8 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 9 - June/July/August 2013

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  • Festival
  • August
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found such a deep bass.

found such a deep bass. Then later Covey sang a setting of Gather YeRosebuds While Ye May in a lyrical baritone voice. He is clearly a singerwith an impressive range. As he himself puts it: he is a baritone with alower extension. Covey studied at Wilfred Laurier and subsequently inthe MA program in the Opera Division at the University of Toronto. Hewas a member of the prestigious Merola program at the San FranciscoOpera, where he sang the role of Belcore in L’elisir d’amore. He alsobecame a friend of the soprano Valentina Fleer, who sang Adina. As hesays, the Elixir of Love worked and the two will marry this summer. Inthe opera it is, of course, the tenor who gets the girl (tenors always do),so perhaps we can see Covey’s success as the baritone’s revenge. Thewedding will keep him occupied this summer but in 2014 he will singfor the Scottish Opera, as part of the Commonwealth Games, in TheFriendship Oratorio, a work with a libretto by Alexander McCall Smith.Toronto Summer Music: Summer in Toronto means the TorontoSummer Music Festival, which will begin on July 16 and end on August3. A major event will be the Toronto recital debut of the bass-baritonePhilippe Sly at Walter Hall, July 23. Julius Drake is the collaborativepianist. The program consists of works by Ravel, Duparc, Wolf andSchubert. Sly was a member of the Canadian Opera Company a fewyears ago and gave distinctive performances in several small roles. Hewas heard at the Westben Festival at Campbellford last September inSamuel Barber’s Dover Beach. A concert on July 19 at Walter Hallwill feature the baritone Sanford Sylvan, who will sing Poulenc’s Lebal masqué.An important part of the Festival is the participation of 12 emergingartists. Three of them have performed in Toronto recently: thesopranos Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Meghan Lindsay and Jennifer Taverner.Their mentors are Elly Ameling, Sanford Sylvan and Julius Drake; theyoung artists will also perform in the Mentors and Fellows concerts onJuly 27 at Walter Hall and in the free Outreach concerts on July 25 and26 at Heliconian Hall.Other events: Two concerts at the Heliconian Hall: MagdalenaRisberg, soprano, and David Huang, piano, perform works byPeterson-Berger, Grieg, Sibelius, Schubert, Ravel and others June10; and Kira Braun, soprano, and Linda Condy, mezzo, presenta benefit recital for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer June16. Peter Barnes, baritone, sings song cycles by Finzi, Fauré andSchubert at Islington United Church also on June 16. Zorana Sadiq,soprano, and Christopher Baga, piano, perform works by Grieg, Wolfand Rachmaninoff at the Church of the Holy Trinity, July 8. ColinAinsworth is the tenor soloist in a concert by the Tapestry ChamberChoir at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Newmarket, June 9.And at the festivals beyond the GTA: at the Elora Festival SuzieLeBlanc, soprano, and Julius Drake, piano, will give a recital of Frenchart songs and German lieder on July 28. There are further performancesof this recital at the Westben Festival in Campbellford July 30and at the Ottawa Chamberfest August 1.Donna Bennett will be the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Regina Coeli,at the Westben Festival Theatre in Campbellford on June 29. Alsoat Westben: a program of Shakespeare, Noel Coward, and Flandersand Swann, with David Kemp, actor/singer, and Brian Jackson,piano, July 14.At the Brott Music Festival there will be a royal baby shower for Kateand William in which Elizabeth Herera and Valerie Tryon will performmusic by Debussy and Mozart June 26.At Festival Alexandria June 30, there will be a BloomsdayCelebration featuring Edwardian and Irish music referred to in Joyce’sUlysses. The singers are Beverly McGuire and Kathleen McAuliffe,sopranos, and Ashley Foot, tenor (3689 County Road 45, Alexandria,June 30 at 3pm).At Stratford Summer Music, Brooke Dufton, soprano, will singMusic for Wilderness Lake by R. Murray Schafer July 19, 20 and 21.At the Ottawa Chamberfest, Measha Brueggergosman, soprano, willperform Poulenc and Gershwin July 26; Melanie Conley, soprano, andBud Roach, tenor, will sing Gershwin later that night.Hans de Groot is a concertgoer and active listener.He also sings and plays the recorder. He can be contactedat by Beat | On OperaOperaticBurgeoningThis summerthere is notquite as muchopera on offer intown as there hasbeen in past seasons.Out of town,however, there is aburgeoning of operaproductions andopera-related concerts.June: In TorontoLuminato ( opera ineach of its past sixseasons. This yearthe focus is on theCanadian premiereof Feng Yi Ting byChinese composerChristopher HoileSoprano Shen Tiemei asDiao Chan in Feng Yi Ting.Guo Wenjing. The opera had its world premiere at the Spoleto Festivalin May 2012 and is notable because the three organizations thatcommissioned the opera (Spoleto, the Lincoln Center Festival andthe Chinese organization Currents Art & Music) chose Toronto’s ownAtom Egoyan as the stage director.The opera, only 55 minutes long, explores the tale told in the14th-century novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms of Diao Chan,one of the fabled Four Beauties of ancient China, whose seductivecharms ignite an empire-threatening rivalry between a ruthlesswarlord and her lover, the brave general Lu Bu. It focuses on the pivotalmoment when Diao (Shen Tiemei) and her lover (countertenor JiangQihu) meet in the Feng Yi Ting (“Phoenix Pavilion”), where she urgeshim to eliminate his nemesis. One of China’s most respected contemporarycomposers, Guo fuses Chinese and Western classical styles tocreate a score that sounds at once both ancient and modern. The operais sung in Mandarin with English and Mandarin surtitles and runs foronly three performances from June 20 to 22. For ticket holders Egoyanleads a pre-performance talk about the creation of Feng Yi Ting eachevening at 7:10pm at the MacMillan Theatre.The only other large-scale opera-related production in Torontothis summer is the latest opera/theatre hybrid created by Austrianplaywright Michael Sturminger called The Giacomo Variations.Torontonians may recall that Luminato presented Sturminger’sInfernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer in 2010 starringJohn Malkovich as the killer whose victims, rather than speak, sangselected arias from Baroque operas. The Giacomo Variations also starsMalkovich, this time as the famous adventurer Giacomo Casanova(1725–98), whose memoirs, Histoires de ma vie, were so scandalousthey were not published in full until 1960. In Sturminger’s piece thedying Casanova looks back on his life where his conquests and opponentsare characterized by selected arias from the Mozart/Da Ponteoperas accompanied by Orchester Wiener Akademie and conductedby Martin Haselböck. This time Show One (, not Luminato, presents the work which runs June 7 to 9 at theElgin Theatre.26 | June 7 – September 7, 2013

For operas in concert in June, one must look to the Toronto SummerOpera Workshop productions led by vocal coach Luke Housner( Concert performances with surtitles are theculmination of intensive 10- to 14-day workshops whose purpose isto expose young singers to the rigours of learning roles. The TSOWperforms Mozart’s Don Giovanni from June 4 to 6 and Humperdinck’sHänsel und Gretel from June 12 to 14, both held at St. Simon-the-Apostle Anglican Church.July-August: For staged operas with piano accompaniment inToronto in July and August, Summer Opera Lyric Theatre is always reliable.This year SOLT ( is presenting Handel’s Alcina (1735) inItalian on July 26, 28, 31 and August 3. Running with it in repertory isBellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (1830), also in Italian, on July 27, 31,August 2 and 4 and Puccini’s familiar La Bohème sung in English onJuly 27, 30, August 1 and 3. All performances take placeat the intimate Robert Gill Theatre on the University ofToronto campus.For opera outside Toronto, one need only look at theincreasing number of summer music festivals. The operatichighlight of the 26th annual Brott Music Festival inHamilton ( is a concert performancewith the National Academy Orchestra of Verdi’s Aidaon August 1 at Mohawk College’s McIntyre PerformingArts Centre. Sharon Azrieli Perez sings the title role withDavid Pomeroy as Radames and Emilia Boteva as Amneris.Other opera-related concerts include “Last Night at theProms Meets Gilbert & Sullivan” on July 27 with DavidCurry singing all the comic male roles and Brian Jacksonconducting the NAO.This year the Elora Festival ( alsoincludes opera in concert. On July 27 it presents Handel’sAcis and Galatea with the Elora Festival Singers andmusicians of the Toronto Masque Theatre conducted byNoel Edison. On August 3 it presents Gilbert and Sullivan’sBicycle Opera Project.The Mikado with Jim White as Ko-Ko, Allison Angelo as Yum-Yum,Thomas Goerz as Pooh Bah, Jean Stilwell as Katisha, David Curry asNanki-Poo and Michael Cressman as the Mikado. Edison conducts theElora Festival Orchestra and Singers. Opera-lovers should also notethat to celebrate Verdi’s bicentenary, the Elora Festival opens on July12 with Verdi’s Requiem with COC favourites Yannick-Muriel Noah,Anita Krause, David Pomeroy and Robert Pomakov as the soloists.A bit farther from Toronto is the Highlands Opera Studio inHaliburton ( where Richard Margisonis the artistic director. On August 6, 8 and 16 it offers a programof “Operatic Highlights.” On August 11 there is a concert “RichardMargison & Friends” where the famed tenor and some of his closestfriends come together to raise funds to support the HOS. The summerculminates in fully staged performances of Verdi’s La Traviata onAugust 23, 25, 27 and 29. Ambur Braid and Luiza Zhuleva will tradeoff in the roles of Violetta and Annina, Adam Luther sings Alfredoand Geoffrey Sirett sings Germont. Valerie Kuinka directs and MilošReplický conducts.To the west, the ever-expanding Stratford Summer Music ( presenting the unusual group known as TheBicycle Opera Project, July 26 to 28. The group ( wasSUMMER OPERALYRIC THEATREA N D R E S E A R C H C E N T R EGuillermo Silva-Marin, General DirectorToronto’s own mini summer opera festival!ALCINA by HandelFri Jul 26, Sun Jul 28 (mat), Wed Jul 31 (mat), Sat Aug 3LA BOHÈME by PucciniSat Jul 27 (mat), Tue Jul 30, Thu Aug 1, Sat Aug 3 (mat)I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHIby BelliniSat Jul 27, Wed Jul 31, Fri Aug 2, Sun Aug 4 (mat)ROBERT GILL THEATREUniversity of Toronto, 214 College Street (at St. George)Box Office: 416-978-79863 operas for the price of 2!!Subscribe before Monday, July 8Call the SOLT office: 416-922-2912Visit for more June 7 – September 7, 2013 | 27201 3

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