Watershed Festival Archive

The poster for "The Lancashire Lass" The background is three horizontal stripes. One is purple, one is white, one is green. Texts reads: "The Lancashire Lass A new musical by Leslie Arden"

I don’t know what I want, but I know I want more: ‘The Lancashire Lass’

  • Review
  • Watershed Festival

“VOTES FOR WOMEN” read the posters, props, and pre-show backdrop at the Kingston Grand Theatre. The Lancashire Lass is a new musical by composer/lyricist/librettist Leslie Arden. Commissioned by the Dan School of Drama and Music in 2019 and workshopped in 2021 and 2022, the show had its official premiere this year in the Watershed Festival. Directed by Tim Fort, The Lancashire Lass recounts the women’s suffrage movement in 20th-century Britain […]

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Photo of Leslie Arden sitting at a piano and laughing.

“I just sat there mesmerized”: Leslie Arden on Musical Theatre

  • Artist
  • Interview
  • Watershed Festival

Leslie Arden is a renowned Canadian composer, lyricist, and librettist. In 2019, she was commissioned to write a new musical, The Lancashire Lass, for the DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. First shown in an online preview in 2021, and then in concert in 2022, The Lancashire Lass is having its fully staged debut at this year’s Watershed Festival on May 26th and 27th at the Kingston […]

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SOLO: The Modern Opera The World Needs

  • Review
  • Watershed Festival

There is a conventional expectation of what a Western opera performer and performance should look like. With expensive sets and costumes and elaborate orchestrations, it is an artform who’s high-brow reputation is the only part I’m familiar with. But Musique 3 Femmes’ presentation of SOLO at this year’s Watershed Festival, the “tour-de-force double bill for solo voice” actively subverted the Eurocentric tradition inherent to opera allowing the songs and stories […]

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New Canadian Musical LANCASHIRE LASS Explores British History Through A Soaring Score

  • Festival
  • Queen's University
  • Review
  • Watershed Festival

like a surprising combination to some. On May 27, the Watershed Festival presented award-winning composer and DAN School of Drama and Music’s artist-in-residence Leslie Arden’s latest commission The Lancashire Lass, a full-length musical that will receive its premiere at next year’s festival. 

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Watershed’s New Works Showcase dives in head first

  • Festival
  • Queen's University
  • Review
  • Watershed Festival

The Watershed Festival continues to explore how and who exactly are the artists examining and developing music theatre as we know it. The New Works Showcase featured a series of upcoming projects at various stages of development from artists across the country, followed by a live Q & A with the creators. 

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Leading Ladies: Musique 3 Femmes at the Watershed Festival

  • Festival
  • Queen's University
  • Review
  • Watershed Festival

In a time of creative and collective upheaval, the inaugural Watershed Festival examines the integration of music, drama, dance, and design as musical theatre or opera, exploring those boundaries in order to revitalize the ways those artforms are practiced and understood.

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