8 years ago

Volume 6 Issue 4 - December 2000/January 2001

  • Text
  • December
  • Toronto
  • January
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Bloor
  • Orchestra
  • Choral
  • Singers


COVER STORY! CONTINUED sweat, and in the front row, even sometimes the spit! But we thought why sacrifice the values that got us here. So instead of a larger house, we're adding more performances. We're starting earlier, before Christmas." Barbara Hannigan is looking forward to it. "My musical interests are wide ranging," she · says "but immersing myself in a style is very important to me. I love the idea of trying to grasp what Lehar wanted. " And she is looking forward to playing a role! "I think I get less nervous for opera than for recital, partly because there is so much more of a rehearsal process. You learn about the hall as you rehearse. Also the fact of playing a role makes for a different relationship with the audience that is easier for me." . She gives as an example her·recent TSO debut, at Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, back to back, performing Gyorgy Ligeti's !vfysterfos of the Macabre at Massey Hall, and then the Ligeti paired withMozart's a desio di chi t'adora at Roy Thomson. "My character in the Ligeti is chief, ofpolice--a kind of KGB type. So it was was my idea to costume it even for the concert version. Long coat, black bobbed wig, the whole nine .. yards .. It helps break down the barrier, like memorizing contemporary music so the barrier of the music stand is gone." Gary Kulesha, who · · taught her at U ofT conducted her TSO performances. "Her versatility is remarkable" he said. "She is impeecable at both epds of the repertoire." "I love the diversity" she agrees. " I can enjoy each thing ' separately. This is pow my time to really do The Merry Widow. I .take my career one piece at a time. In Europe some of my engagements are for four years from now. Here I tend to he called more at the last minute-­ and opportunities like this arise." ' ' .. ·- MUSICIANS IN OUR MIDST Music at your fingertips: Bill O'Me~ra ~. by David Perlman Chances are even if you haven't heard of Bill O'Meara, you've heard him. Art accomplished organist on the international concert stage, he is also the accompanist to the Victoria Scholars and•the Toronto Choral Society, and organist and choral director at Our tady of Sorrows Church in West End Toronto. He's also the organ half of Laughton & O'Meara -- an orgc;in-andtrumpet duo with a busy . coneert schedule and an acclaimed Cb to their name .. Currently he is darting in and out of town, midway through a · . sixteen community tour of Central Canada -- as organist, pianist and narrator of Time ' for Christmas, a seasonal show for brass quintet and organ or piano. And if that isn't enough, he's rapidly making a name for himself in a field as challenging as it is arcane -- as live accompanist to silent movies! In the fall, for · Cinematheque Ontario he accompanied a dozen filrps by , early German dfrector Ernst Lubitsch. And he's preparing - - as much as it is possible to prepare -- for another · · Cinematheque series called Italian Divas. "Sometimes you see a videotape of the film ahead of time" he says, "other times, you may have ~ead a syilopsis, but sitting at the piano, you're seeing it for the first time, like th,e rest of the audience. Your real prepara­ ·'tion is not so much homework on that one movie. It's more the musicianship you bring to the occasion." Bill went to school in Ottawa, where he studied piano privately, then came to U ofT in the late seventies, where he 'found himself drawn towards the organ as instrument "although I'd played it on1y' as a hobby till then." As he sees it now, his formal studies of the organ at university now serve him well in all his current pursuits. He 5 2 Wholenote DECEMBER 1, 2000 - JANUARY 31,. 2001 I credits in particular two teachers there. One was Douglas Bodle whose "attention to detail was wonderful. He was insistent on making the organ sing." And the otherwas· , William Wright, who taught improvisation. "He was trained in the Germanic style; progressions had to be correct. I remembering chafing a bit then, but now having that of jnnate structure is very relaxing and liberating in all my work." Contemplating the range and variety of that work, he sounds almost , bemused. "1 look at the fact that I am able to make a living entirely from my music," he .says "and wh_at strikes me is · that so many of the tP,ings I'm.· doing seemed like sidelines -­ solo organ, the work with Stuart, especially the film work." What is most gratifying, he says; is the way each area of endeavour feeds back into the others ~ His solo organ work, for example is, he feels; . richer because of a carryover from the kihd of relaxed intimate audience interaction he has come to enjoy in the Laughton & O'Meara concerts. Listening to him talk about the music he created for the Cinematheque Lubitsch retrospective one gets a sense of his versatility. One of the · things that drew him to the Lubitsch project, he says was the moviemaker's range of emotions, styles, and periods. "It's so much fun choosing 1 ' he says. "I mean it's one thing to say ok, this music has to evoke Madame DuBarry. But you're not just evoking the court of Louis XV. You're evoking the court of Louis XV in the style 1 ' . '\. .PHOTO: DANIEL ALEXANDER/ASHLEY &CRI~P,EN of a 1930s film." , "You have to be ready for whatever the film calls , for;" he says, "whether that be improvising snatches of 'l\fozaitian sonatas, .or . 'breaking into the Charleston ·On cue." . When it's going well, he says, the movie driv:es you. · At it's best, the turn reveals the structure of the movie in a way the audience · might ~o.t have noticed. · No matter how heady though, there's little chance that silent film accompaniment will get out of hand for Bill. True, the world's largest silent film festival, Le 'Giornate del Cinema Muto, in .Pordenone, Italy, is on his>· schedule. ·nut so are organ engagements at the Picolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.), the Webb Bateman Distinguished Organ Recital Series in Illinois, and the Turin Illternational Organ Festival. "It sounds pretty heady when you look at all the travel," he says . . "But after the plane arid finding the luggage, there's always the five hours a day of practice and the performance. It's · rewarding. But it's.not fun and games." -~f

Canada's largest selection of sheet music titles for strings. Avail. d convenient mail-ord As a fall-service string shop we offer the following: + Violins • Violas • Cellos + Instrument Rentals + National Mail-Order Serv· Open 7 days I wk (416) 596-9364 655 Bay St. , Toronto (entrance on Elm) 2 hours FREE PARKING after 6pm Weekends and Holidays FREE PARKING anytime. Licensed for Wine and Beer. + Repair, Restoration, an, + Strings Accessories, B .. 26 Cumberland, 2nd Floor. Tch 1-416-960-8494 DECEMBER 1, 2000. JANUARY 31, 2001 Wholenote 53

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)