Published July 20, 2016. By CHARLES THOMPSON | FROM THE HIGHLANDS
It was Thomas Wolfe who wrote the book ‘You can’t go home again.’ This was an obvious reference to the idea that you cannot return to you roots or capture times gone by. This, of course, can be physical as well as emotional. For most of July and part of August, Lorna MacDonald, creator and librettist of The Bells of Baddeck, has been working diligently to prove Mr. Wolfe wrong.
A native of Port Morien, MacDonald, first brought The Bells to Baddeck to the Bell Museum in the summer of 2015 and by all accounts, wowed the audience. The Bells is described as a “musical-drama” and portrays highlights of the lives of Alexander and Mabel Bell.
The show spans many years of their life together but is mainly centred around their time together at Beinn Bhreagh, their summer home on the shores of the Bras d’Or, across the bay from Baddeck.
MacDonald has skillfully weaved an ensemble of professional musicians as well as local talent. It is a nice combination as audiences get to see multi talented artists from across Canada as well as enjoy the talents of local actors and dancers from in and around Baddeck.
…Lorna MacDonald: “From the very first day we arrived in Baddeck for season two, we were greeted with great enthusiasm, from shopkeepers, in restaurants, and of course, at the Bell Museum. Every night, the audiences leave with a smile on their faces, and I am overwhelmed by the number of people who take the time to thank me for the show, and for the detail and professional standard of it. That feels very good.”