Tom Beedham, Noisey. The apocalypse began before the audience could find its seats. While some still filtered in from the Toronto Sony Centre’s lobby, in an unnerving scene of delirium, actors situated throughout the audience stood and shouted proclamations for the end of the world in English, German, and Latin, silencing excited chatter about the epic sensory buffet that was about to unfold.
Neil Crory, Musical Toronto. “Apocalypsis,” as the 82-year-old composer so succinctly puts it in the programme notes, “is a work in two parts. Part One describes the destruction of the world and Part Two suggests the birth of the new universe.” What he doesn’t mention is that the work (based in part on the Book of Revelation and Psalm 148) runs well over 2 hours without an intermission. As this is a spatial work and meant to wrap around the audience, part of the orchestral and choral forces were placed in the balcony of the Sony Centre with the audience taking up the main floor.
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.