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Volume 14 - Issue 8 - May 2009

After this last of the

After this last of the Hannaford concerts, a few of us, all involvedin music, adjourned to a local restaurant. There the conversationfound its way around to what might be termed the etiquette and decorumof the rehearsal. The number one pet peeve of all present wastalking during rehearsal. This was closely followed by foot tapping,especially when out of synch with the conductor, and chewing gum.Also scoring high marks for slowing the progress of a rehearsal isthe individual whose music is chronically out of order. The entiregroup must sit on their hands and wait.High on my personal list of unacceptable rehearsal conduct is thatof members answering questions directed to the conductor. Theseindividuals seem to presume that they are better qualified than theconductor to answer another member’s question. In one instance inmy experience, I had no fewer than five such responses to my questionwhich drowned out the answer of the conductor. Since sarcasmis one service I am wont to provide with little provocation, I respondedwith. “In case you hadn’t noticed, my question was directedto the director of music; I would like to be able to hear his response.”Needless to say that was not well received by my selfappointedbenefactors.So much for rehearsal conduct; what about the decorum of performerswhile on stage? One of my most vivid recollections is of aperformance at the old grandstand at the CNE. All of us were appropriatelyattired in our black “gig suits” and white shirts. Alas, onemember, clearly visible from the audience, had decided that brightorange socks would be just fine. Others in the group had a differentopinion.I am a firm believer that people listen with their eyes as well astheir ears. Visual distractions can colour one’s perceptions of a performancequite significantly. Whether it’s the facial expressions ofthe soprano, awaiting her entry, grimacing with every change inmood of the work, or of the tenor badly in need of a new vest, havingoutgrown the old one. At a recent Easter season performance ofa major choral work which I attended, all soloists were providedwith bottles of water which they consumed periodically during theperformance. In my mind, if they are going to so blatantly advertiseone particular brand of bottled water, perhaps they should ask thebottler to act as a sponsor in return for their strong testimonial. Onseeing one or more soloists tipping up bottles during more solemnmoments, I half expected a commercial announcement stating “thiscrucifixion is sponsored by the ABC water company.”Andrew Chung, ConductorSymphonicSketchesSunday, June 7, 20092:30 p.m.Church of St. Mary Magdalene477 Manning St., TorontoTickets: Seniors/StudentsFree for Children 12 and underTickets available at the DoorFor me, the crowning distractionduring a concert performancetook place about a year ago. Inthe midst of a major number onthe programme, a member of thegroup sitting in front of mepicked up a cell phone and begantext-messaging while on stageduring a performance. It’s truethat he had a few bars rest, but itwasn’t easy for those of behindthe culprit to remain focused onthe music we were playing.Coming Events - Please see thelistings section for full detailsSunday, May 3, 10:45 am, theMetropolitan Silver Band 75thAnniversaryFriday, May 8, 8:00 pm, theEtobicoke Community ConcertBand, ConcertSaturday, May 9, 7:30 pm, theNorthdale Concert Band, ConcertPlease write to us:bandstand@thewholenote.comBEAT BY BEAT: ON OPERAby Christopher HoileBeyond the shadow of a doubtThe undoubted operatic highlight of May is the world premiere ofthe The Shadow by Omar Daniel to a libretto by Alex Poch-Goldin.The work is presented by Tapestry New Opera Works and featuresbaritone Theodore Baerg, counter-tenorScott Belluz, soprano Carla Huhtanen, tenorKeith Klassen and baritone PeterMcGillivray.The story concerns Raoul (McGillivray) asimple mailman who fantasizes aboutmarrying the beautiful Allegra (Huhtanen), thedaughter of a wealthy gentleman on his route.In his daydreams, he becomes “Hernando,” adashing figure of the night, who tells Allegrathat he is a wealthy merchant. With “help”from the local Don (Baerg), Raoul succeedsin his transformation and successfully woosthe beautiful Allegra. But when Raoul can’tpayback the Don, the mysterious Shadow(Belluz) begins to follow him. The theme ofliving beyond one’s means on borrowedmoney could hardly be more relevant.Via e-mail correspondence the composerand librettist helped shed light on thegenesis and nature of the project. Wellknownactor and playwright Poch-Goldinwrote the original story inspired by an articlehe read about the Mafia in turn-of-thecentury Barcelona.Alex Poch-Goldin (above)& Omar Daniel“For those who owed money to the Mafia,” explains Poch-Goldin,“instead of sending someone out to break your legs, theywould send out a ‘Shadow’ to find you. The Shadow wouldsuddenly appear, dressed handsomely in tails and a top hat, anddeclare to anyone in the street that you owed money, had welchedon your payment and were a worthless person because of it. TheShadow would declare you publicly untrustworthy and destroy yourreputation. He would follow you around, hounding you until youTORONTO’S PREMIERE MUSICAL THEATRE presentsA MUSICAL ABOUT MUSICALSand the backstage story of A CHORUS LINEFAIRVIEW LIBRARY THEATRE35 Fairview Mall Dr., Sheppard/Don Mills.May 27 to June 13 TICKETS to .5020 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COMMAY 1 – JUNE 7 2009

epaid the debt. The humiliation would grow so intense that youwould do anything to pay it back. It sounded pretty horrific. Ithought throw in a little romance, some betrayal and a bit of greedand it would make great opera.”Poch-Goldin’s story is rich in implications. At work in Barcelonaat the time was fantastic Art Nouveau architect Antonio Gaudí(1852-1926), whose buildings both incorporate animal-like structureand seem to be caught in the midst of dissolving. Poch-Goldin saysthat this weirdness seems to reflect Raoul’s state of mind. The storyalso plays with duplicity both real and metaphorical. The “Shadow”as a concept has strong links to Jungian psychology, as the darkside of the self. He is “the person who we wish to be, that resideswithin us, slipping out and wreaking havoc, the dream destroyingthe waking life. And while the Shadow is an actual figure in the operato me, there is a case to be made that he is a figment of Raoul’simagination.”To capture these ideas, Daniel, Associate Professor of music theoryand composition at the University of Western Ontario, says thathe wanted to create an “expressionistic musical world,” one that depictsthe world as viewed or distorted by the mind of an individual.Daniel says that he took his favourite opera, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck(1925), as his model. He notes, “I wanted to avoid what I considera pitfall of modern opera: endless speech-like vocal lines. I was determinedto create real ‘songs’ for the performers, along with recitativesto advance the plot.”Daniel credits the idea for using a counter-tenor to play theShadow to conductor Wayne Strongman and director Tom Diamond.There is a “subliminal” influenceof Spanish music appropriate tothe setting, but, “overall there isan ornate, somewhat baroqueenergy, along with rich andcomplex harmonies that characterizethe musical language(reflective of Gaudianarchitecture).” At the same time,he “wanted to temper the dense,complex nature of Expressionismwith representations of the worldoutside the characters” withmusical forms (e.g., the bolero)more familiar to the listener.Though it is a chamber opera,Daniel wanted “as muchinstrumental colour and pitch rangeas possible.” The orchestra iscomposed of trumpet, violin, cello,clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, organand “lots of percussion notnecessarily for volume, but forcolour.” Performances take place atthe Berkeley Street TheatreDownstairs from May 21-30.Phone 416-368-3110 for tickets orvisit www.tapestrynewopera.com.Meanwhile, we should notethat from May 5 to 23 the COCis presenting its first mainstageproduction of Britten’s AMidsummer Night’s Dream(1960). Also, Opera by Request,www. operabyrequest.ca), theonly Toronto company where thesingers choose the repertoire, willpresent concert versions of tworarities: Mozart’s La Clemenza diTito (1791) on May 23 andBellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi(1830) on May 27, bothconducted by William Shookhoffat College Street United Church.ALL THE KING’S VOICES 17AMADEUS CHOIR 44AMICI 11,27AMOROSO 44ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE 32ASSOCIATES OF THE TSO 32ATMA 5BACH CHILDREN’S CHORUS 26BLOOR CINEMA 54BLUE BRIDGE FESTIVAL 37CANADIAN CHILDREN’S OPERA COMPANY 7,43CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY 12CANCLONE SERVICES 47CATHEDRAL BLUFFS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 34CHRIST CHURCH DEER PARK JAZZ VESPERS 17CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO 28CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE 35CHURCH OF ST. STEPHEN (DOWNSVIEW) 34CIVIC LIGHT OPERA 21CLASSICAL 96.3FM 55COSMO MUSIC 19COUNTERPOINT COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA 34DIANA MACINTOSH 29DUANE ANDREWS 24EARWITNESS PRODUCTIONS 34EAST YORK CHOIR 37ELMER ISELER SINGERS 24ENSEMBLE TRYPTYCH 33ETOBICOKE YOUTH CHOIR 45EXULTATE SINGERS 29FIRST UNITARIAN CONGREGATION 37GALLERY PLAYERS OF NIAGARA 51 INDEX OF ADVERTISERSGEORG HEINL 16HAMILTON CHILDREN’S CHOIR 42HARKNETT MUSICAL SERVICES 19HARMONY SINGERS 33HELICONIAN HALL 45HIGH PARK CHOIRS 31JUBILATE SINGERS 36,41KINDRED SPIRITS ORCHESTRA 43LONG & MCQUADE 19MASON AND HAMLIN 11MONTREAL BAROQUE FESTIVAL 10MUSIC AT SHARON 16MUSICA ST. JAMES 39MUSIC GALLERY 33MUSIC ON THE HILL 28MUSIC TORONTO 9NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE 7NATIONAL JAZZ AWARDS 18NEW ADVENTURES IN SOUND ART 22NORTH YORK CONCERT BAND 34NORTH YORK CONCERT ORCHESTRA 36OAKVILLE CHILDREN’S CHOIR 30OPERA BY REQUEST 20,30OPERA-IS 54ORCHESTRA TORONTO 32ORCHESTRAS MISSISSAUGA 16ORGANIX 4ORIANA WOMEN’S CHOIR 26ORPHEUS CHOIR 26OXFORD CHURCH MUSIC 17PASQUALE BROS. 47PAX CHRISTI CHORALE 17 TOM DIAMONDWAYNE STRONGMANCAMELLIA KOOROBERT THOMSONCARLA HUHTANENPETER MCGILLIVRAYSCOTT BELLUZKEITH KLASSENand THEODORE BAERG PETER MAHON 19PHILHARMONIC MUSIC LTD. 45RCCO 4RCM 42REMENYI 15SAINT BLAISE 30SILVERTHORN SYMPHONIC WINDS 20SINFONIA TORONTO 13,25SOUND POST 16SOUNDSTREAMS 56ST OLAVE’S CHURCH 37ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL 30ST. MARK’S PRESBYTERIAN 44TAFELMUSIK 2TALLIS CHOIR 27TAPESTRY NEW OPERA 21TORONTO ALL-STAR BIG BAND 19TORONTO CHILDREN’S CHORUS 37,41TORONTO CHORAL SOCIETY 31TORONTO CLASSICAL SINGERS 23TORONTO JEWISH FOLK CHOIR 35TORONTO OPERA REPERTOIRE 44TORONTO SINFONIETTA 43TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 3VIA SALZBURG 36VICTORIA SCHOLARS 37VILLAGE VOICES 30VIVA! YOUTH SINGERS 31WALLY HAUPT TRAVEL MARKETING INC. 43WENDY LIMBERTIE 45WINDERMERE QUARTET 27WOMEN’S MUSICAL CLUB 14MAY 1 – JUNE 7 2009 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM21PHOTOS (L–R) CARLA HUHTANEN, PETER MCGILLIVRAY,SCOTT BELLUZ, KEITH KLASSEN AND THEODORE BAERGGRAPHIC DESIGN ROSSIGNOL & ASSOCIATES

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