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Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Performing
  • Symphony
  • Bloor
Reluctant arranger! National Ballet Orchestra percussionist Kris Maddigan on creating the JUNO and BAFTA award-winning smash hit Cuphead video game soundtrack; Evergreen by name and by nature, quintessentially Canadian gamelan (Andrew Timar explains); violinist Angèle Dubeau on 20 years and 60 million streams; two children’s choirs where this month remembrance and living history must intersect. And much more, online in our kiosk now, and on the street commencing Thursday November 1.

BOYD GILMOUR being

BOYD GILMOUR being appointed honorary president for life by London’s Academy of Ancient Music, he composed the Stabat Mater, a magnificent work for six voices and orchestra. Between these two sacred compositions will be a plethora of operatic material from no fewer than nine separate dramatic works, each of them a Tafelmusik premiere. With such skilled performers and Ivars Taurins at the helm, this concert will provide a wealth of delightful and well-done material, much of it new to many in the audience. Sound the trumpet! When asked how he composed his songs, Gustav Mahler replied: “How do you make a trumpet? Hammer brass around a hole.” There may be more to making a trumpet than Mahler suggests, and there is certainly great skill required in mastering the instrument, especially when that instrument has no valves! November 21 to 24, Tafelmusik celebrates the holiday season with instrumental treasures from France, Italy, Spain, Germany and England, festive music by Telemann, Corrette, Fasch, and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.2. This concert also features the Tafelmusik debut of guest trumpeter David Blackadder, principal trumpet for the Academy of Ancient Music David Blackadder in the United Kingdom. (He also performed at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.) Blackadder plays a Baroque trumpet, a valveless trumpet based on early instruments (his is modelled on a Nuremberg trumpet from 1700), capable of great ranges of expression. According to Blackadder: “The trumpet is often thought of as being perhaps the most majestic, powerful instrument of all. However, there is a much more subtle, lesser-known side to the trumpet which uses the more florid, angelic quality of its upper register to symbolize the glory of God and the heavens. This technique of playing developed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and became highly prized by composers and their patrons alike. Court trumpeters were handsomely rewarded for their prodigious skill and were required to play at the most important ceremonies and state occasions.” Blackadder will also hold a guest artist masterclass on November 24 at Jeanne Lamon Hall, providing another opportunity to experience this renowned musician as he guides the next generation of skilled performers. From Villancicos to de Victoria: Christmas has arrived by the end of November, as the first Messiahs appear on the horizon and dogeared festive favourites are revived once again. Popular Christmas songs come in many familiar national varieties: English carols, French Noëls, and German Weihnachtslieder. Perhaps the least known are the Spanish Christmas villancicos, popular songs from the countryside that were developed by court composers of 16th- and 17th-century Spain into wonderfully rhythmic, danceable carols. Michael Erdman’s Cantemus Singers explores this lesser-known variety of carol, November 24 and 25, in their concert “Es Nascido – He is Born,” with works such as Mateo Flecha’s La Bomba and Joan Brudieu’s Goigs de Nostra Dona paired with Tomás Luis de Victoria’s strikingly beautiful motet O Magnum Mysterium and its accompanying parody mass, Missa “O Magnum Mysterium.“ Rather than being necessarily humorous, parody in music, in its Renaissance sense, meant any readaptation of existing material in new and creative ways. Composers could use their own material, as Victoria does, but they could also take popular chansons (and hide a naughty folk tune within the polyphonic texture), cantus firmus style, or use another composer’s sacred work as a starting point for their own ingenuity and craftsmanship. Palestrina wrote over 50 parody masses, and Josquin des Prez composed a number of fine essays in the form. A popular model throughout the 16th century, the Council of Trent ultimately banned the use of secular material as part of their decree to “banish from church all music which contains, whether in the singing or the organ playing, things that are lascivious or impure.” Far from lascivious, Victoria’s motet and mass are profound meditations on one of the most crucial events in the Christian year and Cantemus’ engaging and original programming makes this a concert worth hearing. Come for the villancicos, stay for the Victoria! Regardless of whether the music is secular, sacred, or a combination of the two, there are great concerts happening throughout November. From the dramatic excellence of Steffani’s operas to the sacred sounds of the Spanish Renaissance, there is something for everyone within the pages of this magazine. As stores begin to assemble this year’s window displays and the first strains of tin-can carols assault our ears, another round of seasonal favourites will be upon us before we know it. To keep up to date on all the Messiahs, oratorios, concertos, and other Baroque things happening in the city, check out next month’s column. Until then, drop me a line at earlymusic@ thewholenote.com. EARLY MUSIC QUICK PICKS !! NOV 4, 2PM: Rezonance Baroque Ensemble. “Folk of the Baroque.” St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 361 Danforth Ave. The title says it all: let your wig down and hear some music for dancing, dining and play. !! NOV 19, 8PM: Against the Grain Theatre. BOUND v.2. The Great Hall, Longboat Hall, 1087 Queen Street West. Something old, Something new. Hear music by G.F. Handel and Kevin Lau as AGT addresses the big issues that face our society today, inspired by stories of refugees. !! NOV 25, 3PM: Toronto Chamber Choir. “Kaffeemusik: The Bremen Town Musicians.” Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor St. W. A concert of story and song, with humorous fairy tales about solidarity among musicians paired with madrigals by Lassus, Dowland and more. !! NOV 30, 7:30PM: ChoralWorks Chamber Choir. Messiah. New Life Church, 28 Tracey Lane, Collingwood. Take a trip to cottage country and get in the festive spirit with one of the first Messiahs of the season. Matthew Whitfield is a Toronto-based harpsichordist and organist. Merry & Bright Dec 8 & 9, 7:30pm Trinity College Chapel corunumensemble.com 26 | November 2018 thewholenote.com

Beat by Beat | Art of Song New Songsters on the Block LYDIA PEROVIĆ When the budding stage director Anna Theodosakis received the Vancouver Opera Guild’s career development grant, instead of spending it on summer schools or workshops, she decided to use it as the seed money for the creation of a new art song collective. She and her co-founder, pianist Hyejin Kwon, decided to call it Muse 9 Productions: because they would be multidisciplinary and welcoming of all the Muses, and because they wanted to create more opportunities for female creators and performers. Their first project gives a taste of what’s to come: a dancer, an actor and a singer each performs an aspect of Virginia Woolf’s personality in a staging of Dominick Argento’s 1974 song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf which was originally written for the British mezzo Janet Baker. Two piano pieces by a Woolf contemporary, American composer Amy Beach, round up the musical material. The show premiered in April this year at the Ernest Balmer Studio, and will be remounted and rethought for the natural lights of the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre on November 13. For the next year, Theodosakis promises an equally multidisciplinary project, but can’t say much until February, when they are due to hear back from the granting juries looking at their proposal. “It’s important for us to pay the artists, and next year we’re hoping to be able to pay the Equity minimum,” she says. Sometime in November, the company will post the official Call for Submission but, says Theodosakis, they are being continuously pitched by other artists on a weekly basis. “Hyejin and I are much inspired by our colleagues from other disciplines, and we really want to open the doors up for a wide range of projects.” Projects should be art-song based; everything else is up for grabs. Virginia Woolf’s writing desk and chair from the premiere will return for the RBA performance, as will the same cast of three: English mezzo Victoria Marshall, dancer Renee Killough and actress Keshia Palm. To the diaries in Argento’s songs, spoken word excerpts were added from Woolf’s novels and letters. “All of them sing a little bit, act a little bit and dance a little bit,” says Theodosakis. “The actress is Woolf’s public persona, the novelist that we all know. The singer is her more private, family persona – which we can find in letters. And the dancer stands for her innermost turmoil and depression, but also romance, and her love for Vita [Sackville-West].” Of the cast trio, it was the dancer, Renee Killough, who was the biggest Woolf fan from the get-go and the originator of the project. Before they joined forces, Theodosakis was familiar with Woolf but From the Diary of Virginia Woolf: (from left) Victoria Marshall, Renee Killough and Keshia Palm hadn’t read her very much. “And now I’ve read everything and all of her letters. I couldn’t leave anything unread.” All three women came out of the project with a renewed love of Woolf. Her diary entries set to music by Argento will each have their own musical theme. “There is a through-line, and it’s very evocative material throughout. In a song about war you’re pretty much hearing shrapnel and bombs.” When we talked, Theodosakis was directing the Glenn Gould School’s fall operas: Paul Hindemith’s Back and Forth and Bohuslav Martinů’s Tears of the Knife, which the School’s ensemble presents on November 2 and 3 at Mazzoleni Hall. Before the end of this year she’ll also be directing the COC’s opera for young audiences WOW Factor: A Cinderella Story, Joel Ivany and Stéphane Mayer’s adaptation of Rossini’s La Cenerentola for kids. It’s set in a middle-school talent competition. Ivany is among her favourite stage directors, together with Paul Curran, Tim Albery (whom she’s assisted in COC’s Arabella) and her U of T mentor, Michael Albano. And internationally? “Definitely Claus Guth. I was a young singer at Mozarteum in Salzburg when I went to the Salzburg Festival to see The Marriage of Figaro that he directed. I’ve never been a huge fan of The Marriage – I know this is minority view! – but in Guth’s production it’s treated like a tragedy, and at the end more weight is given to what was actually happening to these poor people. The Marriage is not a happy opera.” HAMILTON Hamilton’s first art song concert series announced itself on the Internet last month with a simple but elegant website: The Linden Project. Its founders are soprano Julie Ludwig (whom you may remember as a sparkling Adele in Opera 5’s Die Fledermaus) and baritone Jeremy Ludwig (whom you might have noticed in Tongue in Cheek Productions’ 24-baritone/bass Winterreise and Opera 5’s The Boatswain’s Mate). To set it all off on November 3 at St. Cuthbert’s Presbyterian is a concert billed, appropriately enough, as The Song Sampler. “Wondering what we’re all about? Get a flavour of what WILLIAM FORD IN CONCERT Monday, November 5, 2018, 7:15pm TEN SINGING STARS - NEXT GENERATION from their Encounter with Adrianne Pieczonka Tonia Cianciulli, Jocelyn Fralick, Beth Hagerman, Teiya Kasahara, Kathleen Promane, Sara Schabas, Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor (sopranos) | Georgia Burashko (mezzo-soprano) | Zachary Rioux and John-Michael Scapin (tenors), with Rachel Andrist, piano. ZOOMER HALL, 70 Jefferson Ave. in Liberty Village, Toronto (free parking available) TICKETS: ADVANCE - / SENIORS/ARTS WORKERS AT THE DOOR - Everybody gets to sing an aria... chosen by people in the business, these are real contenders for the next generation! — Brett Polegato, 2017 Encounter guest POST-CONCERT CELEBRATION IRCPA 35TH ANNIVERSARY! info@ircpa.net 416.362.1422 www.ircpa.net Thanks to the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation, Q1 natural, and IRCPAs private donors, partners and volunteers. thewholenote.com November 2018 | 27

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

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Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)