Bluenose is a new musical I am writing with Edmonton composer John Estacio.
John and I spent a couple of weeks in Halifax in May, 2018, for the Stages Theatre Festival, with Sam Rosenthal and Eastern Front Theatre, working on, and showcasing, some material from Bluenose. Eastern Front Theatre is hoping to produce a small premiere production of the show in the fall of 2019.
What Is The Show About?
Some things really do matter. We have a right to be proud of our accomplishments. We have a right to want to achieve our best. Only by risking failure can we achieve true greatness.
The Bluenose, and equally her Captain, ANGUS WALTERS, became a symbol of Canadian accomplishment, only to be ultimately abandoned and forgotten. From 1921 to 1938 WALTERS and the Bluenosebrought pride to Lunenburg, in turn to Nova Scotia, and ultimately to all of Canada. They became a symbol of Canadian expertise, determination, and success.
For Pride. For Country. For Home.
Nova Scotia had experienced more than its fair share of tragedy in the years leading up to the 1920 creation of the International Fisherman’s Trophy. In 1912, Halifax bore much of the brunt of the Titanic disaster. In 1917, 2000 people died, and another 9000 were injured, in the Halifax explosion. Thousands more died in the 1918 flu pandemic.
Nova Scotia had reason to want to find something of which they could be truly proud. They disparaged the “faux” sailing test represented by The America’s Cup, and wanted to have their accomplishments as sailors and fishermen justly celebrated.
The creation of the International Fisherman’s Trophy – a race for real working schooners – was expected to lead to just such a celebration, but the results were exactly the opposite. The Nova Scotia schooner was defeated by the Gloucester, Maine schooner representing the US.
After that disastrous start in 1920, the creation, and ultimate success, of the Bluenosebecame even more important, and her uninterrupted victories for the next 2 decades more than established her, and the Nova Scotian sailors she represented, as the queen of the Grand Banks fleet, and a symbol of Canadian enterprise and success.