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The Conversation: Steven Page and Johannes Debus on making music—both popular and avant garde

The place: the Cameron House on Queen West | The people: singer-songwriter Steven Page and COC music director Johannes Debus | The subject: playing the hits versus sowing your musical oats

The Conversation: A Fine Balance

Steven Page has charted new musical waters since leaving the Barenaked Ladies following his notorious drug bust in 2008. He’s been performing and recording with the adventurous classical musicians of the Art of Time Ensemble, composing music for Stratford productions (including Cymbeline, opening in May) as well as for film (including Kevin Tierney’s French Immersion) and performing as a solo act with a hand-picked backing band, as he does this month at the Winter Garden. Johannes Debus, the youngest music director in the Canadian Opera Company’s history, is big on keeping things fresh, too, and often collaborates with auteurs like Robert Carsens and Atom Egoyan on audacious reimaginings of old favourites. This month, he conducts Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, a rare opera classic that hasn’t been done to death.

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Steven Page

April 13
Winter Garden Theatre
The Tales of Hoffman

April 10 to May 14
Four Seasons Centre