Review: Compositions (Luminato)


Magic and Music on display at Luminato in Rafael Benatar’s “Compositions”

Compositions opened last night as part of the final weekend of Luminato. Based on the blurb in the program I had no idea what to expect. Based on the small audience neither did a lot of other people. It’s a shame because Rafael Benatar is delightful. So is his show.

The only thing I knew was that somehow Benatar was going to combine Baroque music and magic in one show. It’s hard to imagine how they would combine and the truth is that they really don’t. It’s like combining painting a room and writing a novel. You paint for a while and then you write for a while.

Benatar talked for a for a bit at the beginning and did  some magic with a scarf.  He then played a number of pieces on a Baroque guitar – which has 5 double strings. The pieces were all Baroque pieces from 18th Century. Although the compositions all has names Benatar gave them his own names which were all influenced by magic.

After that he performed magic tricks with cards and an audience member.

And so the show went. In the last part of the show he played the lute instead of the guitar, but stuck to Baroque compositions.

There was nothing flashy about his magic. I’d call it old fashioned. I like that kind of magic. So did the rest of the audience.

His patter was lovely. Quite dry, funny, and delivered with a charming Spanish accent. He made his audience assistants feel comfortable on stage. There were three children in the front row who were longing to help him and one finally got her chance for the final trick.

It is a family show. It starts at 7.30 and finishes at 8.45 so you won’t have to keep the kids out too late and it won’t tax their attention spans. The magic will amaze and enthrall them and the music is very pleasant. Probably the youngest child you’d want to take is a mature 6 year-old.

The show was delightful.


  • Concerto is playing at Conservatory Theatre TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning (273 Bloor St West until June 23)
  • Performances are at 7.30 pm on Saturday and Sunday
  • Tickets are $45.00
  • Tickets are available online, by phone at 416-368-4849, and at the Luminato box office in David Pecaut Square