Mark DuBois - World Renowned Lyric Tenor
Gala Ball & Fundraiser at Danube Swabian Club

By Sybille Forster-Rentmeister
Echo Germanica

... At fundraiser galas such as the one that took place recently at the Danube Swabian Club in Scarborough, we can see mostly the members of the board and their families and friends, namely the foundation of the organisation. The young offspring, children and the grandchildren, who would be old enough to attend, have integrated so much into Canadian society, they are not visible to the casual observer. They are still around, but not often and mainly only if they have a function for themselves or big family gatherings like Easter brunch.

Having said that (this is a continued concern with all the clubs) it has to be pointed out that this gala was a full success, with the attending guest and also for the club, which did indeed raise quite a few dollars to keep things going. The newly re-elected president Henry Betsch was a good and jovial host, visiting with everyone and posing tirelessly for photos. The evening had started with a cocktail hour upstairs in the upper lounge and continued in the big hall with a very good dinner, served French style. For the first time in a long while someone in the kitchen was using spices and other aroma enhancing condiments with much courage! Hallelujah! The menu was delicious and started with a mixed green salad and fabulous Raspberry Vinaigrette. The Filet Mignon that followed was the tenderest one I have had in a long time. It was accompanied by an interesting array of vegetables and potatoes.

The Raspberry Mousse Swirl with fresh berries was superb. People were asking for seconds, including myself! A bit later there was coffee and cake, but first we were treated to some truly Viennese musical fare, starting with Mark DuBois singing from "Das Land des Laechelns/ Land of Smiles" by Franz Lehar "Immmer nur Laecheln". This operetta’s Chinese theme also gave the evening its attractive décor with red Chinese lanterns and symbols all over the hall. Later he also sang "Wer hat die Liebe uns ins Herz gesenkt" as a duet with lovely Corinne Lynch, soprano. She also sang "Heimat" for us, but in English.

When Mark DuBois delivered "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" the audience went quite wild with applause. Mr. DuBois had many a story to tell about Richard Tauber and Lehar and the museum in Vienna, where he had an opportunity to play the piano and sing, just like Richard Tauber and Lehar had done.

Between the 4 arias sung the Viva Dance performers delighted with a Viennese Dance and a Chinese Ribbon Dance. This added tremendously to the success of the evening.

In fact, this shorter form of presentation is much preferred by this audience, that does not want to sit for many hours just listening, but wants to dance.

And dance they did, but not before generous Mark DuBois delivered a bonus performance of an Irish Prayer, because it was St. Patrick’s Day after all.

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