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Volume 16 Issue 9 - June 2011

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of enthusiastic stories,

of enthusiastic stories, from whichI’ve distilled just a little here:relates how TBSI teachers guidedher in moving from the modern“Eventually it became clear thatthe best way to learn how to playa period instrument is throughimmersion in baroque playing andstyle, which is exactly what TBSIprovides. Two weeks of havingnothing but well-played early musicin my ears was exactly what Ineeded to help me understand thatbaroque music was not dry andacademic like I’d previously beentaught, but vibrant and alive. AfterTBSI, I traded my silver for wood,my keys for pure intervals, and never looked back since!”Elizabeth Loewen Andrews, baroque violinist, tells of the journeythat led her through TBSI and Jeune Orchestre Atlantique to professionalwork with Aradia Ensemble, the Windermere String Quartetand Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra as an extra, and concludes: “So,how has TBSI impacted my musical and professional life? Prettymuch in every way! It started me on the road to a much more diverseperformance career, opened my mind and ears to a different worldyears of my career. My life today would certainly not be the samewithout that summer!”From soprano Johane Ansell: “The major impact that TBSI hasmade on my musical life: not only did it assist my solo performanceskills but it also encouraged and facilitated the development of myensemble singing, which is a useful skill to have and is applicable inall facets of vocal singing, not limited to early music singing. It isalso one of the few programs that emphasize the study of the differ-as well as the styles of different composers such as Bach, Lully andHandel. There is a reason people return to TBSI to participate morethan once: it is a unique program with a LOT to offer and you get towork with the best in the business.”Baroque violinist Alice Culin-Ellison says: “This will be myperformance techniques of how to hold the instrument (chin off withno chin or shoulder rest). I have nothing but fantastic things to sayabout TBSI. It led me to be in the process of getting my mastersin early music (violin) and I have recommended it to many, manypeople, at least three of whom are attending this summer due to myrecommendation.”Even if you aren’t planning to participate as a student inTBSI, you can participate as an auditor of individual classes, fullBROTTMUSIC FESTIVALpresentsBEETHOVEN, BURLINGTON, & BROTT!SAT. JUNE 11 SAT. JUNE 18 SAT. JUNE 25 THURS. JUNE 30SOMMERVILLEBEETHOVEN:THE VIOLINPlays STRAUSS CONCERTOBEETHOVEN’SFIFTH!TBSI in session.Concerts location: ST. CHRISTOPHERS ANGLICAN CHURCH, BURLINGTON, 7:30 PMTickets (reg) (sr) (stu) *Reserved Section: Add per ticketTickets 905.525.7664 l www.brottmusic.comBeethoven:the Emperordays or the events of the entireinstitute. There are also four publicor student performers, on June 3,TheWholeNote’s festival listings or atOTHERSJust north of Newmarket lies abuilding of exquisite proportions,a National Historic Site known asSharon Temple. Its interior space,with beautiful acoustical ambiance,is a natural venue for music (and wasintended so by the Children of Peace,who built it). For several years nowit’s been the home of a summer concertseries, and this year co-artisticfour run throughout June. Early music is featured in two of these.On June 5, celebrated countertenor Daniel Taylor brings his Theatreof Early Music to perform arias and duets by Handel. On June 26,the Toronto Consort presents their programme “Shakespeare’sSongbook”, featuring songs and dances from the plays of the immortalbard. A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, I’d say.The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto is famous as theplace where composer Healey Willan focused much of his musicallife, directing and composing for the choir and adding his musicalvoice to the Anglican liturgy for over 45 years. A new Friday eveningconcert series entitled, “Concerts Spirituels,” is beginning at thechurch which, as artistic director Stephanie Martin says, hopes tokeep Willan’s dream alive by continuing the tradition of singing andplaying wonderful music. Three concerts are planned – June 3, 10and 17 – each featuring an a cappella renaissance mass (Victoria,Guerrero and Palestrina), a baroque chamber ensemble and organmusic played on the three manual Healey Willan Memorial Organ.FOILEDIsn’t it just the luck! You write enthusiastically about the pendingappearance of a special artist, then an injury prevents the concert– the whole North American tour! – from happening! The concertby Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya,that was discussed in last month’s column, and was supposed tohave taken place at Koerner Hall, was cancelled, as you probablyall know. But all being well, it will happen on March 1 of next year,and be enthusiastically heralded again in this column.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNotein several capacities who plays the viola da gamba.She can be contacted at earlymusic@thewholenote.com.*intermission sponsored by Denningers14 thewholenote.comJune 1 – July 7, 2011GARY BEECHY

Pudding’s Ready!CHRISTOPHER HOILEOpera in Toronto no longer ends with the close of the CanadianOpera Company’s season. This month sees the world premiereof Svadba – Wedding, a new a cappella opera by Montrealcomposer Ana Sokolovic commissioned by Queen of PuddingsMusic Theatre.Any opera by Queen of Puddings is an event,especially when it is on a large scale, this timeinvolving six singers. According to the QoPpress release, Svadba – Wedding “takes placewedding. Her girlfriends keep her company allnight long and engage in raucous girltalk, invokingpagan rituals as they prepare her for theimpending wedding. What elevates this ‘girltalk’to a supernaturally exhilarating experience isAna Sokolovic’s style of composition. Usingand traditions as her text source, she drawson her native Balkan folk music as a source ofinspiration for all her music. She transformsthe music and text into her own unique onomatopoeiclanguage and transports listeners toa world of magic realism. The singers have touse every single possible vocal technique – combining opera singingwith Balkan folk singing, overtones, extreme chest voice, heightenednasal voice, whispering, creating a wildly inventive intense paletteof colours.”This is Sokolovic’s fourth collaboration with QoP after LoveSongs (2008), The Midnight Court (2005) and Six Voices for Sirens(2000). Born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1968, she studied compositionwith Dusan Radic and Zoran Eric. She completed a master’s degreeat the Université de Montréal under the direction of José Evangelista.Her catalogue includes orchestral and piano works and severalchamber music compositions, and she has written numerous scoresfor the theatre. This year she has been unanimously chosen by theSMCQ (Société de musique contemporaine du Québec) for its 2011-2012 season Homage Series. This season the entire Québec culturalcommunity will recognize and celebrate the work of Ana Sokolovicby programming her music.Via e-mail, Dáirine Ní Mheadhra, co-founder with John Hessof QoP, writes of Sokolovic and her inspiration for this new work:“The genesis of Svadba was Sirens, that ten minute work for sixfemale voices we commissioned from Ana in 2000. We adoredthat work and anyone who heard it has never forgotten it and we’vePreviously from QoP/Sokolovic,The Midnight Court: Krisztina Szabó.performed it many times since. She used Balkan vocal techniquesin Sirens, something akin to what you hear in that famous Bulgarianwomen’s choir, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. While we’ve commissionedother works from Ana since 2000, we’ve always wantedto revisit a full-length scenario for six female voices in which Anawould again be drawn towards Balkan vocal techniques, as shealways is when writing vocal music.”“Balkan folkloric music has always been the inspiration for allof her music. Love Songs included three Serbian poems, and nowin Svadba she has come full circle as it’s completely in Serbian. Shehad the idea of really exploring Balkan literature and folk texts forSvadba and the wedding rituals and texts were the ones that caughther attention. She spent time in Belgrade poring over hundreds oftexts. While Ana lives in Montreal, married toa Québécois with two Canadian children, she isnever far from her Serbian background in herart. Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces (a choral balletfrom 1923 based on Russian wedding lyrics)may not have been Svadba’s immediate inspirationbut it was probably there subliminally.”In answer to questions about thenature of Svadba as opera, Ní Mheadhra says,“Svadba is more about ritual than narrative,although it does unfold in seven consecutivescenes where the bride and her girlfriendsstay up all night long before the impendingwedding as they prepare her for the ceremony.It includes scenes like colouring her hair,bathing her in the hammam, dressing her,etc., leading to the farewell, and the music iscompletely onomatopoeic. The catharsis is aset up by those female voices singing nasally pushes into the farreaches of your cranium and makes your head buzz and your bodyvibrate so much that you feel totally exhilarated! It’s primal stuffand communicates so viscerally that you want more and more andmore … which is after all how those Sirens could lure those sailorsonto the rocks with their sound that was so seductive!”Svadba will be sung in Serbian with English surtitles. The cast iscomprised of singers Jacqueline Woodley, Shannon Mercer, LauraAlbino, Carla Huhtanen, Andrea Ludwig and Krisztina Szabó, underthe music direction of Dáirine Ní Mheadhra. The creative team consistsof stage director Michael Cavanagh, set and costume designerMichael Gianfrancesco and lighting designer Kimberly Purtell.Performances take place in Toronto June 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 and July2 at the Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs. For tickets phone 416-about Ana Sokolovic, see www.anasokolovic.com and for more aboutQueen of Puddings see www.queenofpuddingsmusictheatre.com.Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera andtheatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.GUNTAR KRAVISNEW OPERAWelcome to Tapestry, the home to new opera.WATERFALLNEW OPERA Maja Ardal LIBRETTISTNorbert Palej COMPOSERSHOWCASEExcerpts from 4 new worksJUNE 14 7:30PM & JUNE 15 6:30PMERNEST BALMERSTUDIO,DISTILLERY HISTORICDISTRICT, TORONTOM’DEA UNDONEMarjorie Chan LIBRETTISTJohn Harris COMPOSERSCENES FROM ANOLD GLASGOW PUBDavid Brock LIBRETTISTGareth Williams COMPOSERRUTHMichael Lewis MacLennan LIBRETTISTJeffrey Ryan COMPOSERTom Diamond DRAMATURGEWayne Strongman MUSIC DRAMATURGESINGERSNeema BickerstethXin WangKimberly BarberHeather JewsonKeith KlassenChristopher MayellPeter McGillivrayCurtis SullivanSINGLE TICKETS: REGULAR PRICE STUDENTS& ARTS WORKERSCALL416.537.6066 x222OR GO TOtapestrynewopera.comWAYNE STRONGMANMANAGING ARTISTIC DIRECTORPHOTOGRAPHY BYBrian Mosoffwww.brianmosoff.comYou can find us onJune 1 – July 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 15

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