Views
2 weeks ago

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.

we mean by art song.

we mean by art song. We’re dedicated to the core of this repertoire, but also not afraid to do something different,” reads the refreshingly straightforward promo copy for the concert. The program is another praiseworthy move, available well in advance and downloadable. It shows a selection spanning Italian and English Baroque, fin de siècle French and Austrians, 20th-century Brits and post-1970s sophisticated pop classics. “We love art song, and we’d like to introduce Hamiltonians to some of the music that we find so meaningful,” writes back Julie Ludwig when I email the couple to learn more about their plans for the series. “To our knowledge, The Linden Project is the first of its kind in Hamilton. There are other concert series, of course, but none that are dedicated exclusively to song repertoire. Hamilton is an eclectic city: several choirs, lots of musical theatre, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and a very active rock and folk scene. We want to bring together both kinds of audiences: those who already enjoy classical music, and those who might not be familiar with it but are open to trying something new.” The idea for a song concert series came to the Ludwigs soon after they moved to Hamilton in 2014. Each had given song recitals there and “It was the response to those recitals that encouraged us to start The Linden Project. We both love art song – how much room there is for expression and how closely the music is linked to the poetry – and we saw how the audiences at our recitals appreciated the music, much of which had been unfamiliar.” They’re starting off with just two recitals in the pilot season, both of which will be sung by them. “We definitely intend to involve other singers in the future,” writes Julie in reply to my question about their programming plans. “Each program will be centred around a theme and will include a mix of standard and more obscure rep. As much as possible, we intend to include music by living Canadian composers. Without giving too much away, we have a few ideas kicking around Julie Ludwig for future recitals, such as commissioning new works, commissioning illustrations for our projections, incorporating theatrical elements.” The venues will change with each new concert. “We intend to select venues that are appropriate for the repertoire on each program. Churches and small concert halls are very practical, of course, but we also want to bring our concerts to other Hamilton locations.” The inaugural do, The Song Sampler at St. Cuthbert’s Presbyterian, “is a kind of a survey Jeremy Ludwig of the genre, with a couple selections that lie on the periphery of what some might consider art song,” she writes. “We’ll include projections of condensed translations paired with one or two images to help convey the gist of what each song is about, so the audience is better able to watch the performance instead of having to read everything in the program. We also intend to speak a little about the songs in order to help the audience enter more deeply into them, but our goal is to be approachable, not lecture.” ART OF SONG QUICK PICKS !! NOV 4, 2PM: 13A Robina Ave, Toronto. “Art Song in House Masterclass.” Bassbaritone Daniel Lichti, associate professor emeritus, Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University, opens up his voice coaching practice – and his living room – to the public in this part-salon, part-masterclass. This one is for the song nerds. Soprano Sinead White and baritone Adam Kuiack with pianist Narmina Efendiyeva, and Lichti in the coach chair. , proceeds go to singers and the pianist. !! NOV 11, 2PM: Mazzoleni Concert Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. “L’invitation au voyage.” A song recital with soprano Joyce El-Khoury and mezzosoprano Beste Kalender. Some well-trodden repertoire (Duparc, Debussy) and some seldom-heard. The program promises “Levantine songs.” Turkish composers, Middle- Eastern composers? Or Middle-Eastern motifs in the works of Western composers? Tickets start at . !! NOV 13, 8PM: Gallery 345, Toronto. “For or from” – Kelly Zimba, flute (TSO’s principal flute), Stacie Dunlop, soprano. All new music: Kate Soper (Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say), Leslie Uyeda (Stations of Angels), Braxton Blake (Three Songs on poems by Marianne Moore), James O’Callaghan (For or from), and two world premieres, by David Jaeger and HaRebraIN ensemble, a.k.a. Anh Phung and Alan Mackie. /General, /Arts Worker/Student !! NOV 17, 7:30PM: St. Thomas’s Church, 383 Huron St., Toronto. “The legacies of François Couperin and Claude Debussy.” Larry Beckwith, violinist, tenor and artistic director emeritus of Toronto Masque Theatre, and radio presenter Tom Allen host an interactive celebration of the two French composers. No more details about the program, but the teaser is intriguing. Part of the diverse year-round series Confluence, programmed by Beckwith. !! NOV 24, 8PM: Koerner Hall, Toronto. “From Bel Canto to Verismo.” Show One Productions presents Sondra Radvanovsky in recital, with Anthony Manoli, piano. An all-Italian language program: songs from Caccini, Gluck, Rossini, Puccini and arias by Verdi (“Romanza” from Il Corsaro, and the sleepwalking scene from Macbeth), Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Lydia Perović is an arts journalist in Toronto. Send her your art-of-song news to artofsong@thewholenote.com. 28 | November 2018 thewholenote.com

Beat by Beat | On Opera By Leaps and Bounds Iterative Opera from AtG CHRISTOPHER HOILE When Canada’s largest opera company commissions a new opera like Hadrian from Rufus Wainwright and Daniel MacIvor, it will necessarily be seen as the major event of the season. Yet we should not forget that Toronto’s smaller opera companies have been creating new operas and new interpretations of opera all along. One of the most exciting of these is Against the Grain Theatre which will be presenting two important operas this season. The first is BOUND v. 2 by composer Kevin Lau to a libretto by AtG artistic director Joel Ivany. The second is a major revival of Kopernikus, the only opera by Québecois composer Claude Vivier (1948-83). I spoke with Ivany in October about BOUND v. 2, which plays for only three performances in November, about its background and intent. BOUND v. 2 is the second stage in AtG’s experiment with a three-year, concept-to-realization production. The first stage, simply titled BOUND, premiered in December 2017 and presented the basic concept of artists choosing various arias and ensembles by George Frideric Handel to which Ivany would write new lyrics. The premise was that seven citizens were detained by a government and held against their will in a waiting room. The audience watched and heard about their struggles, hopes and fears. Composer Lau introduced new sound ideas and arrangements to place the arias in a modern sound world. BOUND v. 2 takes BOUND a significant step further. BOUND v. 2 is no longer a collection of reimagined, repurposed Handel arias that Lau has arranged. Rather it is now a fully fledged opera by Joel Ivany Lau inspired by Handel. As Ivany says: “Kevin Lau received a commission for this project between last year and this year. What he’s written will be used in our third and final version. In the last month or six weeks he’s really immersed himself in the world of Handel to essentially write a brand new opera which, especially for us, is kind of unreal. Typically we’ve taken a Mozart or Puccini opera and written a new story on top of that which is familiar and exciting. But for this, Lau has done more than arranging. He is adding his own composition so that this is truly a new piece inspired by Handel about the humanity crises which we, unfortunately, are still reading about in the news. We’re still hearing these stories about persecuted people both in North America and abroad.” The first version of BOUND was written for seven soloists and piano. BOUND v. 2 is written for four soloists and a ten-piece chamber orchestra with electronics. Of BOUND v. 2, Ivany says: “It is further fleshed-out musically in that Kevin has taken melodies and scenes but written them brand new. The opera is by Kevin Lau but you will definitely say this sounds like Handel.” Why do this? Ivany explains: “Many people around the first version were saying why not just write a brand new piece, but Kevin very intellectually says this is a unique challenge to take these stories [by Handel] which were written in a specific context and to start with them. But then to move them somewhere else is compositionally an unusually interesting creative challenge. For the company, this is a further step after our Orphée where we take these tunes and melodies that have stood the test of time and ask what they could sound like to an ear of today.” The obvious question is that if BOUND v. 2 will eventually be the basis for a new opera, why retain the link to Handel? Ivany responds to this in several ways: “At one point we were talking to [COC general director] Alexander Neef, who was talking about the party atmosphere of Handel and how people would go to socialize at the opera. He was curious about what a Handel mashup with AtG could look like. We took that idea and instead of going the party thewholenote.com November 2018 | 29

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

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)