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Volume 12 - Issue 6 - March 2007

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  • Theatre
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On OPERAby Christopher

On OPERAby Christopher HaileWholeNote 's regular opera columnist was actually hot-footing it out of townright at deadline time, but presented with the challenge of definingFebruary's most musical moment, he couldn't resist, and filed the following:Compelling MtsenskMy Most Memorable Musical simply masterful as Boris Ismailov,Moment of the past month, ifthree Katerina's boorish father-in-law,hours can be considered a moment, using the full palette of his richwas the COC's production ofShos- baritone to paint a portrait of mantakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mt- both brutal and naive. Tenor Vadimsensk. This is one of those thrill- Zapletchny delivers a fine comicing cases where all elements of the turn as Katerina's ineffectual husproduction- music, stage direction, band Zinovy. The singing and indesignand lighting - come togeth- dividualized acting of the choruser in a unified vision. The impact are superb throughout.is overwhelmingly powerful. An augmented COC OrchestraIn a cast without a weak link, complete with brass band gives aNicola Beller Carbone's perform- magnificent account of the score.ance is electrifying both vocally and Conductor Richard Bradshaw'sdramatically. She makes the part's deep understanding of the work'sjagged vocal lines a natural expres- architecture relates it clearly to thesion of Katerina's conflicted men- composer's symphonies. Even intal state and sings Katerina's great passages like the interludes surfinalmeditation by the river as if rounding Scene 7 sometimes dislullabyingherself to death. As Ka- missed as "circus music", Bradterina's lover Sergey, Oleg shaw finds shades of hysteria andBalashov seduces us, too, with his danger that make this masterworkbold stage presence and his strong, all the more terrifying and compelmusculartenor. Timothy Noble is ling.TOH.ONTOOrEIIBrn\WiEGuillermo Silva-MarinFounder andGeneral DirectorA transcendental work for the lyric stage!TheerrrryOidowby Franz LeharNicola Beller Carbone as Katerina and Oleg Balashov as Sergey inthe Canadian Opera Company's production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.OPERA AT HOMEby Phil EhrensaftImagine His Surprise: The Rise, PrecipitousDescent, and Rebirth of Shostakovich'sSurpassingly Socialist OperaA young Shostakovich reasonably expected that Soviet apparatchnikswould view his smashingly good Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk as an exemplary,politically correct art. They already had done so for two yearsbefore the fateful night of January 26, 1936, when Stalin walked out ofa performance mid-stream.Three days later, Pravda published "Chaos Instead of Music", agrim attack on Lady Macbeth's composer. Nick the Greek would havedemanded big odds from anyone betting on Shostakovich's leading along life. Until Stalin died in 1953, Shostakovich had a nerve-wrackingride. Despite Shostakovich's exceptional sense of humour, we don'tsee many photos where he sports the inkling of a smile.From the vantage point of early twentieth socialism, Lady Macbethhad it all: frontal attacks on the merchant class, clergy, Czaristpolice, oppression of women, and graphic demonstrations of the peasantry'sbackwardness (and thus the necessity of an urban working classvanguard). Lady Macbeth enjoyed great success with the Soviet publicafter the opera's 1934 premier. Its equal successes abroad were prestigousfor the Soviet state.Opera at Home continues on page 68Kevin Mallon, ConductorGuillermo Silva-Marin,Stage DirectorP:-~R3::H.,').JC­:;'1 • ;1~-:) ', ·1'.J".::::1-FSTr.::rSean Watsonsponsored byThe Margaret BrecknerFoundationApr. 22 at 2 pm,Apr. 24, 25, 27, 28 at 8 pmand Apr. 29 at 2 pmST. LAWRENCE CENTRE FOR THE ARTS416-366-7723 1-800-708-6754 www.stlc.comSalunJay, March :)tsl .it 8prn.'1hov1plnc Pcrforr:1%cc CcL·c'Jhc l'colcrb·,r;i.1gh ~ymph.;,1y Orr.h cs '.ra and Lyne c3'a8;prcJe:· L ~10 :.....3.1L' 2 or,e 2.::t opsr2., 'Tl r:: Impre:an : ' .?.ridother s~ls.:1.P;d zi.rns f:::a l.ur:.n6 l.t1e ·wvrl,J r ~ ncnrrv~ d vJ1c,c;soflxmna 1 ro n1 1 soprs;;) n. :l hl

WE ARE ALL Music's CHILDRENBY MJBUELLMarch's Child ....No mystery child for March.The contest will resume in our next issue, with April's ChildFebruary's Child was ...JEAN ASHWORTH BARTLEArtistic Director, Toronto Children's Chorusn~ .'" ~Asked what she'd say§ to her 6-year-old self:~ ......._ __.~_........."---"-....- ---- ~ You are going toTeaching children is so important. have the most f ortunateof all lives. YouYou are holding lives in yourhands, molding their futures. But have been givenyou have this additional power ... tremendous giftsthis phenomenal power of choral which you are goingmusic. It's an unbeatable combination.people and oh ... whatshare with countlessa privilege it is.Jean Ashworth Bartle is stepping down as artistic directorof the Toronto Children's Chorus at the end of thisseason after 29 years. The chorus had 45 children when itwas founded in 1978 at the suggestion of TSO General ManagerWalter Hamburger: 20 from her choir at Lambton KingswayUnited Church, 20 from her choir at Howard JuniorPublic School, and five who were the children of friends.Today's TCC offers performing, touring and recordingopportunities to over 300 children each year."There should be a children's choir on every corner. Ifthey sing and are exposed to great music our culture is setfor life. If they don't all turn out to be opera singers they willgrow up to attend concerts, to participate on boards. Or theycan grow up to be taxi drivers and garbage collectors: asinging society is a valuable society."Countless young people have been influenced by this indefatigablementor. In all our choirs, orchestras, ensemblesand their audiences, you will find people who sang with theTCC.~nIf you are one such, and hoping toattend when Ms. Bartle conducts thechoir for the last time at their May 13spring concert, you may just be out ofluck. The concert is already sold out!Better try to catch the free noon-hourconceit on April 4 at Roy Thomson Hall!Jean was born in Lancashire, England,among musical people. Her grandfatherwas a church organist. At home, her uncleplayed the piano and everybody sang.Jean's parents were in a wonderful churchchoir that sang powerful music as part ofweekly services. Jean remembers "OrlandoGibbons and building blocks on Sundayafternoon": playing quietly while thechoir rehearsed great Tudor anthems.There was a Sunday School choir, schoolchoirs, piano lessons. All the childrensang at Christmas and Whitsuntide, thelatter usually meant a pretty new dress,carrying flowers, and getting to sing AllThings Bright and Beautiful."Almost everyone had a piano ... or anorgan. It was strange to walk into someone'shome and not find one."Jean's stories are bejewelled bynames of illustrious people, and placesand events that have inspired her. Herdescriptions reflect a detail-orientedindividual who is overwhelminglyaware of what there is to learn and toteach, how good things are, and howmuch better they can be.An Associate of the Royal Conservatoryof Music and an Honours graduateof the University of Toronto, Jean isinternationally recognized as a guestlecturer, clinician, adjudicator, and mentor.She has had a profound influenceon children's choirs and their conductorsall around the world. The list of prizesand honours awarded to her both inCanada and abroad is prodigious. She isalso the editor of three treble-voice musicseries, and a published author.Jean steps down at the end of theindex of advertisersTCC season to take a "sabbatical year":to meditate and think, clean her office,and learn to type more quickly. Thenext part of her work will be largelyabout training conductors, starting with"only three" commitments (so far!).Upcoming:Sat. March 3, 7:30 p.m .Freedom Trilogy:Benefit Concert for the StephenLewis Wed. April 4, FREE Noon­Hour Concert: TCC and ChristopherDawes, organ, Roy Thomson HallSat. April 21, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.:Young People's Concerts with the TorontoSymphony Youth OrchestraSat. April 28, 7:30 p.m. Concert withthe Toronto Symphony Youth OrchestraCONG RA TULA TIONSTO OUR WINNERS... /was in the TCC, and Mrs. Bartlewould always say "Sit like a singer,think like a rocket scientist!" (E.N.)... that quote speaks volumes about ourpast experiences in the choir! (HannahRenglich)Hannah Renglich and E.N. eachwith a young friend , will have thepleasure of hearing the TCC with TheToronto Symphony Youth Orchestra(Young People's Concert Sat. Apr.21)Frances Giles will receive ... HowSweet the Sound! (Marquis 81361,2006): The TCC 's newest CD!Carolyn Kelly will receive .. . A Songfor All Seasons (MarquisB00015N408) The TCC's 25th anniversaryrecording.Know someone whose photographshould appear on this page?Send your suggestions to:musicschildren@thewholenote.comACADEMY CONCERT SERIES 39 DEERPARK CoNcsns31 MISSISSAUGA SYMPHONY 35 0SHAWA·0URHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 50 TORONTO CHILDREN'S CHORUS 56ACROBAT Music 74 EGLINTON ST. GEORGE'S MDOREDALE CONCERTS 35 PANDA EYE PASSION 15 TORONTO CONSORT 34All THE KING'S V01C ES43 LJ NITED CHURCH 41 , 52 Music AT ASCENSION 42 PASQUALE BROS. 68 TORONTO M ENDELSSOHN CHOIR 42AMADEUS CHOIR 40 ELMER ISELER SINGERS 17 Music AT M ETROPOLITAN 43 PETER MAHON 17 TORONTO OPERETTA THEATRE 22AMICI 38 ENSEMBLE T RYPTYCH 35 Music AT PORT MILFORD 63 PETERBOROUGH SYMPHONY 22 TORONTO SINFONIETTA 35ANHAI 43 GEORGE HEINL 14 Music AT ST. CLEMENT'S 32 PIANO & KEYBOARD CENTRE 15 TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2,3ASSOCIATES OF THE TSO 27 GEORGETOWN BACH CHORALE 48 MUSIC AT TIMOTHY'S 34 RCM COMMUNITY SCHOOL 58 TORONTO WELSH M ALE VOICE CHOIR 18ATMA CLASSIDUE 4, 78 GRANO PHILHARMONIC CHOIR 49 Music GALLERY 25 RCM GLENN GOULD SCHOOL 31 , 39 TORONTO YouTH WINO ORCHESTRA 43BATA SHOE MUSEUM 25 GUITAR WORKSHOP PLUS 62 Music TORONTO 9, 28, 30, 34, 37 RIVERDAlE YOUTH SINGERS 56 LJ OFT SCARBOROUGH 31CAAPA 29 HANNAFORD STREET SILVER BAND 12, 27 NATIONAL ACADEMY ORCHESTRA 64 ROBERT Lowmy's PIANO EXPERTS 5 u OFT FACULTY OF M usic 24CAMMAC 60 HARKNETT MUSICAL SER~CES 19 NAXOS OF CANADA 79 Roy T HDMSON HALL 8 LJ. OF WESTERN ONTARIO 39CANADIAN SINFONIETTA 40 HELICONIAN CLUB 56 NEW MUSIC CONCERTS 29 SINFONIA T ORDNTO 13 VOCAL ART FORUM 54CANCLONE SERVICES 75 HILTON Hom IT UN ORA RESTAURANT) 78 NICHOLAS HOARE 70 SouNo PosT 14 WESTON SILVER BAND 19CENTENARY UNITED CHURCH 47, 48 HOCKLEY VALLEY Music CAMP 62 No STRINGS THEATRE 64 SOUTHERN ONTARIO CHAMBER M usic WINDERMERE STRING 0 UARTET 36CHATAUOUA Music FESTIVAL 60 INTERPROVINCIAL MUSIC CAMP 62 NORTH YORK CONCERT ORCHESTRA 56 INSTITUTE 65 WHOLENDTE SALUTE TO THE J UNOS 79CHOIRS ONTARIO 61 INTRADA BRASS 36 OFF CENTRE Music SALON 41 ST. JAMES' CATHEDRAL 32 WHO'S READING WHDLENOTE? 9CHRIST CHURCH D ER PARK JAZZ VESPERS 53 KITCHENER WATERLOO SYMPHONY 45 ONSTAGE AT GLENN GOULD 6 SYRINX 41 WOMEN'S MUSICAL CLUBCHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDELENE 53 KOFFLER SCHOOL OF Music 38 OPERA BY RrnuEsT 68 T AFELMUSIK 80 OF TORONTO 11 , 30CITY OF TORONTO HISTORIC MUSEUMS 77 LONG & Mc0UADE 16 OPERA IN CONCERT 41 TAPESTRY NEW OPERA WDRKS34 WORLD SONGS 66CLAS~C VOICE INSTRUCTION 54 MARKHAM THEATRE 7 ORCHESTRA TORONTO 37 THE SINGING CHEF 57 Y1P's SoMMERMUSIK AcAOEMY 66CONTINUUM CONTEMPORARY Music 26 MAZA M EZE 30 0RGANIX 77 T HDRNHILL CHAMBER Music INSTITUTE 65 YORK UNIVERmYCOSMO MUSIC 19 MIKROKOSMOS 68 ORPHEUS CH OIR 36 TORONTO ALL·STAR BIG BAND 21 Music DEPARTMENT 33, 38, 40, 54M ARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2007 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 23

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