5 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Performing
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
Presenters, start your engines! With TIFF and "back-to-work" out of the way, the regular concert season rumbles to life, and, if our Editor's Opener can be trusted, "Seeking Synergies" seems to be the name of the game. Denise Williams' constantly evolving "Walk Together Children" touching down at the Toronto Centre for the Arts; the second annual Festival of Arabic Music and Arts expanding its range; a lesson in Jazz Survival with Steve Wallace; the 150 presenter and performer profiles in our 19th annual Blue Pages directory... this is an issue that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.


BLUE PAGES 2018/19 SECTION I: PRESENTERS & PERFORMERS ●●Nocturnes in the City 18 years ago Nocturnes in the City started as a five-concert series at Prague Restaurant at Masaryktown in Scarborough. It was a great success from the beginning and five years later, the classical concerts were moved to a downtown location. Many Czech and Slovak artists have performed in last 17 years to mainly Czech-Canadian audiences: Singers Eva Urbanová, Zdeněk Plech, Gustáv Beláček, Eva Blahová; pianists Antonín Kubálek, Karolina Kubálek, Jan Novotný, Boris Krajny, and Martin Karlíček; violinists Ivan Ženatý and Bohuslav Matoušek; famous quartets (the Panocha, Zemlinsky, Pražák and Kocian); not to forget clarinetists Joaquin Valdepeñas and Peter Stoll, and jazz musicians, George Grosman, Drew Jurecka , Emil Viklický and others. This season marks 100 years from the birth of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and will be celebrated by a special concert on October 28 when the Zemlinsky Quartet with pianist Slávka Vernerová- Pěchočová present two Antonin Dvořák string quartets and one piano quintet. One week before - October 21, the same pianist will present in solo recital works by three Czech composing giants – Dvořák, Smetana and Janáček. There will be two jazz concerts in the beautiful ambience of Prague Restaurant. Reasonably priced, excellent productions. Milos Krajny 416-481-7294 ●●Oakville Chamber Orchestra The OCO exists to enhance the quality of life for all Oakville residents by providing high quality, meaningful chamber music experiences. We do so by offering high value, accessible concerts and outreach programs to a diverse audience. We provide professional development for promising, high potential musicians, including our core musicians and participants in our annual Youth Concert Competition, to grow and train in a healthy, creative environment. Bethany D. Reed 905-483-6787 ●●Oakville Choir for Children & Youth (formerly known as The Oakville Children’s Choir) The Oakville Choir for Children & Youth holds fast to its mission of providing world-class choral, musical and performance training to young people in Halton, where it has become a comprehensive music education program for over 250 auditioned choristers ranging in age from four through 25 years. The OC presents three to four self-produced concerts annually for the community, each featuring all levels of choir plus a guest artist. In addition, the choir performs at workshops, provides guest appearances at community functions, collaborates with other choirs and arts groups in Ontario, and tours internationally. Theory, musicianship, vocal coaching and workshops with professional artists are all components of the choral program. Competitions and touring also add to the choristers’ experience, as well as the choir’s wide range of repertoire, diverse concert programming and its high standard of performance. The OC gives back to its community by developing youth, partnering with other groups, bringing music to seniors and hospitals, offering bursaries to families in need, supporting other charities, participating in community events, providing educational outreach initiatives, and encouraging volunteering. Katherine Hamilton 905-337-7104 ●●Off Centre Music Salon Now in its 24th season, Off Centre Music Salon began as an attempt to find the magical, inclusive atmosphere of the Viennese and Parisian salons of the 19th century. At a time when the concert hall experience had become almost clinical in its austerity, we felt the need, more than ever, to go back to a time when music was intimately shared, when concerts told a story and created personal connections for audience and performer alike. “The moment is supreme.” Schubert’s words. Not ours. And yet ones that have always – for better or for worse – governed the spontaneous and free spirit of Off Centre. This season, we turn those words on their head. A season of supreme moments. Groundbreaking Musical Moments. We journey from the tumult and exuberance of 1889, to the intricately woven song cycles of Schubert himself; from the intimacy of an overheard epistolary conversation between composers, to Russia, where the artist contemplates the astonishing and harrowing ages and stages of life. This fall, we welcome you back to our “home” at Toronto’s Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre – to do just that. To find those magical connections. To celebrate the supreme moments. Boris Zarankin and Inna Perkis 416-466-6323 ●●Opera Atelier Opera Atelier is a world leader in the rediscovery and revitalization of period opera and ballet, particularly works from the Baroque era. Through their historically informed productions, founding co-artistic directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg seek to provide a thrilling theatrical experience for modern audiences. Opera Atelier presents a two-opera season in Toronto, and tours internationally. The company is dedicated to the education of youth and young artists, and offers a robust slate of education, enrichment and outreach opportunities. Opera Atelier’s 2018-2019 season brings art to life with two rare and exceptional creations. We open with a French Baroque double-bill of Charpentier’s Actéon and Rameau’s Pygmalion (October 25 to November 3, 2018) at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. This production will then tour to Chicago’s Harris Theater and the Royal Opera House at the Palace of Versailles. The season continues in spring 2019 with Opera Atelier’s award-winning production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, featuring Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman’s return to the opera stage in Toronto. Visit our website for more information. Alexandra Skoczylas 416-703-3767 ●●Opera For All Opera For All is an inclusive and accessible community opera choir for seasoned choristers and complete beginners. From its origin in 2016 at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, we have evolved into a not-for-profit organization. Everyone is welcome! Regardless of experience. Led by Spanish conductor, Maestro Álvaro Lozano Gutiérrez (also a renowned baritone), you will learn and sing popular opera choruses and perform on stage. No auditions. No experience or note-reading required. We provide the resources for home practice: vocal tracks, diction tapes, lyric sheets and translations. Why Opera For All? Because opera is an art-form that most people don’t get to enjoy. Aside from opera appreciation courses and live-streamed performances from the Met, we don’t see choirs dedicated to opera repertoire in our communities. That’s why there is Opera For All. A safe space to sing and have fun. And meet really nice people too. About Álvaro: Alvaro began studying piano at 10, then violin and trumpet. He was working as an accompanist for opera singers when the vocal coach said he had a good voice and should study opera. He went on to a 12-year career, in lead roles, in 42 operas before earning a Masters in conducting. Elizabeth Abraham 416-315-0049 ●●Opera York In our 22nd season and continuing our residency as the professional opera company at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Arts, Opera York offers two exciting productions for our main stage with the Opera York Chorus and Orchestra. Our season opens with great Canadian singers in a traditional production of Puccini’s La Boheme, with B16 | theWholeNote 2018/19 PRESENTER PROFILES

music director Denis Mastromonaco and stage director Penny Cookson. Opera York’s second half of the season is led by music director Geoffrey Butler, in the full production of Mozart’s classic Don Giovanni. Opera York continues to provide affordable and accessible lectures, operatic concerts for seniors and educational programming. November 2 and 4, 2018: Puccini’s La Boheme, Richmond Hill Centre for the Arts. March 1 and 3, 2019: Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Richmond Hill Centre for the Arts. Tickets 905-787-8811. Philip Trow 905-763-7853 ●●Oriana Women’s Choir Oriana Women’s Choir is an auditioned ensemble of 30 amateur female singers with a long history of performance at a high artistic standard. Led by artistic director Mitchell Pady since 2011, Oriana explores the possibilities in choral music for the female voice, collaborating with a diverse range of artists to push the boundaries of typical expectations for women’s choir performances. We foster the creation of Canadian choral music, regularly commissioning works from Canadian composers for women’s voices. Oriana presents a three-concert series in November, February and May, at Grace Church on-the-Hill. 2018/19 repertoire includes Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols paired with Susa’s Carols and Lullabies, the Canadian premiere of David Lang’s Love Fail, and an exploration of the compositional inspiration to create music for women’s voices. We look forward to welcoming you to the concerts in our 47th season! Choir manager ●●Orpheus Choir of Toronto Orpheus’ vision is to celebrate the transformational power of choral music as an agent of social change and a passionate medium of artistic expression. The 65-voice choir, under artistic director Robert Cooper, champions the new and unusual in choral performance, commissioning and introducing new works and performing overlooked masterpieces. Regularly working directly with living composers and singing a wide range of repertoire styles in concerts with high production value, Orpheus has introduced audiences to many fascinating and accessible works from the current generation of leading composers. Orpheus supports young emerging vocal talent through its highly respected Sidgwick Scholars Program and our newer Vocal Apprentice Program for high school singers. Winners of the 2018 Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Innovation, Orpheus continues to move audiences with an “expect something different” experience! In 18/19, the OPERA ATELIER Choir presents an “Orpheus Cinema” production, providing a choral soundtrack to the 1924 silent film classic, Peter Pan; performs A Child’s Christmas in Wales with Stratford star Geraint Wyn Davies; celebrates women in the choral art in “Raising Her Voice,” and leaves programming to the audience in “Orpheus By Request.” Lisa Griffiths 416-530-4428 ●●Pax Christi Chorale Hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of Canada’s finest oratorio choirs, Pax Christi Chorale delivers stirring performances with great polish and total conviction. Under the artistic direction of David Bowser, the award-winning choir aspires to build on its strengths and accomplishments to achieve new levels of performance and audience engagement. Collaborations with outstanding guest artists and partners give audiences and performers a deep appreciation for choral masterworks and new Canadian music. The organization includes the 100-voice chorale, chamber choir, and a choral scholarship program. Rehearsals are on Monday nights in North York. Auditions are held in May and August. Pax Christi Chorale champions great choral music among a diverse community. We have an inclusive philosophy and welcome audience members, choristers, and volunteers from all backgrounds and walks of life. 2018-19 Season Highlights: “Slavic Devotion” on Saturday, October 27, 2018, 7:30pm. and Sunday, October 28, 2018, 3:00pm at Grace Church on-the-Hill “England’s Golden Age” on Sunday, December 16, 2018, 3:00pm at Grace Church on-the-Hill Miziwe... (Everywhere...) on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at Koerner Hall Helen Nestor 647-345-7743 ●●Penthelia Singers Founded in 1997, Penthelia Singers has earned a reputation for presenting high quality, innovative concerts of choral repertoire in a multitude of styles and languages. A vibrant ensemble of women, we are committed to excellence in performing culturally diverse and musically sophisticated repertoire spanning the renaissance to the 21st century. The choir seeks opportunities to collaborate with special guest artists such as Suba Sankaran (world music), Raigelee Alorut (Inuit throat singing) and Steve Mancuso (Brazilian capoeira) to workshop different styles of music, as well as work with many talented instrumentalists who support our performances. Penthelia Singers is a welcoming group of women committed to high standards of music-making, diversity, community outreach and enjoyment through the learning process. Alice Malach 416-579-7464 ●The ● Peterborough Singers The Peterborough Singers is an auditioned 100- voice community choir of adults and youth which attracts both members and audience from Peterborough, the Kawarthas, Northumberland and locations along the lakeshore. Last season we celebrated our 25th anniversary under the energetic and creative leadership of founder and music director Sydney Birrell. Concerts this season are “Yuletide Cheer,” Handel’s Messiah, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Fauré’s Requiem, and the February concert “Soul II.” Our February concert is always devoted to popular music, something outside the box of regular classical theWholeNote 2018/19 PRESENTER PROFILES | B17

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