Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Debuting Monday, October 10, 1960, the Canadian series Festival was a weekly 90-minute potpourri, offering music, drama, ballet, films, and other artistic pursuits. The series was the successor to the similar Folio, and was produced by the same staff. Focusing primarily on Canadian artists, the series also offered studies of prominent Americans (Eugene O'Neill), Britons (Gilbert and Sullivan, Shakespeare), Frenchpersons (Jean Anouilh), and Scandinavians (Henrik Ibsen) -- at least until 1962, when the pendulum swung back to near-exclusive Canadian representation. The 1964-1965 season drew the most critical attention, with stagings of the works of such "new age" playwrights as Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. Also stirring up attention from critics and reviewers alike was a one-time-only duet between pianist Glenn Gould and violinist Yehudi Menuin. Festival closed out its prestigious decade-long run on March 26, 1969.