8 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 3 - November 2002

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • December
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Choir
  • Violin


MUSICIANS. IN OUR .MIDST ADI BRAUN by Wally Wood THE VOLUME OF TIIE VOICE is the . first clue. It is jazz with operatic power. Talkers are stopped in m.ici~ sentence, eaters at Gate 403. · Roncesvalles near Bigh :Park transfixed with soup spoons suspended as Adi Braun · launches irito ''I'm beginning to see the light". The verve is infectious as she belts out Moon Faced, Starry Eyed, caresses the round notes of Lover Man. Eraine SchwingcBraun sits wide-eyed, smiling: "She's gone back to her love. I love it. I don't look upon her as my daughter. She is a wonderful artist." She cogitates, listening: "There is g6od music and bad music, and Adi sings good music,, And she loves it. . Adi Braun had the right blood lines to be an opera singer. · Eraine was a mezzo-soprano .in her performing years and is nmy a voice teacher. Adi's father~ Vietor, a baiitone,who died last year at 65, sang the Met, Covent Giµ-den, La Scala, the; Paris oPera, you name it, and · needs no introduction to opera fans. Brother Russell, also a baritone, now 37, two years younger than Adi, treads.his father's path; but iii his own shiny shoes. Another mu~ician brother, Thorsten, 27, is into heavy metal, or is it acid rnck? Noted musicians, all. While her father was performing· in Europe, Adi (Adreana) was learning German, and singing pop tunes and, even then, jazz. But she studied. and. sang classicalrimslc in Canada,· graduating from the · University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in Performance in 1991. She played piano arid bongos, but sang with the Cmadian Opera Company and Opera Atelier. She has also been teaching voice and piano privately for ten years. . About eight years ago she started "singing sideways" from opera to jazz, through cabaret-style concerts. She sees it not so 'much as a switch as that she "is constantly evolving." She muses that strict . . musical training was an admirable discipline and foundation but it is a natural progression to '.'get to where onds going." She ft:els complete, she says, singing "~omewhere between the coristellatibns of Callas and Streisand" and adding that "jazz is an ease arid ajoy ." She cites as singers with more than a passing effect on her Diana Krall; the Shirleys (Home and Eikhard), Rosemary Clooney and Judy Garland. Locally she has worked wi):h Doug Riley, Steve Wallace arid Terry Clarke, and the Ron Davis Trio here,at Gate 403, also with musicians like Mark Eisenman, Tony Quairington, Dave Restivo, Bill King, Whitney Smith and Steve Koven. She "sang Germany at Munich's top jazz dub (Club Unterfahrt) in July," opened the Port Perry concert series at Town HaH1873 in early October, and the Rex/Jaiz FM "Jazz for Herbie"· benefit at the end of the month. Her musical profile has been recently raised by interviews, performancernn CBC Radio and TV and oi1 TYO. A rim of scheduled performances in November and Sax onYqnge has been scuttled by the sudden demise of the dub. But she is currently irJ the studio recording ' with Doug Riley(piaqo),Steve Wallace(bass), T;erry Clarke (drums)and ·Tony Quarrington (guitar): The CD "De!is])ious" ·sl)ould be• q:ady .for sale for Christmas. "Watch fo~ a big January .concert with this trio at the Music Gallery" she says. · · .. · . · ··· .• , · . · ~ · .. . . Adi. is confident in her voice and her cboices. '''.They say in. jazz -the older you get, the l:ieci,er. ~ut rm blooi:nmgrightnow!" Getting wher.e yoii goirig, ~s !ihe. says is a good y.;ay to look at things. Happy to be there is a whole otfler.sldlL' . . . '· . . . . . ' .. , ;, . .. ON OPERA. by Christopher Hoile On November 1" a long-held dream of Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Zingg, co-Artistic Directors of Opera Atelier, becomes reality when their staging of N¢dee by MarccAntoine Charpentier opens at - the Elgin Theatre . . Ihe. work's· North American preqiier.e occurred in 1994 when Les Arts ,florissants z brought its production to the ~ Brools:lyn Academy of Music. · Mectee by Marc-A.ntoine Charpentier ~ Now in 2002 the OperaAtelierpro- which helps ~~plain_ its extraordi- ..... 5 duction .. will become the first ever nary range of mvenuon. ' · . . ' .. '% mounted by a North American come . ·· · . ~ pany. ·. ' · · · " According to Pynkoski Medee is . . _ . the largest scale work OA has ever Marc-Antome Charpentier undertaken. Notonlyaretheforces (1645~1704), one ofthe most pro- large, requiring a corps de ballet of lific composers of the period, had 16, bu.t the work itself has dethe misfortilne to live and work in mandedmore workshops and more . Paris at the ·same ·time as, Jean- hours ofpreraration than any other. . Baptiste.Lully (1632-1687). Lully, Medee poses two particular chalcomposer of such works as P~rsee, lenges-the declamatory style of the a · recent OA S\lCCess,, . owned . the "tragedie!yrique" and the integraroyal patent for opera composiµg tion, unlike Lully, of the danced andperformanceattheFrenchcourt. 1 '-'divertissements ~' into the action. Charpentier had to content himself . Pynkoski calls the libretto by Thowith sacred compositions, of which mas Corneille (brother of the fathe best known are the Te Deum m9\ls Pierre) "o~e of the truly great 'and the charming Messe de Minuit opera librettos"...:.... "It could be per· basedonFrenchcarols. Only when formed as a play at the Comectie Lully diect was Charpentier allowed Francaise without the music. " . to write a "tragectie lyrique" for the ·Corneille portrays Medea as a semicourt. . ' divine being whose longing only Mtdee premiered on December 4, to be human Is thwarted by the cor- 1693, at the Palais~Royale. Though rupt world around her. Ltilly had died six years earlier, his OA has presented Charpentie(s supporters, a faction as · much po" one-act opera Acteon twice before. litical as artistic, harshly criticized But Pynkoski says that he and the work as being too "Italian" , Zingg were not prepared to embark (Charpentier studied with Carissimi) . on such an important undertaking and not enough like Lully. De- as Medee without firiding the right spite approval of the work -by its conduqor. This (hey have found dedicatee Louis XIV, such was the in Herve Niquet. When Pynkoski power of the '"Lullistes" that the first saw Niquet in Paris five years work failed

Mondonville. Staging "Medee" also required finding the right singers for the principal roles. Corneille's portrait is so psychologically complex and Charpentier' s setting so detailed that the right Medea had to be both a consummate actress and singer. Pynkoski . found her in the person of American soprano Stephanie Novacek, last seen in Toronto as Emilia in Poppea. After working with her Niquet declared her "a force of nature" . Pynkoski found the ideal Jason in French "haute-contre" Cyril Auvity. Les Arts Florissants has made two recordings of "Mectee" one in 1984, the other in 1994. Of these the second is preferable both because it is· complete and because it is informed by practical experience of the work on stage. For your own experience of the work on stage, Medee plays at the Elgin Theatre November 1,2,6,7,9,10. It will be sung in French with English surtitles. For tickets, call 416 872-5555 or visit the Opera Atelier website at www. operaatelier. com. Those with an appetite for more opera of the period should note that the U. of T. Opera Division will present its first ever full-length Baroque opera, Handel's Alcina, running November 13-16 at the MacMillan Theatre. It will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. Jeanne Lamon will conduct. For tickets, call 416-978-3744. OC's shining Rubies N

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