Luminato’s Apocalypsis is a complicated triumph

Robert Harris, Globe and Mail

Toronto’s Luminato Festival has staked a great deal on the highly original and highly idiosyncratic imaginative outpourings of a now 82-yr.-old Canadian musical wizard, R. Murray Schafer. Three long years in the making, the production of Schafer’s music ritual Apocalypsis that opened at the Festival Friday night brought together 1,000 musicians, singers, actors, dancers and technicians. It assembled a cast of internationally-known stars. It cost over a million dollars. It was a high-profile, big-time gamble.

The gamble paid off.

Although not perfect, Luminato’s Apocalypsis was never uninteresting, and often stunning, stretching out over its uninterrupted two hours a pageant of dance and song and chant, destruction and peace that almost, I think, fulfilled Schafer’s goal for the work, for all art, actually, “to hurl (us)… beyond our limits into the cosmos of magnificent forces … to have our eyes and ears and senses tripped open … to the sensational and the miraculous.”

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