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Volume 13 - Issue 8 - May 2008

Includes the 2008 Canary Pages

On Operaby Christopher

On Operaby Christopher HaileTowards the lightIf April is crammed full of opera, May is the beginning of musicalsseason as the summer festivals in Ontario and commercial theatres inToronto compete to attract summer visitors. In Toronto the TonyAward-winning musical Hairspray returns for a short second runMay 6-11 at the Princess of Wales Theatre and Dancap Productionsbrings the British production of My Fair Lady directed by TrevorNunn to the Toronto Centre for the Arts May 9-31. Out of town,the Shaw Festival's production of Wonderful Town by LeonardBernstein opens on May 24, running to October 5 and StephenSondheim's A Little Night Music, now in previews, opens June land runs to October 4. At the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, MeredithWillson's The Music Man opens on May 28, running to November1, and Kander and Ebb's Cabaret opens on May 29 andruns to October 25.Nevertheless, the opera-lover is not completely left out in May.After all, Opera Atelier's ldomeneo with its spectacular cast, includingMeasha Bruggergosman, continues until May 3 and the CanadianOpera Company's production of Rossini's The Barber of Sevilleplays until May 23. These are joined by two French operas thatcould not be more different.On May 29 , the Toronto Philharmonia (www.torontophil.on.ca)gives us a rare chance to hear Georges Bizet's one-act comic operaLe Docteur Miracle (1857) in concert at the George Weston RecitalHall. The farcical story involves the Mayor of Padua (Sean Watson),his wife (Vilma Indra Vitols), their daughter Lauretta (ZoranaSadiq), and her lover Captain Silvio (Adam Luther), who disguiseshimself both as the Mayor's new servant Pasquin and as the titulardoctor. The plot turns on a poisoned omelette the Mayor has eatenThe Great Italian Opera Housesyou've always wanted to visit!2 operas at La Scala, Milan! 1 at La Fenice, Venice!2 at the Verona Amphitheatre!Sun. June 22nd-Tues. July lst, 2008 *Sumptuous summer weekendat the Glimmerglass Opera!Handel's Julius Caesar in EgyptWagner's Das LiebesverbotBellini's I Capuleti e i MontecchiCole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate4 nights at the***** Otesaga ResortLuxury coach transfersThurs August 2lst - Sun 24th, 2008 *Strauss' soaring sopranosa sybaritic fall vocal weekend at***** Relais et Chateau, The Inn at Manitou Resort2 recitals, 2 lectures,gourmet food at the height of the fall coloursCall the Inn at 416-245-5606Fri. September 26th - Sun 28th, 2008for which onlyDr. Miracle hasthe cure. KerryStratton conductsthe work (performedin English)along with aselection of famousarias fromthe French operaticrepertoire.Moving fromthe pleasantlyridiculous to thesublime, the COC(www.coc.ca)presents ClaudeDebussy's onlycompleted opera,Pelleas etMelisandeOn May 29, the Toronto Philharmonia offers upGeorges Bizet's one-act comic opera Le Docteur(1902), May 6- Miracle (1857) in concert at the George Weston24 as the fmal Recital Hall. Zorana Sadiq plays Laurel/a.mainstage showof its 2007-08 season. This is a revival of the production (designed byDany Lyne and directed by Nicholas Muni) last seen in April 2000.The production stars Russell Braun and Isabel Bayrakdarian as thedoomed title couple and Pavlo Hunka as Melisande' s menacing husbandGolaud. This was one of several operas like Don Carlos andFrom the House of the Dead that were to have been conducted by thelate Richard Bradshaw. Replacing him on the podium is famed British-bornconductor Jan Latham-Koenig, music director of the TeatroMassimo di Palermo and Teatro Municipal de Santiago.Several opera companies have recently announced their 2008-09seasons . Opera Lyra Ottawa has The Marriage of Figaro on tap forSeptember 13-20, 2008, with James Westman as Almaviva andEugene Onegin, April 4- 11 , 2009, with Russell Braun in the titlerole. Closer to home, Opera York has programmed Carmen forNovember 6- 14, 2008, and Tosca for March 5-13, 2009. Both willplay in the new Richmond Hill Performing Arts Centre, scheduledto open in October this year. Toronto Operetta Theatre will start itsseason with a tribute to Ivor Novello on November l and 2, 2008, andmove on to Carl Zeller's delightful 1891 operetta The Bird Seller (DerVogelhiindler) December 26, 2008, to January 4, 2009. From February18-22, 2009, it brings us Knickerbocker Holiday (1938) by Kurt Weilland Maxwell Anderson and concludes with Gilbert and Sullivan'sIolanthe April 17- 26, 2009.The question on many opera-goers' minds in Southern Ontario isWhat has happened to Opera Ontario? The most complete answerhas been given in an article on the subject by Leonard Turneviciusin the February/March issue of Opera Canada magazine. Amongother measures to help reduce the company's debt, subscribers to the2007-08 season were asked to donate their subscriptions to thecompany. An amazing 85 % did so, giving the company a muchneeded vote of confidence. The City of Hamilton and other creditorshave forgiven their debts to the point that the company's deficit isnow less than 25 % of its operatingbudget which in turn makesit eligible for grant money. Thecurrent plan, Turnevicius reports,is that the company will reincorporateunder its formername Opera Hamilton and recreatethe cancelled 2007-08 seasonby mounting The Magic Flute ,Werther and Madama Butterflyin Hamilton only . Stay tuned fordates and times .Attention: Opera SingersDo you have a dream rolethat you want orneed to perform?It is easier than you th,,1klMore info: www.OperabyRequest.caopere1 by requestD,rE::!c1c: 1s1lllar1 St·o~krott* Call Bill Andrews at NEW WAVE TRAVEL 416-928-311 x 22424 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM M AY 1 - ] UNE 7 2008

A night of "Rubies" for theCanadian Children's Opera ChorusThe Canadian Children's Opera Chorus (CCOC) -the only permanentchildren's opera chorus in Canada that develops and producesnew operas for children-is turning 40, and there are "rubies" everywhereto mark the occasion.First "ruby" is the anniversary itself. Second is the fact that thechorus actually wouldn't exist if it weren't for Ruby Mercer whofounded the Chorus in 1968 (with Lloyd Bradshaw) - the selfsameRuby Mecver responsible for the existence of Opera Canada magazineand the annual "Ruby Awards" that bear her name. Third andfinal ruby, this night, is the CCOC's youngest choral division, fiveandsix-year-olds, named the Ruby Chorus in honour of Mercer.They, along with the organization's four other choruses will be partof the festivities at the Toronto Centre for the Arts' George WestonRecital Hall on June 2.No cheesy pink flamingos on the lawn at this affair! .. . a sophisticatedevening including a pre-concert reception (6 pm), featuringchef Michael Stadtlander, and an 8pm concert. The concert's playbillfeatures many well-known guest artists, some, like Karina Gauvin,who were in the chorus themselves; some, like Peter Oundjian andRichard Margison, because they have, or had children in the chorus;others because of past collaborations with the CCOC. John Fanning,Judy Loman, Mark Pedrotti ... it's quite a list. Even the event's HonoraryChair, European Union Ambassador Dorian Prince, is a pianistof no small renown.Operas commissioned by the CCOC over the years include TheHobbit (Dean Burry), The Star Child (John Greer/Ned Dickens), AMidwinter Night's Dream (Harry Somers/Tim Wynne-Jones), Dr.Canon's Cure (Derek Holman/Robertson Davies), and Chip and HisDog (Gian Carlo Menotti), and current chorister enrolment is over200 girls and boys, with about 80 of those members making up theMain Chorus. The CCOC participates as the children's chorus in allCanadian Opera Company productions needing children's voices, aswell as singing with other groups including the Toronto SymphonyOrchestra, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, and the NationalBallet of Canada.For details on the event, see our concert listings .Catherine MuirTHE CIVIC LIGHT OPERA COMPANYproudly presentsMusic from ALEXANDER BORODINAdaptation & Lyrics by ROBERT WRIGHT & GEORGE FORREST* Stranger in Paradise * Baubles, Bangles and Beads ** And This is M Beloved *WWW.THEWHOLENOTE,COM

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