Triple Threat

Colin MacAdam

Colin MacAdam

I first met Colin MacAdam at a dinner party. He made an impression on me by singing acapella and from memory every verse of Stan Roger’s ballad Barrett’s Privateer, the chorus of which I will never forget:

God damn them all
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns, shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier,
The last of Barrett’s Privateers

With a day job as an adjudicator, he’s an unlikely candidate for the triple threat designation, but in fact that’s exactly what he is. Originally a native of Nova Scotia, MacAdam comes naturally by his musicality and mild eccentricity.  He sings, he dances, and he…uncovers rocks.

He loves to perform. A member of the Peterbrough Singers MacAdam is equally at home with Bach as with an east coast ditty. One gets the impression that there is a soundtrack in his head even in conversation.

He got involved with Old Men Dancing through a friend and never looked back. This exquisite troupe of aging non-dancers has performed locally and in Toronto, and continues to work with choreographers such as Bill James, Allen Kaeja and Marie-Josée Chartier to create a powerful blend of dance and theatre that challenges our notion of a man’s emotional make up. They will be taking one of their pieces on the road in May to Kitchener’s Registry Theatre.

MacAdam has even stretched his acting wings for a production by Cobourg poet and playwright Cliff Bell-Smith.  Modest but not shy, he has a substantial knack for wrangling life’s joys and discontents into artistic passions.

And then there are the rocks…

For over 25 years, at the off-grid cottage near Haliburton that MacAdam shares with his wife Joy, a cellist with the Peterborough Symphony, he has been uncovering rocks. Great spans of rock have been exposed by removing the soil around them. This is more than excavation, this is a creation of a landscape. In the tradition of environmental artists such as Andy Goldsworthy or landscape architect Jon Piasecki, single or grouped stones are carefully placed to create new focus and composition, a non-static sculpture that is interwoven with the dappled light of a tamarack forest.

My dad spent 30 years digging up a giant rock by Veronica Simmonds »


You may never see the rocks, but you can hear Colin MacAdam with the 100 voices of the Peterborough Singers and the Peterborough Dance Collective in a performance of Carl Orff’s beautiful contemporary classical work Carmina Burana at Adam Scott Auditorium »

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, 2:00 pm
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, 2:00 pm

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