Michelle Donahue, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Lilace Mellin Guignard, Wayne Mennecke, Rachel Morgan, Mary Heather Noble, Christine Pennylegion, Michelle Regalado Deatrick, Stephanie Schultz, Mark Trechock, Susan Truxell Sauter
Canadian soprano Meredith Hall delights audiences with her “lustrous sound and fluent legato” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “bravura musical performance matched by a riveting sense of the dramatic” (Boston Globe).
Ms. Hall has performed the title roles of numerous operas including: Monteverdi's L'INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA (Houston Grand Opera); Handel's PARTENOPE (Göttingen Handel Festival, Germany); Rameau's ZÉPHYRE (Philharmonia Baroque, San Francisco); Purcell's DIDO AND AENEAS (Apollo's Fire, Cleveland); Rauzzini's PIRAMO E TISBE (Capella Savaria, Hungary), and Handel's SEMELE (Handel and Haydn Society, Boston).
Concert highlights include Benjamin Britten's LES ILLUMINATIONS (Talisker Players, Toronto), Aaron Copland's POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON (Memphis Symphony), and Resphighi’s IL TRAMONTO with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
Ms. Hall has sung the oratorio masterworks of Bach, Handel, Schubert and Mozart with renowned organizations such as the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Les Violons du Roi, Tafelmusik, and the Toronto Symphony.
Toronto audiences have enjoyed Ms. Hall's performances in Rameau's HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE and Handel's ORLANDO for VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, as well as Pamina in THE MAGIC FLUTE, and Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI for Opera Atelier, with whom she also performed Susanna in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, in Tokyo. She has sung leading roles in historic venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Palace of Versailles, and the Opera Comique de Paris.
A proud Newfoundlander, Ms. Hall's first love is folk music. With Ensemble La Nef of Montréal she has created many projects which build on her Celtic roots, including 3 CD'S and a folk masque entitled “The Maid of Newfoundland". SACRUM MYSTERIUM, her Christmas concert and with Apollo's Fire (Cleveland) has received rave reviews and toured to sold out audiences across the United States.
She also records and tours internationally with her husband, classical guitarist Bernard Farley.
Brahm Goldhamer is one of Toronto’s most experienced and respected accompanists and vocal coaches. He has performed across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and is in great demand as a recital collaborator with some of Canada’s most celebrated soloists. For thirty-eight years he was a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Glenn Gould School, where in addition to his studio coaching and classroom teaching, he was the principal répétiteur of the Spring Opera Program. His performances include work with Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, CBC’s Music Around Us, the Elora Festival, Debut Atlantic. He was nominated for a Dora Award for Best Musical Direction following his work with Comus Music Theatre.
Mr. Goldhamer worked in Italy as music director and vocal coach in a variety of educational settings and summer music festivals, including “Oberlin at Casalmaggiore” and “Flagstaff in Fidenza. ” For forty years he worked as choral director at various Toronto synagogues.
Praised for his "superb technique coupled with rare expressivity" (Kitchener-Waterloo Record) Bernard Farley has performed as soloist and chamber musician in concerts and festivals in Canada, the Caribbean, the United States and Europe. With his wife, soprano Meredith Hall, he has toured throughout Canada and Japan and has recorded a CD of folksongs, arias, and lieder entitled My Fond Heart. Bernard has been broadcast on Radio France, NPR and CBC. A native of Toronto, his first teacher was Eli Kassner, with whom he studied at the University of Toronto. He went on to study historical guitar repertoire and technique with Patrick O'Brien in New York.
A writer, environmental activist, politician and farmer, Michelle Regalado Deatrick lives in Michigan, where she is a technical editor and, with her family, cares for an 80-acre farm and restored native prairie. She is deeply engaged in social, environmental and climate justice issues ranging from fighting against dangerous pipelines and for workers’ rights in her community, to advocating for bold climate legislation nationally.
Michelle’s writing centers on nature, environmental justice, and politics. Her work has appeared in Southern Poetry Review, American Literary Review, Mid-American Review, Copper Nickel, Best New American Voices, and more. She won the Chautauqua Poetry Contest and second runner-up in the Boulevard Emerging Poets’ Contest. One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change selected one of her environmental poems for a Global Action protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline; it was mailed to President Obama by tens of thousands of poets internationally. A finalist for both the Rita Dove Poetry Award and the James Wright Poetry Contest, Michelle has received fellowships from MacDowell and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and multiple residencies from the Ragdale Foundation.
Michelle holds degrees from Wesleyan and Harvard, an MFA from the University of Michigan, and did further graduate work in policy and statistics at Stanford. She served in the Peace Corps in Kenya, and has worked as a shoe salesperson, a cafeteria worker, a receptionist, a cashier, a community college and high school instructor, a policy analyst, and an elected county commissioner. She has taught poetry workshops privately and at the University of Michigan’s adult education program.
Elaine joined Ecojustice in 1999 and is a PhD level environmental engineer who applies her expertise to work related to air quality, water pollution, and toxic substances, including pesticides. Elaine leads the Healthy Communities team, where she’s challenging all levels of government to protect every Canadian’s right to a healthy environment — especially the most vulnerable. When Elaine’s not fighting injustices she can be found hanging out around Toronto with her family and friends, cycling, and sailing on the Great Lakes.
For 31 years, Ecojustice has used the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all. Our strategic, public interest lawsuits and advocacy lead to precedent-setting court decisions that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. In collaboration with partners, our law reform practice enables proactive participation in strengthening environmental laws across the country. As the ‘law firm to Canada’s environmental movement, we represent Indigenous groups, environmental NGOs, community groups, and individual Canadians free of charge to ensure their voices are heard.
The Canadian fossil fuel industry is aggressively seeking to expand the production and export of fracked gas – which is widely marketed as a ‘clean and renewable’ source of energy. Ecojustice lawyers, government relations experts, and strategic communications team are fighting the proliferation of fracked gas on many fronts. We’re challenging greenwashing and misleading marketing, fighting new and expanded infrastructure, and mobilizing Canadians to oppose the fossil fuel industry – and secure a brighter environmental future.
World Premiere Concert
Friday April 14, 2023 @ 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm)
Meredith Hall (soprano), Brahm Goldhamer (piano), Bernard Farley (guest guitarist), Frank Horvat (composer)
Humbercrest United Church,
16 Baby Point Rd, Toronto
(north of Jane subway station)
Pay-what-you-can donation to
Download Concert Poster (PDF)
Story behind the project
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