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The international award-winning choir, SHALLAWAY, Newfoundland and Labrador Youth in Chorus will be taking Ann & Séamus, A Chamber Opera on a five-city tour from St. John's to Ottawa, Toronto, St. Catherines, and Washington DC.

Based on the book Ann and Seamus by Kevin Major, a Newfoundland poet and author of national acclaim, Ann and Séamus, A Chamber Opera has a uniquely strong pedigree. The words and music have been created by globally celebrated composer, Stephen Hatfield. It is directed by highly regarded Siminovitch Award winner Jillian Keiley. And finally, we are very proud to have the renowned Canadian operatic tenor, Ben Heppner, as our honorary patron.

Ann and Séamus tells the story of an extraordinary act of heroism that occurred nearly two centuries ago by the unlikeliest of heroes. In 1828, on the lonely southwest coast of Newfoundland, 17-year-old Ann Harvey and her family, sole occupants of the community of Isle aux Morts, used a simple fishing dory to rescue 163 Irish immigrants from the Despatch, a ship impaled on the rocky shores during a raging storm. And for 11 days after their rescue, kept the survivors alive, fed and cared for.

"Our young artists have worked extremely hard preparing for this production," says Susan Knight, Artistic Director for Shallaway. "We have an extremely talented group, and we are excited to tell the amazing story of Ann Harvey."

Kathleen Allan, Shallaway Chorister, says, "The opera is very inspirational. We have created a unique and significant production about an amazing young girl. We are so proud to be sharing her story and our history with the world."

Shallaway was honoured to have descendants of Despatch survivors and of the Harvey family attend the premiere of Ann & Séamus in June 2006 and it is anticipated that these and other descendants will attend this summer's performances in Ontario and Washington DC.

Shallaway has also been invited to perform Ann and Séamus at the Opera House in Copenhagen, Denmark in July 2008.

Tickets for the June 28th and 29th performances in St. John's are available through the Arts and Culture Centre Box Office for $25 (adults) and $20 (seniors and students). Tickets for the Ottawa, Toronto, and St. Catherines performances of Ann & Séamus are currently on sale in those locations. The Washington performance on July 11 will be free to the public at the Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage.

For more information, please visit www.annandseamus.com

Tour Information

June 28 and 29, Arts and Culture Centre, St. John's, NL,Box Office Information,709-729-3900,http://stjohns.artsandculturecentre.ca/cal/events.aspx?EvtID=1031

July 2, Southam Hall, National Arts Centre,Ottawa, ON,Box Office Information,613-947-7000 ext 280,http://www.nac-cna.ca/en/boxoffice/index.html

July 5,David S. Howes Theatre,Brock University, St. Catherines, ON,Box Office Information 905-688-5550 ext. 3257 or Toll Free at 1-866-617-3257, http://www.arts.brocku.ca/performances/viewperformance.php?scode=2007&ecode=R01

July 7 and 8, Premier Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre,Toronto, ON, Box Office Information 416-973-4000 / Option 1, http://tickets.harbourfrontcentre.com/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=4902

July 11,Millennium Stage,Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,Washington DC, Performances on the Millennium Stage are free to the public http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/schedule.html

Note: Just copy and paste above links into your browser to go directly to the venue's site for ticket information.