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Volume 16 Issue 3 - November 2010

  • Text
  • November
  • December
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra
  • Choral

ies’ An Evening with

ies’ An Evening with Bach. You’llhear a whole world unfolding inViolin SonataBWV 1014, tender joy wovenby soprano and cello in the aria“Öffne dich, mein ganzes Herze”(from Cantata BWV 61), and anengaging gigue with an easy swingin the Trio Sonata BWV 1040, aswell as other gems for baroqueoboe, recorder, soprano voice,baroque violin, harpsichord andbaroque cello. This concert takesplace on November 13 at EastminsterUnited Church.Anyone who’s been to a TorontoConsort performance knows Laura Pudwell – her marvellous-Laura Pudwell.in their concerts and in performances (from early music to contemporary)in Southern Ontario and internationally. With some friendsof hers (Julie Baumgartel, baroque violin, Margaret Gay, baroquecello and Lucas Harris, archlute), she’ll be presenting “Laura Pudwelland Friends.” This performance is a presentation of Classics atthe Registry, and it takes place in Kitchener on November 14.Scaramella’s mission (or one of its missions) is to bring togetherdiverse expressions of art and in so doing, reveal much about theconnections that lie between them. In “Old World/New World,” the-High art-music of 16th and 17th century France and Spain is juxtaposedwith folk music from Brazil and Canada, much of which hasonly survived in oral form, transmitted from one generation to thenext. The concert takes place in Victoria College Chapel – a stunningplace to hear combinations of baroque guitar, recorders, harpsichord,violas da gamba and voice – on November 20.The Community Baroque Orchestra of Toronto is perhaps theonly community orchestra in Canada that dedicates itself to playingbaroque music on period instruments. (If anyone knows of othersuch groups, would you please be in touch?) CBOT performs twicethis month, with violinist Patricia Ahern as soloist in the Bach ViolinConcerto in A Minor, and also with music by Muffat and Lully.and their second in Bloor West Village on November 28.A glance at early December reveals that two choral concertsoccur (alas!) on the evening of December 4: Cantemus Singers’“Welcome Yule” (Sweelinck, Praetorius, Byrd, Schütz, Renaissanceand Medieval carols) in Toronto’s east end (repeated later in Decemberin the west end), and Toronto Chamber Choir’s “O MagnumMysterium” (Palestrina, Monteverdi, Vivaldi) at Christ Church DeerPark. Not an easy choice!For details of all these, and a whole range of other concerts,consult The WholeNote’s concert listings.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities, who plays the viola da gamba. She can becontacted at earlymusic@thewholenote.com.20 thewholenote.comNovember 1 - December 7, 2010

Rarities Old and NewCHRISTOPHER HOILEMajor productions from the Canadian Opera Company andOpera Atelier continue into November. But there are alsonumerous productions from the smaller companies that givethe Toronto opera scene so much diversity and vibrancy.Opera by Request will present a concert revival of Genoveva(1850), Robert Schumann’s only opera. Schumann, most famous todayfor his piano music, four symphonies, and his amazing output ofLieder, always nourished the dream of a “German opera.” Genovevais based on a medieval legend concerning Genevieve of Brabant. Ittells of Genoveva, the chaste wife of Siegfried of Trier, falsely accusedof adultery by his servant Golo in revenge for rejecting his advances.Siegfried eventually discovers Golo’s deception and restoreshis wife’s honour. Richard Wagner told Schumann the libretto wasundramatic, and the negative criticism of the work at its premierediscouraged Schumann from ever writing another opera.Nevertheless, various recent revivals have often been enthusiasticallyreceived. Conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt stated, “Genovevais a work of art for which one should be prepared to go to the barricades,”and the DVD he recorded at the Zurich Opera House in2008 has brought many over to the cause.The Opera by Request presentation will feature artistic directorWilliam Shookhoff at the piano accompanying Doug MacNaughtonas Siegfried, Lenard Whiting as Golo and Mila Iankova asGenoveva. This will be only the second time the work has been per-Whiting and MacNaughton also sang their respective roles.Asked why the work has remained a rarity, Shookhoff ad-Guillermo Silva-Marin, General Directorwww.torontooperetta.comJohann Strauss’Diemits that it could be “dramaticallystronger,” but says, “Perhapsbecause the initial productionswere beset with problems, and becauseSchumann had no reputationas an opera composer, it waseasy for the work to be ignored.”MacNaughton adds that “Schumanndidn’t have the time nor theenergy to be a relentless self promoterlike Richard Wagner.” Bothare convinced of the work’s importance.MacNaughton calls it“the missing link between Weberand Wagner.” Shookhoff notesVilma Vitols.that “The piece is musically very powerful, and Schumann’s uniqueorchestrations, often unfairly maligned, carry the day. It is a perfectquartet opera, where each of the four principals is given ariasof exquisite beauty (Schumann’s gift as a composer of song comesthrough), as well as well-constructed ensembles that reach powerfulclimaxes. The choral writing is on a par with Schumann’s best choralworks.”Take this rare opportunity to judge for yourself and attend theNovember 17 performance at University of Toronto, ScarboroughCampus or the November 20 performance at Trinity PresbyterianYork Mills, 2737 Bayview Avenue, at Highway 401. For more informationvisit www.operabyrequest.ca.Moving to the present, Urbanvessel follows its acclaimed sewing-machineopera Stitch, with the world premiere of Voice-Box.The piece was inspired by the unusual combination of talents ofmezzo-soprano Vilma Vitols, known from her appearances withOpera Atelier, but who is also an accomplished boxer. Compos-voice and body are both challenged. The audience gets a great senseHonorary Patron Werner Brandstetter, Austrian AmbassadorA must for yourHoliday Entertainmentcalendar!Fledermaus(The Revenge of the Bat)Derek Bate, ConductorGuillermo Silva-Marin, Stage Directorstarring Laura Albino, Lucia Cesaroni, Keith Klassen, Adam Luther,Lise Maher and Gregory FinneyDecember 28, 29, 31 * , 2010& January 5, 7, 8, 2011 at 8 pmJanuary 2 & 9, 2011 at 2 pm* Ask about our New’s Year’s Eve Gala ,Dinner & Party at the HotHouse CaféPHOTO GIULIO MURATORIMedia Sponsor:416-366-7723 1-800-708-6754 www.stlc.comNovember 1 - December 7, 2010 thewholenote.com 21

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