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Volume 4 Issue 9 - June 1999

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Festival
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Concerts
  • August

]4 I Jli!i 1 'QQ " • 7

]4 I Jli!i 1 'QQ " • 7 ' 9 9 -Athaten_ateg OUR COVER STORY continued from p age 4 envisioned it as the subject for a Music Garden - a contemplative place to hear the perfonnance of music, but more than that, a magic landscape that is literally "set to music." Messervy designed the garden's six areas to correspond -to the six movements in the suite: The Prelude is "an lUldulating riverscape", the Allemande "a forest grove of wandering trails", the Courante, "a swirling path through a wildflower meadow," the Sarabande, "a conifer grove," the Minuett, "a formal flower parterre" and the Gigue, "giant grass steps that dance you down to the outside world." Between the inspiration and its realization, much has transpired. It was to have been located in Boston, but for some reason the plan fell through. When Jim Fleck, the entrepreneurial visionary president of Harbourfront FolUldation and The Art Gallery of Ontario got wind of this development, he enlisted the support of Toronto's Parks and Recreation Department and \Uldertook the la\Ulching of a million flUld-raising campaign. The rest, however, is not quite history yet. Yes, the landscaping has been done, the footpaths have been built, most of the planting has been done, and the park will be ready for visitors June 10. The flUld-raising, however, is not yet complete. Enter Musica Viva, the ensemble gracing our cover this month. Jim Fleck has been a "friend" of Musica Viva for a long time. He is also a patron of the North York Symphony (now Toronto Philharmonia), in which Musica Viva oboist, Senia Trubashnik, is the first chair oboist. Fleck needed a pianist to accompany Yo-Yo Ma at a private fundraising party and dinner for the Music Garden in January when Ma was here to perform at Roy Thomson Hall with violinist, James Ehnes and asked Musica Viva pianist, Cecilia Ignatieff. This was the first Ignatieff had heard about the garden, and the concept immediately fired her imagination: "The very idea of it coming to Toronto, the sort of thing that usually happens in European cities, really excited me" she said. "It reminded me of the Napoleonic vision of Parissomething beautiful, to be a kind of beneficent influence on everyone, not just the privileged few. I suggested to my-Musica Viva colleagues that we do a fund-raiser for it." What they have come up with is a concert without an intermission to be followed by a reception and a silent auction. Among the items on which you can bid will be three extraordinary works of art by the young Russian-Canadian artist, Sofie Sonin as well as CDs, books, restaurant meals and, yes, a ; lifetime subscription to the WholeNote. - This will be Musica Viva's only Toronto concert this year. The group stopped producing a Toronto concert series several years ago when the number of its out of town engagements, both in Canada and the U.S. and in Europe, began to increase. The repertoire they are presenting on June 13 is what they plan to take on their European tour this summer. The group's success Ignatieff modestly attributes to "dogged persistence", although the excellence of their playing might also have something to do with it. Ignatieffwas one of the youngest recipients of a Royal Conservatory of Music gold medal for top marks. in her A.R.C.T. exrunination. Senia Trubashnik was for many years the first oboist in the Moscow Philharmonic before leaving the Soviet Union in 1972. The other Russian expatriate in the ensemble, cellist, Grigory Goldberg was born into an "atmosphere rich in music &ld art" and learned to play the piano and cello at an early age. Since coming to Canada in 1980 he has studied at the Bru1ff School of Fine Arts and at Indiana University and has been principal cellist in the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. Flutist, Vicki Blechta, has studied with such eminent exponents of her instrument as Jeanne Baxtresser, Louis Moyse and Andre Jaunet. She is the principal flute of the Composer's Orchestra, was for 18 years on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music and now is Director of the Toronto Flute School. As an ensemble, Ignatietf explains, "we have made a fusion of disparate elements - we're sort of typical of Canada. Only one of us was actually born here - me. Vicki is from the States and Senia and Grigory are from Russia. We have attempted to play as one organism, but, best of all, we all get along. In fact we have a wonderful time, together, especially when we're on tour and have the opportunity to enjoy great food and great wine, scenery and civilized places together." Musically what Musica Viva wants is to be open to and to bring to their audiences a wide spectrum of experience. "There's just about nothing we won't tackle" explains Ignatieff. "We don't feel limited to any period or genre - we play baroque music even though we don't play period instruments and we have commissioned new works from several Canadian composers, people like Daniel Foley, Larysa Kuzmenko and Scott McMillru1." The group did a lot of self-presenting in their earlier years (1980's) but the engagements started to come in much larger numbers after their first CD, "Entre Nous" which also helped them to get their first European tour. "The tours" says Ignatieff "have helped to confinn our own sense of ourselves as a voice worthy of being heard. We know we can hold our own in the international arena." Don't miss them at Victoria University on June 13. (You could take the subway and . streetcar down to the Garden when the concert is done.) The WholeNote invites app-lications for the position of advertising sales representative. June 14: June 21 : June 28: William Beauvais, guitar The Niagara Brass La Belle Danse The Colson Trio Sandra & Norma Churchill with the Academy Concert Soloists. Mondays at 12:15 p.m. Ch urch of the Holy Trinity 10 Trinity Square. 598-4521, press 3 The WholeNote needs a resourceful, independent, service-oriented person, knowledgeable about classical music to take responsibility for the development of the WholeNote' s advertising base. Please reply in writing by June 1 5 to: The Publisher The WholeNote 60 Bellevue Avenue Toronto, ON M5T 2N4

Left: Greg Dahl and Measha Gosman in a scene from The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company s production of Beatrice Chancy, The Opera, by James Rolfe and George Elliott Clarke. New York • Los Angeles Washington, DC • Toronto Summer Term jUNE 2-jULY 24 Mus1c THEATRE NoTes: BIG TEST FOR BEATRICE BY BERNARD MARTIN Lead and her stepmother Lustra Beatrice Chancy, the chamber to murder Francis. All three are opera successfully premiered last arrested and sent to the gallows. summer by The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company, is about to pass the true Those who saw the premiere last summer will be happy to learn test of any new opera-a return that Measha Gosman will repeat engagement. There is no shortage the title role she created to of new music theatre in Toronto: critical acclaim. Since Beatrice witness recent premieres by Chancy's premiEre Gosman has Autumn Leaf Performance and won praise for her mastery and ZebraSchvimgk, new works by nuance as The New Prioress in Opera Anonymous, the University of Toronto Opera Elsewhereless from Tapestry Division Production ofPoulenc's Music Theatre, and the COC's Dialogues des Canilelites this The Golden Ass. But the praise winter. Upon finishing her which greets a premiere evaporates on restaging, and ever after the work must survive on its merits. In last months WholeNote we James Rolfe's music draws on mused, tongue only slightly in blues, jazz, and spirituals to cheek, on how it felt as though frame librettist George Elliott the "ghosts of Gilbert & Clarke's story of African- Sullivan" were haunting all our Acadians in the last days of opera-going that month, most slavery, set in a little-known notably the COCs production of period of Canada's history. II trovatore where "during the Beatrice Chancy reworks the intensely piratical Anvil Chorus story of the 16th century Cenci we found ourselves helplessly family of Rome, whose strife imagining that ... the Spanish represented the corruption at the ~oldie~s were about to ... march heart of th,eir s()Ciety, Beatric_e, _ ~~ • ~om?, deep knee .. bends and the daughter ofNova Scotia slave . smgmg Tarantara from owner Francis Chancy, returns Penzance. from convent school believing in From his "ring-side" seat justice and freedom. Angered by as ~ccomfanist of the Candian her rebellion, Francis rapes her. Children s Opera Chorus Driven by vengeance, Beatrice performances ofPenzance BRUCE conspires with her sweetheart UBUKATA offered the following Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Toronto's Music Department, she will begin the Masters Vocal Program at the Robert-Schtunann-Hochschulle in Dusseldorf this autumn. Other sing~rs returning to their original roles include Lori Klassen, Lisa L4}do, Gregory Dahl, Marcus Nan~ and Nigel Smith. Be.atrice Chancy plays the du Maurier Theatre at Harbourfront on June 19, 20, 23, 25, and 26 at 8 pm, prior to travelling to Halifax in ~ugust. ' G&S GHOSTLY REPRISE confirmatory comments. It's no surprise that Verdi should have exerted a tremendous influence on G&S. Sullivan had known Verdi's music from his first youthful job as organist of Covent Garden and had been the editor of English editions of Verdi's most popular operas, including n trovatore. The anvil rings out loud and clear in Penzance in the sforzando- chords . of ''Come, frien~, who plough the ·sea" and the abduction. scene where concealed choristers manage to sing lustily without being detected is clearly parodied by Sullivan (and Gilbert). "Hail, Continued, next page Other Summer Classes Learn to Sing with Tina Torlone Schubert Lieder Class with Peter Neff Performance Practice in Early Vocal Music with Laura Pudwell French Diction applied to art song with Elisabeth Pomes Russian Diction applied to song and opera with Mila Filatova Performing with Presence co-ordinating singing with acting with Peter Neff Contemporary Opera Workshop wrth Edward Franko Performing without Fear with Elisabeth Pomes Dans Kinetics with Catherine Laurier Private lessons, Vocal Coaching Group Classes for Yciung Singers Register now! Space is limited.

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