TORONTO 20.04.20-– Multi-talented artist Beth Anne Cole releases her third album Perhaps The Gods Of Love on Friday, May 29. Best known for her stage work at prestigious theatres throughout Canada, the U.S., and the UK – as well as for her concerts and her long-time featured role on CBC’s Mr. Dressup – Cole is a major singing and acting talent. The 13-song album with an added French version of the title track, weaves an eclectic tapestry of remarkably diverse cultural threads: Quebecois chansons, Japanese poetry, Yiddish folksong, and classical concert music. The album will be available on all major platforms on May 29. Pending the end of the COVID-19 crisis, there’s also a tentative album launch and concert, scheduled for October 25, 2020, at the Tranzac Club in Toronto. For more information please visit her website.

An accomplished performer backed by an artful chamber ensemble of piano, clarinet, bass, viola, accordion, and flute, Beth Anne Cole is also an actor, painter, poet and singer-songwriter who expresses herself starkly and strikingly at the centre of every song. She dares to open her songs a cappella, or with intense Celtic-tinged drones, and her voice is most often paralleled by the clarinet or the piano, which perfectly complement the album’s tone. Theatrical in style, these are poignant songs of loss, romance, abandonment, aging and death, all tempered by the transformative power of love

"Beth Anne Cole is a songwriter’s dream and a theatregoer's nirvana."

~ Toronto Sun

Adapted from Cole's 10-page poem called "Song for a Wading Bird," the first track on the album "Walk Into the Morning," contrasts a bird-like clarinet with a droning, shimmering accordion and tremulous viola. The effect is a trance-like meditation on the separation of wheat from chaff, of good from not-good. It’s a mantra on the refrain, "Your love, your life, your death, your art."

"Sailor" is a song of longing for a relationship with depth and recognition. It is liltingly performed by a six-piece chamber ensemble, highlighted by a flute that moves from misty textures to warm brown tones.

"La Fille de l’Île" ("The Girl of the Island"), finds a rolling piano echoing the rolling of the waves, as Cole's voice swells and subsides in a way that recalls the style of Edith Piaf, in this Félix Leclerc song about loneliness and abandonment.

"La Fille de la Marée" ("The Woman of the Tide") portrays the same woman as in the previous song, – yet now she is older and wiser, having found strength in her own poetry and music, rather than in her former lover’s embrace. The song follows a tidal rhythm as she tenderly sings moutons blancs, mouton noirs to the waves – and in fact moutons blancs, white sheep, can also mean the whitecaps of the waves.

"She can break your heart when she sings"

~ Boston Globe

Pared down to just clarinet and voice, "Komachi" is a minimalist reflection on the life – and possible afterlife – of the renowned, ancient Japanese poet and courtesan Ono no Komachi. It is one of the most striking pieces on the album.

A talented visual artist, Cole painted the image from which the album cover is taken. The painting was inspired by her song "The Book," itself inspired by a dream and now the source of this piece. Heavenly, transcendent voices provide a haunting accompaniment.

A sombre remembrance of the Holocaust’s destruction of Warsaw Jewry, "Gone the Villages" floats on Cole's voice, and an evocative piano and bass. Cole adapted it from a poem by the Warsaw writer Antoni Slonimski, and from a Yiddish folksong Her Nor du Sheyn Meydele (Hear Me, My Beautiful Girl).

"Amol iz Geven a Mayse" ("There Was a Story of a King") is sung in Yiddish and sets us in the world of klezmer, with Cole’s vocal mirrored by a buoyant solo clarinet. It's a lullaby, a particular folksong form called confable, in which a mother makes up the words as she goes along.

Accordionist Tiina Kiik shines in the tango "Song for Leonard," as does Tania Gill whose piano lines circle around the accordion in a spirited dance. This unabashed love song to Leonard Cohen finds Cole on a trip to Montreal, visiting the great poet's old haunts.

A Mozart composition to which Cole penned lyrics – note the similarity to the The Magic Flute – "Canoe" is a charming, sprightly piece that doesn't take itself too seriously, as the duck quack at the end suggests. It also incorporates strains of ‘V’là Le Bon Vent’, a French folksong about three ducks on a pond.

"Unfailingly transforms the competent into the sublime."

~ Globe and Mail

Moody and atmospheric, "Pathway to You" is Cole’s new translation for a song by the great Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Its subject is love – fleeting to be sure, yet eternally redemptive and sweet.

In "My Story of Ruth," Cole offers her own version of The Book of Ruth, where instead of Ruth’s becoming the property of her husband Boaz, she and Boaz fall in love and their union begins the line of the House of David.

The title track "Perhaps the Gods of Love" is a lovely voice-and-piano piece reminiscent of Schubert, something continuous, moonlit, and fleeting. It derives from Cole’s five-line poem in the tanka form embraced by Ono no Komachi. A French version ("Les Dieux d’Amour, Peut-être") ends the album, offering a wish for personal love to ripple outward and enrich the world.

THE ENSEMBLE:

Tania Gill, piano; Martin van de Ven, clarinets; Rob Clutton, bass; Tiina Kiik, accordion, and Arie Verheul van de Ven, viola, with Monique de Margerie, piano and Rick Sacks, percussion

MORE ABOUT BETH ANNE COLE:

Beth Anne Cole is a major singing, acting and writing talent. She started singing professionally at the age of 15 with stints on the CBC and studied at the Stratford Festival in Canada and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Cole has played leading roles at many regional theatres: Neptune Theatre in Halifax, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage and Factory Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre, as well as prestigious theatres in the U.S. and the U.K.

In addition to acting, Cole established a distinguished career as a concert artist, songwriter and recording artist, singing at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival, Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto, Carnegie Hall in New York and more. She has also recorded two previous albums Gifts in the Old, Old Ground and Song Under the Stair.