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Volume 15 Issue 10 - July/August 2010

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East Meets Westc h r i S

East Meets Westc h r i S t o p h E r h o i l EThis summer offers standard operatic repertoire with piano accompanimentfrom Summer Opera Lyric Theatre as well as somequite unusual works of music theatre. This year SOLT ( is presenting “Carmen Flamenco,” a flamenco-infused adaptationof Bizet’s opera produced in association with the Arte FlamencoSpanish Dance Company. It plays July 30, 31, August 4 and 7, withMichael Rose as music director and pianist. Playing with it in repertoryis Mozart’s Don Giovanni on August 1, 4, 6 and 7, with DavidEliakis as pianist and music director; and a double-bill of Manuel deFalla’s La Vida breve, and scenes from Spanish opera and zarzuelaentitled “Viva España” on July 31, August 3, 5 and 8. All performancestake place at the intimate Robert Gill Theatre on the Universityof Toronto campus.In the past Toronto Summer Music ( has included opera in its varied schedule. This year it offers anevening of bunraku, one of the three traditional Japanese forms oftheatre, along with kabuki and noh. While half life-size puppets aremanipulated by three puppeteers, a narrator accompanied by shamisen,shakuhachi, koto and percussion chants a description of the actionand sings the parts of all the characters. For anyone who sawRobert Lepage’s production of “The Nightingale and Other ShortFables” at the COC last fall, experiencing bunraku will provide insightinto one of Lepage’s primary sources of inspiration. For thisperformance, the Imada Puppet Troupe from Japan combines forceswith the Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe from the USA to present anevening of five short plays on July 22 at the MacMillan Theatre.Also combining the worlds of East and West will be a world premierefrom Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company ( entitled “Beauty Dissolves in aBrief Hour – A Triptych,” playing July 29-31 at the Young Centre.The evening comprises three chamber-operas in three languages bythree Canadian composers. All three deal with the theme of love andare scored for soprano (Xin Wang), mezzo-soprano (Krisztina Szabó)and accordion (John Lettieri). Fuhong Shi sets the Tang dynastypoem Spring, River and Flowers on a Moonlit Night, about the inconstancyof love. John Rea’s Beauty Dissolves in a Brief Hour is a versionin English of Italian baroque poetry about love from the woman’spoint of view. Pierre Klanac’s text are the poems Jeux à vendre ofChristine de Pisan. All three are presented in a unified productiondirected by RuthMadoc-Jones anddesigned by MichaelGianfrancesco,highlightingthe links among thethree works.The ClassicalMusic Consortand Opera Erraticabring us a mashupnot only of culturesAshiq Aziz conducts Orlando/Lunaire.but time-periodswith their “Orlando/Lunaire,” playing August 22-28. The productionplays off Handel’s 1773 opera Orlando against Arnold Schoenberg’s1912 Pierrot Lunaire: while the two works are written in radicallydifferent styles, both explore themes of madness and longing.As the CMC/OE press-release explains it, the juxtaposition of baroqueharmony and structure with 20th-century atonalism, “seeks to helpus hear both forms anew.” The site-specific production will take placein an industrial shed at 128 Sterling Rd., and features counter-tenorScott Belluz and soprano Tracey Smith-Bessette. Ashiq Aziz will conductthe 12-member CMC ensemble from the harpsichord, while directorand designer Patrick Eakin Young will create video projectionsto complement his staging. Toronto fashion designer Heidi Ackermanwill design the costumes. Visit for more information,and to see a clip from the company’s acclaimed productionof Dido and Aeneas last year.Beside the productions mentioned above, there are many operas atfestivals outside Canada I had planned to see – but it appears my dutiesas a theatre critic for Eye Weekly and Stage Door will keep meconfined to Ontario this summer. While the Stratford Festival has anunprecedented four musicals on its schedule, the musical I look forwardto most is the 1943 rarity One Touch of Venus at the Shaw Festival(May 28-October 10) by Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash. The greatadvantage of musicals staged at the Royal George Theatre is that theyare not amplified.Other operas worth seeking out within a day’s drive of Torontoare Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land (1954) and Handel’s Tolomeo(1728) at Glimmerglass Opera ( July 10-August23; Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang (1912) at the Bard MusicFestival ( July 30-August 6; and JohnPhilip Sousa’s operetta El Capitan (1896) at the Ohio Light Opera( July 15-August 6.Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. Hecan be contacted at: O R K U N I V E R S I T YPIANO SALEAUG 19–22, 2010www.pianosales.caDon’t miss this opportunity to own a piano at incredible prices!Brands:SteinwayMason & HamlinHeintzmanYamahaKawaiYoung ChangWeberYork University Department of Music ishosting a piano sale at Keele Campus. Morethan 100 pianos will be available: uprights,grands, digital pianos and more available inmany sizes and finishes.This sale is only available once a year!To book an appointment, visit ourwebsite or call us: (416) 461–1237York University 4700 Keele St.Accolade Building Room 231 & 235ANNUALSALE!14 THEWHOLENOTE.COMJuly 1 - September 7, 2010

p u b L I S h E r ’ S p E r c hFour Seasons, After AllD a v I D p E r L m a NAs my colleague Eatock pointed out in his blog awhile back, The Four Seasons Centre for the PerfomingArts (or FSCPA as it is more elegantlyknown) has joined the ranks of opera houses with beehiveson its roof.I knew chaos would follow. But who knew how much?At first I thought it was just the vuvuzelas. Nope.It was Four Seasons bees, using the World Cup vuvusas cover, buzzing east to Allen Gardens, south toTedsDome, west to the McDonalds at Queen and Spadina.North as far as Queen’s Park. Flying through barricadesas if they just weren’t there.So that’s what all the whacking of truncheons on riotshields was for, this past weekend. Large scale rhythmicthumping to disrupt the bees’ usual homing devices. Andit worked. Not one world leader got stung (by bees) in Torontoduring the weekend of our shaming.But why was I mentioning FSCPA in the first ...? Ohyes, now I remember. Different bee in my bonnet: It hasalways been a snarky comment’s-worth that the so-calledFour Seasons Centre was shut up tight as a drum for thesummer. Well, not any more .... read on.Dancap’s FSCPA Summer ForayWhen yoiu think of it, it’s canny programming by Toronto’s“other” major music theatre entrepreneur. If youcontinues on page 27O N L I N EShine On,Maureen Forresterm J b u E L LSAYING NOTHING FELT unimaginable, but Iworried that by the time The WholeNote hit thestands there’d be very little not already said.“Her embodiment of earth-mother, reigning queenand good sport made her the shining model of whatCanadians want a diva to be...An authentic celebrity,she touched the Canadian nerve as no othersinger of her time had done.”Those words are from Ken Winters’ movingGlobe & Mail article on June 16 – and they inspiredthe idea that The WholeNote’s own communitywould share a wealth of memories.So I asked my mom, WholeNote reader NedraBuell. Here’s what she recalled:“Although I heard her many, many times in concert over the years, my memoryof what she sang is gone. I do remember, however, when I was maybe only 13or 14, she sang on ‘Opportunity Knocks,’ hosted by John Adaskin I think. It wasa talent contest, and she won first prize. I was of course supposed to be in bedasleep, but I had a little radio beside my bed and always listened to it sneakily.”Encouraged, I asked famous and not-so-famous folks how they rememberMaureen. Please enjoy what they said by visiting And we inviteyou to share your own special recollections for publication online at“The finest theatre company in thehistory of Toronto” – national postwhat the bulter saw illustration: brian staufferJITTERSDAVID FRENCHJUNE 24 – JULY 24A MONTH INTHE COUNTRYIVAN TURGENEVADAPTED BY SUSAN COYNE& LÁSZLÓ MARTONJULY 6 – AUGUST 7WHAT THEBUTLER SAWJOE ORTONAUGUST 19 – SEPTEMBER 18DOCSHARON POLLOCKAUGUST 19 – SEPTEMBER 18PLAY WITH US FOR THE SUMMERBUY A 4 TICKET PASS AND SAVE!2010 lead sponsorsJuly 1 - September 7, 2010 THEWHOLENOTE.COM 15

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