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Volume 14 - Issue 8 - May 2009

The Opera

The Opera Exchange:Antique Fables and Fairy ToysAn in-depthexplorationof Britten’smagicaladaptation ofA MidsummerNight’s DreamSaturday, May 9, 20099:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building,80 Queen’s Park (at Museum subway station) (U of T Student and Faculty discounts available)416-363-8231coc.caOperatours2009/2010See the World with Opera!Join other opera enthusiasts on these thoughtfully plannedtours to world-famous opera houses. Accommodation at privateclubs, excursions and other cultural activities are included, aswell as ample time for sight-seeing at your own pace.Metropolitan Opera, New YorkDecember 6 – 10, 2009Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann* | Mozart Le nozze di Figaro | Puccini Il TritticoMarch 21 – 25, 2010Verdi Attila* | Shostakovich The Nose* | Thomas Hamlet*Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago SymphonyNovember 19 – 22, 2009Verdi Ernani* | Janáček Kát’a Kabanová | Chicago Symphony: Birtwhistle,Mozart & SchumannMarch 10 – 14, 2010Golijov La Pasión según San Marcos | Mozart Le nozze di Figaro |Berlioz La Damnation de Faust* | Bach St. John Passion* new productionEuropean tours will be announced in July.AVAILABILITY IS LIMITED, CALL NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.1-800-265-1141 ext. 6209coc.caIn partnership with:The Jackman Humanities InstituteFOR OPENERS ... continued from page 6Some of what I’m looking forward to more ofSTILL ON THE TOPIC OF LESS rather than more, I’m looking forward toless of this particular kind of late night insanity — pounding away atthe keyboard well after midnight on the final production shift; all therest of the magazine safely to bed; and my dear friend the printertearing out what remains of his hair while I sit here waxing philosophical.)Less of this means more of what, I wonder?Mostly what I’m looking forward to more of in the monthsahead is being off the production treadmill and therefore able tobe out and about, processing more through my ears and lessthrough words on a page. AndMind you, I shouldn’t complain: as months go, this past one hashad more than its share of memorable moments.Paolo Gavanelli’s stunning Simon Boccanegra for the CBC wasone of them- his Verdi rolling round that lovely hall like the finest ofwine round the mouth — a giant performance made more so by itsattention to tiny detail. The gamba solo in Tafelmusik’s St. MatthewPassion was another standout; as was finding out first hand fromgambist Susie Napper about the newly restored Hart House Viols.What a story that will grow to be over the coming months (andrumours are that there are more in the dungeons of the ROM).And as a perfect foil to all that grandeur, I will long remembersitting close enough to the piano to reach out and touch it, in a littleart gallery at 345 Sorauren, off the beaten concert path, listening toSwiss composer/conductor/teacher Jurg Wyttenbach – yet another ofNew Music Concerts’ Robert Aitken’s extraordinary associates –create, and recreate, two of Beethoven’s late piano sonatas, in aminiature performance as operatic in its own way as all the pyrotechnicsof the COC’s Boccanegra, linking “old” and new in a way thatilluminated both.On the subject of Beethoven, May 30 sees a landmark performance– Counterpoint Community Orchestra’s 25th anniversaryconcert, and they’re taking on Beethoven’s Ninth for the occasion.Terry Kowalczuk, Music Director of the CCO forthe past 10 years describes it as “a great piececonceived on a magnitude few other works offer.Every note seems to have a purpose and everyoneneeds to know their part or else something willbe missing. ...I do not think that many amateurorchestras should attempt this piece. But thenagain, we are trying it. It is a huge undertakingrequiring many forces including 4 soloists and aTerry Kowalczukchoir. The music itself lasts for almost 70minutes. The CCO is unique and it is my hopethat the LGBTTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender,and queer) community appreciates how the CCO adds anotherdimension to the community. ... the community can be proud of agroup that can create great music.”It strikes me as entirely fitting that Counterpoint CommunityOrchestra has chosen to celebrate this anniversary with a choralwork, during the month that WholeNote celebrates as choral month.In our community orchestras and choirs lies the best hope for thismusic to survive and thrive, because it is there that the distinctionsbetween performer and audience break down.I began by mentioning the individual who will replace me aseditor. I must end by mentioning the individual I am replacing aspublisher. Allan Pulker believed in the viability of WholeNote fromthe very beginning, because he sensed the vitality and cohesivenessof the local music community more strongly than anyone else I’veknown. He built our relationships with the music community oneconcert listing at a time, one conversation at a time.I look forward to the opportunity to do the same.David Perlman, publisher@thewholenote.com12 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COMMAY 1 – JUNE 7 2009

BEAT BY BEAT: EARLY MUSICby Frank NakashimaFamily Mahon2009-2010Glenn Gould Studio250 Front St. WestOct 23, 2009LARA ST. JOHN ViolinistHAYDN Quartet op 42VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS The Lark AscendingPIAZZOLA The Four SeasonsTCHAIKOVSKY SerenadeTallis Choir. Peter Mahon is front left.THE NAME Peter Mahon will be familiar to many concert-goers in Toronto,especially if, as I do, you have a love of both choral musicand early music. The affable Mahon has had a dual musical career:as a conductor over the last two decades he has worked with St.James Cathedral, Tafelmusik, the Hart House Singers, and GraceChurch on-the-Hill, as well as being the founder and director of theWilliam Byrd Singers. As a countertenor, over an even longer time,he has appeared with Tafelmusik, Toronto Consort, Aradia Ensemble,Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Pax Christi Chorale, ArborOak Concerts, The Bach-Elgar Choir, The Tallis Choir, The TorontoChamber Choir and The St. James Cathedral Choral Society... .Search the name Mahon in our listings these days, though, andinstead of “Peter” you’re increasingly likely to run across his childrenTeresa, Natalie, Christopher, Andrew, and Rachel. Musiciansall. I suggest to him that, to the casual observer, it might seem thathe and his children are trying to turn Toronto’s early music choralscene into a family affair. He laughs.“I guess we have worked witha fair number of groups ...”Most recently, Peter and baritone son, Andrew, sang shoulder toshoulder in the Toronto Masque Theatre’s production of Henry Purcell’sKing Arthur. This month, Peter will be singing in Tafelmusik’spresentation of Haydn’s Creation (May 29, 31), and conductingthe Tallis Choir in a program of Renaissance choral musicby Palestrina (May 9). Mahon is excited at the prospect of a newmusical experience. “Tallis Choir will be singing the famous MissaPapae Marcelli by Palestrina. Oddly, for a choir that specializes inearly music, it will be the first time that we have performed it.”I ask if being a countertenor led Peter to early music. “The soundof the countertenor is certainly associated with early music and it is asound that I was accustomed to hearing from a very early age. Evenbefore I joined the men and boys choir at St. Thomas’ Huron Street,my parents had played recordings of Alfred Deller for me and, ofcourse, I heard them singing in the choirs at St. Mary Magdalenewith Healey Willan every Sunday. I got a steady diet of Renaissancepolyphony and Gregorian chant.” (We reminisce and laugh about beingthe entire alto section at St. Thomas on Huron.)“I really enjoy rehearsals with my choirs. There is a great senseof working towards a common goal, but having a good time whilewe are doing it. I am enormously grateful to the singers who allowme to stand in front of them and allow me to tell them what to dofor hours at a time. Knowing that, I feel a great responsibility tomake sure that they’re not wasting their time. ... As for early music,it is a form of expression to which I have been exposed even beforeI could talk. I cannot imagine it not being a part of my life. Singingit has always been a fulfilling experience. Conducting a group is anextension of that experience and just takes it to another level.”Mahon has been influenced by many gifted musicians - HealeyWillan, Walter MacNutt, Giles Bryant, Derek Holman, Ivars Taurins,Bernard Labadie, David Fallis, and Christopher Jackson, toname a few.“They all have the ability to inspire those who work forthem and make the job of music-making an absolutely enjoyable andNov 13, 2009ANTONIO DI CRISTOFANO PianistCHAN KA NIN Poetry on IceMOZART Piano Concerto K 449SCHUBERT Death and the MaidenDec 11, 2009CATHERINE MANOUKIAN ViolinistFILIPPO LATTANZI MarimbaPUCCINI Three MinuetsHOVHANESS Violin ConcertoBISCIONE Marimba ConcertoSEJOURNE Vibraphone ConcertoSTRAUSS Die FledermausJan 22, 2010YUVAL FICHMAN PianistSOMERS North CountryCHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2RAVEL Sinfonia in F MajorMar 12, 2010HYUK-JOO KWUN ViolinistSANGWOOK PARK PianistBURGE A Light Fantastic RoundMENDELSSOHN Double ConcertoDVORAK Sinfonia op 105 Apr 9, 2010HEATHER SCHMIDT PianistXIAOHAN GUO ViolinistMOZART Divertimento K 138SAINT-SAENS CapriceWAXMAN Carmen FantasySCHMIDT Piano Concerto No. 6PIAZZOLA Oblivion and Four for TangoSHOSTAKOVICH Prelude and ScherzoMay 14, 2010SHAUNA ROLSTONCellistPUCCINI CrisantemiCHAN KA NIN SoulmateSCHMIDT Cello ConcertoTCHAIKOVSKY NocturneTCHAIKOVSKY Valse SentimentaleBRAHMS Sextet in G Major op. 347 concerts for 9 adult, 9 senior, student416 499 0403 off at www.sinfoniatoronto.comCONTINUES NEXT PAGEMAY 1 – JUNE 7 2009 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM13

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