The Citadel Theatre and the Charlottetown Festival announced on October 15th that, in 2015, the two companies will co-produce Evangeline, one of the most ambitious musicals ever to originate in Canada. Citadel Artistic Director Bob Baker will direct the new production.
The musical Evangeline is inspired by the epic poem of the same name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It takes us on the heroine Evangeline’s journey, following the Acadian deportation in the 1700s, to find her beloved Gabriel. This powerful love story and sweeping adventure weaves villains and heroes, history and culture, and the strength of the human spirit with a rich musical score inspired by Acadian, Celtic, and Cajun music, melodies and dances.
Evangeline is a decade-long labour of love by St. Albert native Ted Dykstra, of Two Pianos, Four Hands fame. Dykstra wrote the music, lyrics and book.
When Evangeline premiered at the Charlottetown Festival in the summer of 2013, the show featured a cast of more than 30, 200 costumes and a 14-piece orchestra. Critics compared it to Les Misérables for its historical breadth. The Toronto Star called the production “…melodically rich, emotionally profound and dramatically challenging…”
The Citadel’s Bob Baker is looking forward to mounting the new production. “I congratulate the Charlottetown Festival for having brought this thrilling new Canadian musical to the stage with the 2013 World Premiere production,” said Baker. “I am honored to participate in the continuing evolution of this soaring romantic epic. In 1974, I left Edmonton to join the Charlottetown company of Les Feux Follets, as my first professional job. Forty years later, I am overjoyed that the Charlottetown Festival and Citadel Theatre are joining forces to share this great Canadian story across the country.”
Evangeline will be presented at the Citadel Theatre in the Fall of 2015 as part of the Citadel’s 50th Anniversary Season, following a four-week run in Charlottetown. Edmonton previews begin Saturday, October 31.