The Naked Emperor 2007 Debut reviewed by Stanley Fefferman

Saturday, November 24, Kobayashi Hall, Toronto

Emiko Hsuen, artistic director of this new ‘indy’ artist event, describes it as “appealing to an audience of multiple generations, as well as a way to give back to the community through charity.

The specific charity supported by this eclectic concert performed before an audience of 300 is the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.

Ms. Hsuen, a singer/songwriter, and her co-producers, singer/songwriter Francesca Blandizzi and Hubert Razack, a guitarist/composer, also performed this evening.

Ms. Blandizzi and Mr. Hubert co-produced the event which consisted of a program of classical, blues, folk, world, jazz, and spiritual compositions, including original material by this talented trio of entreprenuers. Chantal Ferris choreographed a couple of lively dance numbers interpreted by a company from the Woodbridge School of Dance.

The entire program was enthusiastically received and a few deserve special mention for the vivid, outstanding quality of their energy. Hubert Razack and Benjamin Stein, for their eerily wonderful folksong “The Hanged Man” by Jadely; the astonishingly durable duo of Peggy Mahon with Danny McErlain for their jazz medley; Yuka Koreeda for her delicately oriental playing of a keyboard work by Claude Debussy; and not least, Emiko Hsuen for her outstanding vocal of Schubert’s “Sulieka II, Op. 31., D.717.

For an enlarged view of these and other images in a slide show please click here.

Looking forward to the continuing flow of this excellent intiative, we imagine in years to come a tighter sense of continuity will emerge, a venue where the hum of climate control is quieter might become available, and that The Naked Emperor will maintain its orientation towards benevolence in matters of the arts.

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