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Volume 13 - Issue 1 - September 2007

On Operaby Christopher

On Operaby Christopher HaileSeason's sad startThe death of Richard Bradshaw, General Director of the CanadianOpera Company, casts a pall over the entire upcoming season. Itwill be impossible to enter the Four Seasons Centre he fought sovaliantly to build, without sensing his absence. His rapport with theorchestra was palpable. From my seat close to the pit I loved tohear him growl as he urged them on. It seems so unfair that weshould enjoy the fruits of his labour without him. And yet we must.Every September I provide a survey of opera productions tolook forward to during the coming season, and though it doesn't feelright to return so soon to routine, still it would be unfair not toacknowledge the wealth of operatic offerings in store.The 2007-08 season at the Canadian Opera Company was,of course, planned by Bradshaw and stands as a testament to hisknack of expanding an audience's horizons by linking familiar andunfamiliar works in repertory. The COC season begins on October2 with Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" (to Nov. 2) with RobertGleadow as Figaro, Isabel Bayrakdarian alternating with Ying Huangas Susanna, and Russell Braun as Count Almaviva. It runs inrepertory with Verdi's "Don Carlos", performed in the original 4-hour French version of 1867. "Don Carlos" will be directed by thefamed John Caird and was to have been conducted by Bradshaw. Itstars Adrianne Pieczonka as Elizabeth, Mikhail Agafonov as DonCarlos and runs Oct. 12-Nov. 3.The beginning of 2008 finds Puccini's "Tosca" (Jan. 26-Feb. 23) in rep with Leos Janacek' s last opera "From the House ofthe Dead" (Feb. 2-22). "From the House of the Dead"dates from1930, and is based on Dostoevsky's novel of the same name."Tosca" stars Eszter Siimegi, Mikhail Agafonov and Alan Opie."House" features Robert Kiinzli, David Pomeroy, Pavlo Hunka andRobert Pomakov and was to have been conducted by Bradshaw,who had often said how pleased he was that there was anenthusiastic audience for Janacek in Toronto.The COC's spring begins with Tchaikovsky's "EugeneOnegin" (Apr. 2-30) with Giselle Allen, Brett Polegato and DaniilShtoda. Two weeks into its run it is joined by Rossini's "TheBarber of Seville" (Apr.16-May 23), thus giving us the two mainFigaro operas in a single season. Three weeks later, Debussy' s"Pelleas et Melisande"(May 6-24) joins the mixstarring Russell Braun,Isabel Bayrakdarian andPavlo Hunka.As for the COCEnsemble Studio, thisyear's performances areset for June (16-22)rather than December.Their offering is quiteunusual-a double bill of"Don Giovanni" (1787)by Giuseppe Gazzaniga(which preceded Mozart'smore famous version byonly a few months) andStravinsky's shortbarnyard burlesque"Renard" (1916) basedon Russian folk tales.Opera Atelier also has tocope with change thisseason since its popularGeneral Manager DavidBaile has recentlyresigned in order tobecome the CEO of theInternational Society ofPerforming Arts in NewYork. OA's seasonbegins October 27 (toNov. 3) with "II ritornod'Ulisse in patria" (1640)by Claudio Monteverdi .David Fallis conducts theToronto Consort and thecast includes suchBoth in COC's Marriage of Figarofavourites as AlainCoulombe, Carla Huhtanen, Laura Pudwell, Michel Schrey, JennieSuch and Curtis Sullivan. In spring (Apr. 26-May 3) OA adds afourth Mozart opera to its repertory, "Idomeneo" ( 1781) starringPeggy Kriha-Dye and American male soprano Michael Maniaci.Andrew Parrott conducts the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.A FUNNY THING1.HAPPENED ... i.. '~~ .:_ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM~0u

Toronto OperettaTheatre will not rest onits laurels next season.In 2008 (Feb. 22-24) itwill present its first everworld premiere,"Earnest, TheImportance of Being" byVictor Davies andEugene Benson starringRobert Longo and LairdMackintosh, who ispresently singing andtap-dancing up a stormin "My One and Only"at the Stratford Festival.Before that event TOTpresents a "SpanishFantasia" (Oct. 20-21)of flamenco and zarzuelafollowed by FranzLehar's "The Count ofLuxembourg" (Dec. 28,2007-Jan. 6, 2008).The season closes withLaird Mackintosh, withToronto Operetta Theatrethe ever-popular "Mikado" (Apr. 20-27) by Gilbert and Sullivan.Those with a taste for new works should check out "Opera Briefs7" (Sep. 28-29) presented by Tapestry New Opera Works. These5-minute-long scenes are products of Tapestry's acclaimed LibLablinking composers and librettists. Later (Feb. 11-24) Tapestrypresents another installment of "Opera to Go" in the form of sixshort operas. A full-length opera "Sanctuary Song" by MarjorieChan and Abigail Richardson plays May 24-Jun 8, 2008.Soundstreams also has a full-length opera on offer, "Pimooteewin(The Journey)" , by Tomson Highway & Melissa Hui scheduled forFeb. 15-16.THE CIVIC LIGHT OPERA COMPANYproudly presentsIrving Berlin'sTHE HILARIOUS MUSICAL REVUE OF THE 1930sEaster Parade - Heat Wave - How's Chances? - I Love a Piano - and many more!FAIRVIEW LIBRARY THEATRE35 Fairview Mall Dr., Sheppard/Don Mills.Sept. 5- 22Wed. at 7:00 I Thurs. to Sat. at 8:00 I Matinees: Sept. 9, 16 and 22 at 2:00TICKETS to .50BOX OFFICE: (416) 755-1717www.CivicLightOperaCompany.comOpera-IS CoursesTours & SeminarswithIain Scott2 INTRODUCTORY COURSESAll courses are held on Tuesdays 2.30- 4.30 or 7.00- 9.00at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, 141 St. George St.Opera 101 - Italian Opera Sept. 11 - Oct. 2, 2007Basic fundamentals you must know. Essential! 4 Weeks I 0Opera 102 - Other Forms of Opera Jan. 8 - 22, 2008Key things to listen for in French, German 3 Weeks I 0and Russian operas3 APPRECIATION COURSESWhy Is Janacek So Popular Today? Nov. 13 - Dec 11,2007Discovering compassion in his 5 greatest operas 5 Weeks I 0Reconsidering Puccini March 18 -April 6, 2008A reappraisal for his 150th birthday 4 Weeks I 0Late Editions - Creativity in Later Life July 14 - 18, 2008Monteverdi, Strauss, Janacek, 5 summer afternoons I 0Wagner, & Verdi4 WEEKEND SEMINARSAll Seminars include two lunches.Mozart at Manitou - Lectures and concerts Sept. 28 - 30at The Inn at Manitou Resort Two Nights, from 0to register: call 1-800-571-8818Beethoven's Triumphs (with Rick Phillips) Nov. 10 -11At the Royal Canadian Yacht Club 2 Days I 0Tannhauser - Sex and Religion Jan. 19 - 20, 2008At the Rosedale Golf Club, top of Mt. Pleasant 2 Days I 0Opera Before MozartAt the Royal Canadian Yacht ClubFeb. 23 - 24, 20082 Days I 0OPERA TOURS IN 2007 - 2008with New Wave Travel. Itineraries are on website below.Autumn Week: Dresden & Berlin 8 Nights, Oct. 19 - 27, 2007Meistersinger, Don Carlo, Zauberflote, Freischi.itz, Barbiere di SivigliaWagner Weekend in California 4 Nights, Jan. 24 - 28, 2008Tannhauser (San Diego), David Hackney's Tristan und Isolde (L.A.)Winter Week: Munich & Vienna 7 Nights, Feb. 4 -11Fledermaus, Der fliegende Hollander, Nabucco, Norma, Cosi, AidaSpringtime in Barcelona, Valencia, & 11 Nights, Feb. 25 - Mar. 7Madrid Lucrezia Borgia, Elektra, Orlando & La GiocondaVerdi's Italy (7th Annual) 12 Nights, Apr. 29 - May 11Carmen, La Sonnambula, Previn's 1984, NormaLa Scala! Verona! La Fenice! 9 Nights, June 22 - July 1Andrea Chenier & The Joker, Nabucco, Tosca, Death in VeniceGlimmerglass Weekend (Cooperstown, NY) 3 Nights, Aug. 21 - 24SEPTEMBER 1 - OCTOBER 7 2007Back to Ad IndexWWW. TH EWHOLENOTE.COM33

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