8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

fewer. But six of the

fewer. But six of the thirteen have been with us since the second yearat least." In terms of repertoire, they still present striking andinventive programs: masterpieces from the standard chamberorchestra; new commissions; some rearrangements of largersymphonic works; and carefully chosen arrangements of powerfullyseminal string quartet literature - a passion exemplified by his choiceof Beethoven's Grosse Fugue for that very first concert. "That one Iwanted as a statement of intention," he says, "because it showeddramatically how the chamber orchestra can amplify the power ofthe string quartet form, and also because as a fugue it treats theinstruments intensely soloistically - which is another keycharacteristic of what we do ." (Almost every season they try, now,to address one of Shostakovich's late quartets in similar fashion."When it comes to that form, Shostakovich and Beethoven, those twoare the best.")And they still play standing, in virtuosic style, almost all the time."The exception is when we are recording," he says. "Sometimesthen, with fatigue such a factor, we play seated for consistency oftone and attack. "(Recording has become a significant part of what they do. Thismonth will see the release of their third CD, this one on the Marquislabel, titled "Flanders Fields Reflections, " featuring cellist ShaunaRolston, and Canadian composer John Burge.)"How do you think it would have been launching, say a decadeearlier?" I asked, "and how do you see the decade ahead?""It was not a time when support of arts and culture was riding thecrest of a wave any more," he says - not just in terms of governmentbut also corporate funding. And then there was 911 and SARS ... .but, you know, there is always something. We have done all that wecan, with very little. We do very creative work. And we willcontinue."Times change. You can now find Sinfonia Toronto on FaceBookand MySpace - none of which existed even ten years ago, when theirpresence and clear intentions were announced in the first edition ofwhat was to become WholeNote's annual October Blue Pages. Butyou'll also still find them where it counts most, six times a year - onthe concert stage. Standing up.David PerlmanFEATURECivic Light Opera at Thirtyby Terry RobbinsFrom left to right: Joe Cascone (El Gallo), David Haines(Belomy) , and Larry Gibbs (Hucklebee) , in this past September's CLOCproduction of The Fantasticks, at their usual Fairview Library Theatre venue.WE'RE LUCKY to havethe amount of musicaltheatre that we do inToronto - only NewYork and London havemore - but the cost canbe prohibitive for theaverage theatre-goer;my recent evening atAvenue Q, for instance,even with halfpricetickets, cost over0 for four people. If l.iiili~~=-=~you love musicals butsimply can't afford to And camping it up on this month's WholeNoteThe Anniversary number gamesee too many, or if you cover, Cascone and Caroline Morrow-DalicandroTurning 10: Canadian Sinfonietta; DaCapo Chamber Choir; feel that the choice of in the 2005 production ofI do! I do!Ensemble TrypTych Chamber Choir; The Georgetown BachChorale; Grand River Chorus; I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble;The Nathaniel Dett Chorale; Sinfonia Toronto; SouthernOntario Chapter of the Hymn Society; True North Brass; ViaSalzburgprofessional shows could be more imaginative, then you should reallybe making the effort to search out the city's community musical theatregroups, where a wide range of high-quality shows are presentedby people for whom musical theatre, while it may not be a profession,is certainly a passion.Joe Cascone, for instance, simply doesn't want to do anythingTurning 15: All The King's Voices; Oakville Children's Choir; else. He loves to quote the old show business warning - that if thereToronto Choral Society; Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra is anything else you can do other than show business then do it -Turning 20: Mooredale Concerts; Toronto Mass Choir; but immediately confesses that "it's the only thing I want to do!"Village VoicesAnd he does it very well. He is currently starting his 30th seasonas artistic director of the Civic Light Opera Company, the companyTurning 25: Counterpoint Community Orchestra;Exultate Chamber Singers; Hannaford Street Silver Band;The John Laing Singershe founded as the Agincourt Music Theatre when he was just 15and still in high school, and which is now at the forefront of thenumerous community musical theatre groups in the Toronto area.Community theatre is, by definition, a world of compromise andTurning 30: Civic Light Opera Company;Elmer lseler Singers; Elora Festival SingersTurning 35: Opera in ConcertTurning 40: Ce llar SingersTurning 50: The Toronto Latvian Concert AssociationTurning 75: Music at Metropolitanfinding the right balance. For a successful season you must scheduleshows that interest you , that balance old favourites with contemporaryshows, that will attract and retain audiences, that are withinyour performing capabilities, that are musically, technically and financiallyfeasible, and that will work well within your particulartheatre space. The challenges are the same for all the groups, butover the years CLOC seems to have handled them in a more imaginativemanner than anyone else. Cascone, for instance, staged thefirst Canadian company production of the perennial favourite AnnieTurning 100: Royal Canadian College of Organists;once the performance rights were released, and has several other fullToronto Heliconian ClubCanadian premieres to his credit as well, including High Society,Turning 115: Toronto Mendelssohn ChoirRodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro and State Fair, Kander & Ebb'sThe Rink, Titanic - The Musical , Irving Berlin's As Thousands Cheer,and his own stage adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the8 WWW . THEWHOLENOTE.COM OCTOBER 1 - N OVEMBER 7 2008

NEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC PRESENTED BYOrphei DrangarTHE GREATEST MALE CHOIRIN THE WORLDGuest Artist: Opera Star Maria Fontosh, sopranoSunday, October l 9th, 2008 @ 3 pmMetropolitan United Church (56 Queen Street East)Lawrence Cherney,ARTISTIC DIRE CTORDon't miss the greatest male choir in the world in a rareToronto performance on conductor Robert Sund's farewell tour! 80 voices performa powerful programme featuring R. Murray Schafer's choreographedMagic Songs, Benjamin Britten's fiery Ballad of Little Musgrave, Schubert'ssublime Psalm 23, opera arias, Swedish folk songs, new music, and more.University Voices 2008:YOUTH, MUSIC, PASSION!Friday, November 7th, 2008 @ 8 pmMetropolitan United Church (56 Queen Street East)Venezuelan visionary Maria Guinand will conduct Canada's most talentedUniversity Choirs performing Music of the Americas from the baroque to thepresent including: a world premiere by Alberto Grau, plus works by OsvaldoGolijev, Alberto G inastera, R. Murray Schafer, Jose Evangelista, Claude Vivier,Eric Whitacre, Pinto Fonseca and others.* from every t icket sold will go to Maria Guinand's Construir Cantando Foundation

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