8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 8 - May 2002

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  • Toronto
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• IS FOR ZOROASTER:· a May Music T'heatre Alphabet by'SarahB. !food A IS FOR ALEXANDER'S ANNIVERSARY The Alexander Singers and Players are celebrating a birthday. It's the 15th an..Jiversary of the company, · which began as a summer choir under the direction of Angela · Hawaleshka. Named for Hawaleshka's father (a Gilbert and Sullivan fan), the group's premiere production was the short, early G&S operetta Trial by Jury. By now they have done most of the well known G&S hits at least once, as well aS other operettas md musicals like The Merry Wuiow, Die Fledermaus, Oklahoma · and Sweeney Todd. Today, as an ensemble of more than 60 members from a diverse. range of backgrounds, the Alexander Singers and Players have an educational mandate, ensuring that members have a chance to move from smaller to larger roles as:their skills· grow . . For theit birthday they ate presenting (in my opinion) orte bf the most charming and lyrical of all the G&S favourites, Iolanthe, about the banished fairy and her son who !Oves a shepherdess .. Iolanthe runs trom May 11 to 19 at the Leali Posluns Theatre. ( 2 IS FOR CHARLOTTE­ TOWN TOO ·· Charlottetown is also the usual haunt of:Duncan Mcintosh, since he's the Artistic Director of the · Charlottetown Festival. .No stranger to Toronto,: though, the former Artis- . tic Director of Theatre Plus Toronto is here codirec'ting and co-choreo~ graphing Gilbert and · Sullivan's The Mikado with Anne Allen for ano~er musical "C": the. Canadian Children's . · Opera Chorus. W_ith all the key roles played by young people between the · ages of 10 and 15, this prod~ction marks a world ALEXANDER SINGERS ANn,Pi,AYERs. 'From left (back row):Marcia Myers, ·. · · · premiere· of David . Antor1lo !yfendonca, Miriam Jacobson, llichael Edmunds (Tolloller) Mackie's arrangementofthe oper- . Sort of middle row: Ceris Thomas (Iolanthe), Esther Tse (Phyllis) . · . · .etta for treble. \.'.Oices, (Watch out . F.r~nt row ( kn'eeltng)~Ant~~elia Ca~a!laiv, . Ted Gr'o.~b,erg (LO rd ?fi~ncell'Oi'J : .·, for 2Q04 :s: opera version bf J .R.R. . . . . . . . . .. · : Tondeti.;s ·TI?eliobbit,aisocommis-· designer's ~til1iate yictory over the , J and takes. a:iiurbane look at mar- . s:iqn¢crfo(.(reb1e' voices.) The Mityr~y of drrector and performers. ried life. Phillips (9ook:and lyrics) · kado .is to ht! presented May· 11 and It music theatre in that. has written ·izj. most discipliI_ies:: as . 12 at tlie·du Maurier Theatre Cenit includes an original musical com- a magazine and newspaperjournal- tre at Harbourfron~ Centre. ponent designed by Steve Gordon ist~ an ad writer and a playwright. Marsh, ·who-oft~n works with in- . Ashley (music) is an origfual memventive taped music-and-sound com- ber of the Guess Who and a Dora Htnmm, reality intervenes: there's not enough space to continue right pilations (most recently for Mojo at A ward winner for his musical dithrough the alphabet,' so I'm going 13 IS FOR BREATH(e) · 26 Berkeley Street). rectionof Piaf ,,.-Her Songs-Her to cheat a teeny Pit and skip to: . It's hard to guess what to say about BREATH(e) runs to May 18 at Loves. Torontoniansmay also know Z FOR ZOROASTER a production that's billed as having The Theatr,e Centre, and the hour- his Stan Rogers - A Mqtter of R. Murray Schafer certainly has a neither words nor actors, but those on-the-hour start times read more Heart, which played in Toronto not sense of the dram!ltic ... and also a taste for interesting spaces (whether those are .naturM oi: human-made). who saw BREATH(e) in its previ- like a train schedule thana play list- too long ago. · ous incarnation (a sofd-out and ex- ing (check li~tings) . The seating tended run in November 2000) seem capacity for. this show is said to be to be wildly impressed. Nightwood extremely liffiited (some seating ar­ Theatre' s ·Arti.Stic ·Director Kelly rangements iii that space can accom­ Thornton says that it "turns the stage modate as few as 25 people at a into a painting, a living interactive time), so if you're intrigued, you landscape that invites the audience should nipve q\Jickly or risk misson a trip into the imagination." ing it. · Theatre Passe Muraille's Artisti~ Director Layne Coleman said "It was a tranl!Cendent experience that was origirial and life-affirming," while playwright and performer James O'Reilly went so far as to describe it_ as "pretty close to a religious experience." ' BREATH(e), .which is apparently ·inspired by Samuel Beckett's word-' less play BREATH, is the brainchild of prolific stage designer Steve Lucas, and perhaps represents the C 1 IS FOR CHARLOTTETOWN ... which is: where Nancy Phillips and Bob Ashley first collaborated, on a show ccilled Lies and Other Lyrics. Lies ... premiered at the Charlottetown Fest.ival in the 1970s and later toured to Toronto. Now Phillips and Ashley are working together again with a new show called Friends, Lovers, Husbands, which ruii.s at 26 Berkeley S~eet from May 9 to June Summer 2002 · All courses conclude with a public performance language courses are 12 sessions; all·others are 7 Courses begin mid-May or early June and · conclude in July. Exact scheduling is done in consultation with the participants Register Now For inore information or to r.egister contact: (416) 876-5859,or · . · Courses for Singers .. Perf6rm~nc~ . Technique · Audition Arias for Sopranos Die ZauberflOte (excerpts) Lied Schubert. · Wolf - Morike. 17th C:entury Song . Elizabethan lute Song. : · · Languages · Singing in German. Singing in Russian.: . The Vocal Art Forum ·.· .26 M ay 1 - June 7. 2902

His Toronto productions have included Ra in the early 1980s, which initiated audience members into the cultic practices of ~cient Egypt in a dusk-to-dawn ritui;tl of the rebirth of the ancient sun god. Ra used various settings ~nsid~ . the Ontario Sciep.ce Ci;!ntre, to simulate a descent into the, underworld, Ritual meals were, of course, included. A decadt; later The Alchemical Theatre of Hermes Trismagistos had crowds waiting expectantly outside Union Station for an operatic spectl;lclc;: that began on the stroke of midnight, shrouding the prosaic tickc;:t booths.and placing singers in upper windows of the station's impressive vaulted halls. Schafer's newest Toronto productipn, which . also is the· final installnient in Soundstreams Canada's. "Encounters in 'New Music." concert series for this season, is true to form. Zoroaster has 10 p.m. and midnight start times (May 24 and 2,5), and the setting is the elegant and impressive Design.Exchange on Bay near King, which was at one time the home of the Toronto Stock Exchange. OPERA & MtJSIC THEATRE Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra, as in "Thus spake ... "), was a Persian prophet who lived from 628 to 555 BCE. The founder of Zoroastrianism, his teachings, based on even earlier pantheistic worship, are written down in the holy text known as Zend Avesta. The production promises the reimagining of a "spectacular ancient Persian ritual imbued with mysticism; magic and the occult", and boasts a cast of 150. Singers Andrew Tees and Eleanor James, and percussionist Ryan Scott are joined by the Amadeus Choir, the Penthelia Singers and the Victoria Scholars. David Buley provides musical direction, while no less than Tom Diamond directs the stage action. And Schafer (who worked with Robert Desrosiers for his fall spectacle The Palace of the Cinnabar Pho~nix) has chosen David , Earle to choreograph this production. Longtime Schafer collaborator Diana Smith provides sets and costumes. Call 416-785-0333 or ·~ ; er Singers nd Players He sings, he scores! two assists for Pomakov in Leafs opener On April 18 the Toronto Maple Leafs played the New York Islanders at the Air Canada Centre in Game 1 ·of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The day before the game Toronto Maple Leafs' president Ken Dryden called Richard Bradshaw, t!J.e Canadian Opera Company's general director, to ask "Do you have a singer1'' It' seems · that the scheduled national anthem singer was ill and a replacement was needed pronto. Well, of course Richard Bradshaw had a singer. So that is how bass Robert Pomakov ( Varlaam in the COC's Boris Godunov) came to be singing the national anthems for the opening game of the NHL playoffs. Robert was the natural choice as he is studying at the Curtis (Joseph?) Institute' 'in Philadelphia, so his repertoire includes the Star-Spangled Banner as well as 0 Canada. It was a great start to the game, and the Leafs made a dramatic. finish, scoring three goals in the third act for a 3-1 win over the Islanders. · Great save, Richard and Robert! -Dawn Lyons MYSTICISM, MAGIC AND THE 1 •JI Friday; May 24 & Saturday, Occu, L May 25 at 10pm & Midnight • The Design Exchange (King & Bay Streets) · Over 150 singers, dancers and musicians. The legendary Zarathustra inspires this ancient Persian ritual celebration. atthe Leah Posluns Theatre· 4588 Bathurst Street May 11, 17, 18 - 8pm May 12 & 19 - 2pm May15-lpm . Adults •· Srs/Students May 1 - June 7 2002

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