The College’s annual arts night was celebrated joyfully on campus for the first time since 2019.
"I felt as if it were the first music night of my career again, putting on my suit and getting the kids organized and onto the stage," says Tony Gomes, music department coordinator, who conducted four of the 11 musical ensembles, along with teachers Peter Smith and Daniel Webb and Year 11 student Ian Ye.
Nuit Bleue 2022 featured Spring Music Night; a drama performance, The Scottish Play; and an exhibit of student visual art.
"It just demonstrates the support the community has for the students," says Judith Macdonell of the great turnout. Macdonnell directed the play, and is faculty chair of the arts and theatre coordinator.
Nuit Bleue brought out the best in the performers.
"There were all the jitters and excitement," says Gomes of the 150 students who participated in the musical ensembles, including violin soloist Jayden Liu, a Year 12 student. "There was a strong sense of celebration."
The Scottish Play, which assistant director Anna Blagona adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth with added elements of Dante, held the audience’s attention for a lively 75 minutes.
"The play just drives itself and the performers rose to the occasion," says Macdonell. "They felt privileged to have the opportunity to do a live performance."
The 24-person cast and crew comprised students from UCC and Bishop Strachan School. Humanities teacher Terry Denstedt built the set. Grads with roots in the school’s theatre program lent a hand: Nico Gonzalez ’19 hung the lights, and Andrew Musselman ’99 offered an outside perspective at the final rehearsal, providing for additional tweaks. Even Blagona’s young daughter contributed designs for the program.
Bauld commends Year 12 student Eli Preston in the role of Macbeth who "did really well conveying the complexity of his character," and Richard Sutton, the Year 12 student playing one of the witches. "He was fearless; his experience on stage gave a lot of the other actors the permission to go hard with their characters.
"Nuit Bleue always reminds me how talented these students are. We see them in ways that have nothing to do with how we see them in the classroom," Bauld adds. "It’s a good way to get to know them."