The Toronto Star (2.7.90)


The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, one of the largest theatrical publishing ventures ever, has received a major financial boost.

The project, which is based at York University, has just received a grant of $112,000 ($97,000 U.S.) from New York's Rockefeller Foundation.

In addition, UNESCO, which has already contributed $50,000 to the $2 million project, has designated the encyclopedia an official project of its World Decade for Cultural Development.

To help raise funds for the project, a theatrical evening of Spanish and Mexican ballads, writings and songs will be held at the St. Lawrence Centre's Jane Mallett Theatre on Friday .

Historias de Romances y Corridos will feature noted Mexican stage performers Robert D'Amico and Kitty de Hoyos.

Tickets cost $25 (with tax receipt for $17.50) and may be reserved by calling 736-5172.

The six-volume encyclopedia is a co-operative undertaking involving scholars in 120 countries, under the direction of executive editor Don Rubin and managing editor Anton Wagner, both professors of theatre at York. It focusses on theatre from 1945 to the present day.

The first volume, dealing with the theatre of Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Carribean, is slated to be published in 1992.

Benefactors play extended 2 weeks

Benefactors, the Michael Frayn comedy about the price of doing good, will run two extra weeks at Canadian Stage Company's Berkeley St. premises. The show, which stars Nancy Palk, Seana McKenna, Benedict Campbell and Tom McCamus, will now close March 4.

The Creatures booked at Diamond

The Creatures, an off-shoot of Siouxsie And The Banshees, featuring singer Siouxsie Sioux and percussionist Budgie, will play The Diamond on Tuesday, March 30, promoter Concert Productions International announced yesterday.

Tickets cost $16.59 and go on sale Thursday at the club, at selected Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 872-1111

Toronto singers off to La Scala

Two Toronto singers, soprano Nancy Gustafson and tenor Ben Heppner, have been released from contracts with the Canadian Opera Company to make their debuts this month at La Scala, Milan in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.

Gustavson, who was to have appeared as Micaela in the current production of Carmen at the O'Keefe Centre, will be joined by her husband, Canadian Opera general director Brian Dickie, for the opening. Heppner, originally scheduled to sing the Drum-Major in the current production of Wozzeck, has already been joined by his wife and three children.

Carmen auditions set for Feb. 14

Toronto auditions for Giuseppe Raffa's new production of Carmen will be held February 14 at Simpson Avenue United Church, 115 Simpson Ave., in the Gerrard/Broadview area.

The Toronto audition schedule is: 5 p.m., Carmen (principal female role); 6.30, trained Spanish dancers (male and female); and 8, opera chorus (female only).

All those who wish to audition for the role of Carmen should call Susan Ross, artistic administrator, at (514) 845-7757 to arrange an appointment.

Those who wish to audition for other roles can just come to the rehearsal hall. Auditions for male chorus and principal male roles will be conducted at a later date.

The International Opera Festival's production of Carmen will have its world premiere at the SkyDome on June 15 and 16.

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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