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Volume 17 Issue 10 - July/August 2012

  • Text
  • August
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • September
  • Festivals
  • Theatre
  • Quartet
  • Concerts
  • Musical

Beat by Beat | Art of

Beat by Beat | Art of SongSong AplentyHANS DE GROOTThere was a time, not so very long ago, when Toronto in the summerwas a cultural desert and if one wanted to see or hear anything,one had to go to the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-theLakeor to Stratford for either the Stratford Shakespeare Festival or StratfordSummer Music. That changed when Soulpepper began its summerseason and when the Toronto Summer Music Festival opened. Thisyear the festival will present two outstanding singers: the bass-baritoneGerald Finley and the tenor Colin Ainsworth.Finley has sung in opera and in concert in many cities: he is especiallywell known as a Mozart singer, particularly in the role of CountAlmaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and the title role in Don Giovanni,both of which he has performed in many of the world’s leadingopera houses. He has also sung the title role in Tchaikovsky’s EugeneOnegin at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Hans Sachs inWagner’s Die Meistersinger at Glyndebourne. As a recitalist he is especiallywell known for his performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe.In recent years he performed in Toronto twice: in May 2010 he gave arecital with the pianist Julius Drake (Schumann, Ravel, Barber, Ives)and last February he took part in the Aldeburgh Connection’s 30thanniversary gala. Finley’s recital for this year’s Toronto Summer Musicis on July 18 at 7:30pm (Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory) when heand pianist Stephen Ralls will perform a recital that begins with CarlLoewe and ends with Benjamin Britten. Finley will also give a masterclass(July 19 at 10am, Walter Hall, U of T Faculty of Music). He willsing baritone arias at Westben in Campbellford on July 22 at 2pm. Hehas made a number of CDs and DVDs. I would particularly recommendthe DVD of the Helsinki productionof Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin.This opera was done by the COC lastseason (the baritone part was taken byRussell Braun). Although musically theToronto performance was also very good,it was hampered by too busy a production;by contrast the Helsinki productionby Peter Sellars was much sparerand that brought out the tragic qualityof the story much better. Finley willbe back in Toronto in May 2013 to singin Brahms’ German Requiem with theToronto Symphony.Colin Ainsworth is a tenor with ahigh and remarkably full voice. HeGerald Finley.is especially known for his performancesin French baroque opera; manyreaders will have heard his stunning performance in Lully’s Armidewith Opera Atelier last season. His repertoire is much wider, however,than my introduction suggests: he is a frequent performer at theconcerts mounted by the Aldeburgh Connection and there he singsa very different repertoire. I am told that in December 2010 he sang(at very short notice) a wonderful performance of Schubert’s DieSchöne Müllerin at the Arts and Letters Club. On August 2 at 7:30pmAinsworth will perform, with the Nash Ensemble, Vaughan Williams’song cycle On Wenlock Edge, a setting of poems by A. E. Housman forpiano, tenor and string quartet (Koerner Hall). The WholeNote recentlyfeatured Ainsworth as May’s child: I can usually identify thesechildren through the clues provided but Ainsworth was immediatelyrecognizable through his face and expression alone. He looks a littleolder now but only a little.As was the case last year, Harbourfront is presenting a series of concertsunder the general title Summer Music in the Garden. These in-SIM CANNETY-CLARKE12 thewholenote.com July 1 – September 7, 2012

JORIS VAN DAELEclude several recitals which feature vocalmusic: songs and dances from early19th-century Upper Canada (July 5 at7pm), a voice and tabla concert of Indianmusic (July 15 at 4 pm), Maryem HassanToller (July 27 at 7pm), French-Canadianand Irish traditional music with singerMolly Hebert-Wilson (August 2 at 7pm).All concerts in this series are free.The Elora Festival begins on July 13and ends on August 5. Performancesinclude: Mendelssohn’s Elijah (July 13at 8), Britten’s 1937 radio opera TheCompany of Heaven (July 15 at 2pm), aprogram of renaissance music sung bythe vocal quartet New York PolyphonyLeslie Fagan.(July 26 at 8), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas(July 29 at 2 pm), the Noel Coward SongBook with Shannon Mercer and Lawrence Wiliford (July 29 at 4 pm)and an afternoon with Ben Heppner (August 5 at 3pm).This year’s Festival of the Sound (at Parry Sound) will include anumber of vocal concerts: on July 20 at 6pm a concert will be givenby Mary Lou Fallis, soprano, and the piano duo Anagnoson andKinton (this is a fundraiser and the tickets are 0); on July 24 at7:30pm soprano Patricia O’Callaghan and the Gryphon Trio will performsongs and tangos from North and South America; on July 27at 7:30pm Kerry-Anne Kutz will sing Elvis Costello’s Juliet Lettersfor soprano and string quartet; on July 28 at 7:30pm an opera galawill present Leslie Fagan, soprano, Gabrielle Prato, mezzo-soprano,Mark DuBois and David Pomeroy, tenor, and Peter McGilllivray, baritone;on July 29 at 7:30pm Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano, and PeterBarrett, baritone, will give a song recital which will include musicby Ivor Novello, Noel Coward and others; on July 31 at 12 noon LeslieFagan will sing J. S. Bach’s “Wedding Cantata”; Fagan is also singingthat evening in a program billed as “an eclectic evening of Music,from the Sublime to the Ridiculous and Back”; on August 1 at 7:30pmshe will sing Schubert’s The Shepherd on the Rock, a song with clarinetobbligato, as well as some Spanish songs; on August 3 at 2:30pmPeter DeSotto, violin and tenor, and Alexander Sevastian, accordion,will perform gypsy music; on August 12 at 1pm there will be a closingconcert (admission free) which will feature Mary Lou Fallis, LeslieFagan, Mark DuBois and Russell Braun. (These concerts will all begiven at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, exceptfor the July 31 noon recital which is in St James United Church.) Oneof my most treasured musical memories is the performance whichElly Ameling gave of The Shepherd on the Rock on July 2, 1981, as partof Stratford Summer Music. On that occasion the clarinet part wasplayed by James Campbell, also a memorable performance. Guess whois playing it at this summer’s Festival of the Sound?!SOME OTHER VOCAL HIGHLIGHTSThis summer’s Music Mondays (Church of the Holy Trinity) featuresAllison Lynn in a program of original songs and gospel classicson July 9; singer-songwriter Jennifer Noble on July 23; ChristopheWilson, bass-baritone, and Tom Chilling, piano, on September 3. Theseconcerts all take place at 12:15pm. Admission is free with a suggesteddonation.Justine Butkovich will be the soprano soloist in a concert that includesworks by Bach, Delibes and Villa-Lobos (Festival Alexandria,July 15 at 3pm).This year’s Brott Festival will include a recital of music by Schumann,Britten and Rachmaninoff, followed by modern classics, sung byRachael Cleland, soprano, and Sabatino Vacca, piano (St. John’sAnglican Church, Ancaster, August 12 at 3pm).Hans de Groot is a concert-goer and active listenerwho also sings and plays the recorder.He can be contacted at artofsong@thewholenote.com.Quality, Service & TraditionSince 1890STRING INSTRUMENTS • PIANOS• GUITARS • PRINT MUSICProviding musicians at every levelquality instruments and expert service tohelp them perform at the highest level.www.remenyi.com210 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON 416.961.3111July 1 – September 7, 2012thewholenote.com 13

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