Patria Music theatre Projects and Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve





SEPTEMBER 6 – 9, 2006

(8 shows)

Due to the rain day last Saturday, there will be additional show on
Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix, part of pre-eminent Canadian composer R.Murray Schafer’s 12-part Patria Cycle, will be presented at Patria’s spectacular new outdoor ‘home’ The Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve from August 31 to September 3 and September 6-9, 2006. The 60,000 acre reserve is located in the Haliburton Highlands of central Ontario.

“Haliburton Forest is a quiet, meditative place, where audiences and performers alike can feel transported into a magical realm. The natural lighting, sounds and acoustic environment, coupled with the smell of the fresh outdoors, will enrich the experience and make it unforgettable’, says Schafer, broadly acknowledged as Canada’s leading composer of new classical music.

The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix has its setting in the great T’ang dynasty of China (A.D.618-907). While the presentation makes many historical references and includes many authentic elements, the story and the treatment are original.

The Cinnabar Phoenix is a mythical bird, sent by the Gods to live in a palace on earth as a symbol of harmony and peace. The warring States, however, fought to capture the Phoenix, but it vanished together with the palace to replaced by a Lake of Dragons. Each year the Emperor Wei Lu comes to the site to mourn the loss of the palace and the sacred bird. Alchemical experiments are performed with the hope of recovering the ancient era of harmony: but it is not until a Blue Man arrives from an unknown country with a gift that the chemistry works and the palace and the Cinnabar Phoenix are restored.

The work is performed on and around a large pond with life-size puppets. The performance begins as the sun sets on a late summer evening.

The professional cast of soloists and dancers, featuring internationally acclaimed performers Eric Shaw, Eleanor James, James McLennan, Thomas Goerz, Bruce Kelly and Lindsay Hunt. 12 musicians and the renowned Puppetmongers.

The production is produced by Joseph Macerollo, directed by Murray Schafer with Associate Director Michael Waller and with musical direction by Alex Pauk. Longtime collaborators with Schafer, Jerrard and Diana Smith will design sets and costumes, and Chris Clifford will design the lighting.

A composer, writer, visual artist and music educator, R.Murray Schafer is a truly unique creator whose works are performed around the world. A deep respect and concern for the natural environment motivate much of his artistic output and so, despite the extreme logistical challenges of performing epic works in a remote location, a partnership with the Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve (Canada’s first ‘certified sustainable forest’) has been created to perform one work each summer for the next five years.

The Patria Cycle

Patria (Latin for ‘homeland’) is composer R.Murray Schafer’s life’s work; a cycle of twelve related music dramas created and performed over the last thirty years. Each play in the cycle has a common theme – the search of two lovers for one another through the many labyrinths of life on Earth. Though many of the same characters reappear in different sections, the scale of the cycle is vast, unfolding across many cultures and drawing extensively from numerous world mythologies. Many of these works are conceived for performance in unusual environments: on the surface of a lake, deep in the forest or even in a deserted mine. Some begin at dawn, sunset or midnight and some last for as long as a week. In these remarkable works, the arts court one another: theatre meets ritual, mythology fuses with art, and the line between performer and audience blurs. These masterworks inevitable leave an indelible impression on the spectator/participant and repeat ‘pilgrimages’ to see Schafer’s works, however remotely or inconveniently situated, are not uncommon.

Books on the patria Cycle include The Theatre of Confluence Arcana Editions), Patria: the Complete Cycle, (Coach House Press) in 2002, and the newly published children’s storybook version of The Enchanted Forest, written by Schafer and illustrated by Diana Smith in 2005. An accompanying CD features Murray Schafer narrating the story, supported by La Jeunesse Choir under the direction of Marie Anderson, and soloists Eleanor James and Sarah Ormerod.


R.Murray Schafer

R.Murray Schafer is known throughout the world for his achievements as an educator, environmentalist, scholar, visual artist and composer. His major books include the acclaimed The Tuning of the World, Ezra Pound and His Music, On Canadian Music, and The Thinking Ear: On Music Education. He was the first winner of the Glenn Gould prize for Music and Communication as well as the Molson Award for distinctive service to the arts. Written at his home in Indian River in 1993, The Enchanted Forest was first performed at Winslow Farm in Millbrook, Ontario in September 1994. The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix was a Centennial Commission in 2000 and performed at Pontypool, Ontario in 2001. Schafer’s most recent award was the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts ($30,000.00).


August 31 to September 3 & September 6 to September 9, 2006

At 6:30 P.M.

Due to the rain day last Saturday, there will be additional show on
Sunday, September 10, 2006

Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve

20 km north of Hwy 118 on County Road 7, West Guilford

Tickets available on-line at or at Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve, Haliburton and Rails End Gallery, Haliburton and by phone at 416.596.8585

Information at 416.596.8585 or

General admission $75.00; $65.00 students (16 years & under) & seniors;

Family Package: $75.00 X 2 = $150.00 (student 16 years & under $25.00)

Downloadable high resolution images at