8 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 5 - February 2003

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  • Toronto
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ON JANUARY 22 Richard

ON JANUARY 22 Richard Bradshaw, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, announced the company's 2003-04 season. The season is most noteworthy, for launching with Die WalkUre, the first step of what will be Canada's first complete production of Wagner's Ring Cycle. Not surprisingly in the c,urrent period of ongoing fundraising, the rest of the season's playbill is more conservative than in recent years. The COC has presented all six operas before, though in three cases more than 20 year8 have elapsed since they were last staged. The 'season opens with Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes (September 25-0ctober 10, 2003) last presented in 1980. This production from the English National Opera will provide Toronto audiences their first glimpse ·of the work of director Tim Albery, who will direct the COC's Gotterdiimmerung in 2006. American tenor Richard Brubaker will sing Grimes with Ensemble Studio soprano Frederique Vezina as Ellen Orford. In tandem with Peter Grimes is ON OPERA by Christopher Haile the · Puccini mainstay Tosca (September 26-0ctober l l, 2003), last staged in 1998, in a new production from the Teatro Comunale di Bologna directed by Denni Sayers. Hungarian soprano Eszter Silmegi sings the title role with Georgian tenor Bactn Maisuradze as Cavaradossi. French baritone Alain Fondary is the villainous Scarpia. The winter season opens with Puccini's blockbuster Turandot (January 21-February 6, 2004). Though the production last seen in 1997 will be the same, some of the music will not. Rather than the standard completion by Puccini's pupil Franco Alfano, the COC will present the. Canadian premiere of the 2002 completion by Italian composer Luciano Berlo inspired by Puccini's original sketchbooks. Soprano Eva Urbanova sings ihe title role and Canadian tenor Richard Margison sings Calaf for the first four of six perfonnances. . Alternating with Turandot will be Verdi's Falstaff (January 22- February 7, 2004). The COC has performed the work only once before in 1982. Bass-baritone, Pavlo Hunka The Toronto Consort presents assumes the title role while the two Merry Wives of Windsor are former Ensemble-Studio soprano Wendy Nielsen as Mrs. Fordand Hungarian mezzo-soprano Judit \ Nemeth as Mrs. Page. Colip Graham, who helmed 1he Golden Ass in 1999, directs. The spring season starts with the first production in the COC' s Ring Cycle, Die WalkUre (April 4-23, 2004) directed by Atom Egoyan, who directed the COC's Salome in 1996 and 2002. - The last time the COC mounted this or any Ring opera was back in i976. Baritone Peteris Eglitis is Wotan, Canadian soprano Frances Ginzer is Briinnhilde and Canadian Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and American tenor Clifton Forbis are Sieglinde and Siegmund. The design for this, as for the whole Cycle, is by Canadian Michael Levine. Das Rheingold, the prologue to the Cycle, will not be seen until 2006 as part of the first complete Cycle. The season then closes with the Verdi warhorse Rigoletto (April 7- 24), last presented in 1996, with British tenor Alan Opie in the title role and bass Ayk Martirossian as the assassin Sparafucile in a From the original Havana production of Cecilia Valdes, 1935 production from the San Francisco . Opera. Showcasing new talent the COC Ensemble Studio will present a double-bill of J.S. Bach's comic Coffee CanJata performed as an opera and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Dmitri Bertman, remembered for his La Traviata of 1999, directs. The double-bill runs Dec 1-7, 2003. Bradshaw emphasized Jan 22 that those who wish to see one of the three complete Ring Cycles to be staged in the new opera house in 2006-07 should subs.cribe now. Claudio· Monteverdi's "Orfeo" is .a milestone in the history of music - the first masterpiece of opera, and a haunting rendering of the famous legend of the poet who journeys to the underworld to reg\lin his beloved wife. The Toronto Consort, who have an enviable reputation for their productions of the major works of Monteverdi, will be joined by English tenor Charles Daniels in the role of Orfeo and a full I 7th-century orchestra of strings, recorders, theorbos, harp, keyboards, sackbuts, cornetti and voices. . Generously supported by a gift from the estate . of Peter & Margo Sandor. For Tickets call 416-964-633 7 Trinity-St. Paul's· Churc;h, 42 7 Bloor St . West 20

Given the smaller size of the new house only 6000 tickets will be available and subscribers will have first choice. In other news the plans for the new opera house are moving ahead of schedule with the groundbreaking setfor April 14, 2003. Subscriptions for the COC's 2003-04 season may be purchased by calling 416-363- 8231 or 1-800~250-4653 or online at IN THE PRESENT and near future, COC performances of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera continue until February 8 and of Janacek's Jenufa until February 9. The final performance of Opera Ontario's Lok.mi takes place at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener on February 1. And Februa.ry also sees two rarities performed in concert: on February 8 and 9 Toronto's Opera in Concert presents Rameau's Castor et Pollux (1737) accompanied by the Aradia Ensemble under Kevin Mallon to be recorded by Naxos for future release; and on February 15 and 16, the Toronto Operetta Theatre presents the Canadian premiere of the Cuban operetta Cecilia Valdez (1932) by Gonzalo Roig (1890-1970). Later on (February 22-March 1) Opera. Mississauga's fully staged The Barber of Seville arrives in a · production from L'Opera de Montreal featuring Domenico Baizani as Figaro. Really good food that ~ just happens to Fn~ @ be vegetarian! .f.Jl Live jazz piano playing on every. Thursday n_ight 65 5 Bay St. {enter off Elm) (416) 596-936"4' We arc a IO·minute walk from many theatres. Inquire about .00 parking for dinner & show. %·f?onzalo Ro;y · a Jin Concert) and accents of the , nd Africia come · qr a melodic mix of fove, · ·· ll.4 red~m.ption unlike · .·.for the stage. February 1 - March 7 2003 21

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