Homecoming show will set the stage for Darke Hall renewal

By Costa Maragos Posted: May 5, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Historic Darke Hall, located on our College Avenue Campus, will undergo renovations to its exterior beginning May 16.
Historic Darke Hall, located on our College Avenue Campus, will undergo renovations to its exterior beginning May 16. Photo - U of R Photography.

The stage at Darke Hall will serve as a special homecoming for two amazing performers on May 6.

Jane Leibel (soprano) and Rachel Andrist (pianist) are performing in the “Homecoming Show” produced by Regina’s Golden Apple Theatre and sponsored by the University of Regina.

This is the final performance at Darke Hall before it closes May 16 for renovations to the historic theatre’s exterior. The building, located on the U of R's College Avenue Campus, will remain closed until November, 2016.

“This may sound terribly cliché, but I am truly thrilled, honoured and excited to perform at the grande dame concert hall, Darke Hall,” says Jane Leibel, who received her Bachelor of Music from the U of R. She’s now professor in Memorial University’s school of music in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Homecoming Concert Poster

“My voice teachers were Philip May and Lynn Channing, both stellar mentor/teachers and performers. I was very blessed to have such a solid musical education for my Bachelor’s degree. My years at the U of R were golden.”

Andrist grew up in Estevan, Saskatchewan and earned her Bachelor of Music at the U of R. She has warm memories of performing at Darke Hall from a young age.

“I first performed in Darke Hall with my sister Audrey. We were still in junior high school and had entered the CBC Talent Competition and as we needed two pianos for our audition, Darke Hall was the only venue suitable,” says Andrist who is now on the music staff at the Canadian Opera Company.

Andrist and Leibel have earned very impressive musical careers.

Rachel Andrist has performed and/or been a member of the music staff in theatres and opera houses around the world including positions with the Salzburg Festival, Munich's Bavarian State Opera, the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen and the Glenn Gould School.

Jane Leibel has won national and international competitions. She has performed operatic and concert roles with the Vancouver Opera, the Regina Symphony and many more. Her international performances include recitals in Paris, New York, Vienna, and Prague.

Now these two extraordinarily talented performers are back home and on the same stage, again.

“Both Jane and I have performed here many, many times in the past and it's a trip down memory lane for both of us and a pleasure to be back now,” says Andrist.
 
Leibel is looking forward to this musical reunion, that will also feature Robert Ursan, the director of Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre.
 
The end of the show will mark the start of Darke Hall’s renewal. The repairs will include roof replacement and repairs to the front facade brick and stone, as well as window refurbishment, front step rebuilding and hand rail placement.

The $3 million cost is being fully funded through donations to the U of R’s College Avenue Campus Renewal Project.  

Event:   Homecoming Show
Date:    Friday, May 6
Time:    8 p.m. at Darke Hall
Tickets: $40 for adults and $25 for students
Tickets available at Cobb Swanson Music, Bach and Beyond or www.goldenappletheatre.com

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