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Volume 9 Issue 3 - November 2003

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

Music THEATRE SPOTLIGHT

Music THEATRE SPOTLIGHT by Sarah B. Hood Big Month for Music~1 ·Openings So far, this Noyember seems like a banner month for music theatre fans, with a crowded slate of openings that's well balanced between focal and impo~ted work, new productions and revivals. For instance, Montreal's hip-hop humoris.ts Jerome Saibil and Eli Batalion are bringing Job: The Hip-Hop Sagq to the Tarragon Extra Space, begimiing November 18. · ·It's a combination of their two extremely popular Fringe hits that riffed wittily on the Biblical tale of Job. On November 11, Tarragon Theatre brings back Karen Hines' romantic satire Hello ... Hello, while Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People remounts Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang from November 8 on. Also ... Kevin Quain in the Tex-Mex and country idioms. However, Quain's also known for his collaborations with theatre and dance artists, so it's not surprising that he's adapted his most recent CD as an unorthodox retelling of Pagliacci set in a remote Mexican desert town. Under the direction of Ted Dykstra, Tequila Vampire Matinee opens at Theatre Passe Muraille on November 13. CAFFEY'S GOOKIN' Florida performer/writer/director Marion J. Caffey is in town for CanStage to direct his acclaimed show Cookin' at the Cookery, based on the career of blues singer Alberta Hunter. Caffey's previous creations include Street Corner Symphony, a soul-flavoured pastiche of '60s and '70s hits like "R- BROADWAY'S PRODUCERS E-S-P-E-C-T" and "-Midnight The hard-to-get Broadway ticket is. Train to Georgia", which ran on soon to become just as coveted in Broadway. Recently Caffey also ·Toronto when The Producers beassembled the vodi talents of Vic- gins previews at the Canon Thetor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon and atre on November 21 (with an of­ Thomas Young for an extremely ficial opening on December 11). successful African American an- In the Toronto cast of this multiswer to the success of the Three pie award-winning show' Sean Tenors called Three Mo' Tenors, Cullen plays the flamboyant Broadwhich was taped for the PBS Great way impresario Max Bialystock, Performances Series. Cookin' at the who conspires with retiring ac­ Cookery opens on November 13 countant Leo Bloom (Michael at the Bluma Appel Theatre with Therriault) to stage a musical that's powerful local blues diva Jackie bound to flop in the hopes of prof­ Richardson in the title role and iting by the losses. Funnyman' musical direction by veteran piano Cullen made his ffrst big career man Joe Sealy. move performing live as a member of Toronto's Corky and the Juice BLOODSUCKERS Pigs, then moved into such televi- WITH LEMON-WEDGES? sion spots as NBC's Late Friday, On any given night the odds are The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, better than even that musician and This Hour Has 22 Minutes and songwriter Kevin Quain will be his very own The Sean Cullen playing somewhere in this town - Show. Therriault is a Stratford most likely someplace with a liq- Festival stalwart (Camelot, Fiddler uor .license. He's perhaps best On The Roof and maJJy others). known for his Sunday night gigs He's also performed in summer at the Cameron House with The musicals around Ontario, like West Mad Bastards, but he and his ac- Side Story at Huron Country Playcordion are also frequently to be house, She Loves Me at the Drayfound at The Rex, Rancho Relaxo ton Festival and You're A Good and Graffiti's in Kensington Mar- Man Charlie Brown at the Grand ket with a variety of collaborators. Theatre in London. AND SINCE CHICAGO SOLD OUT ... Stephen Sheffer. Cabaret "Emcee" If you've caught any of that recent · WNED program . about classic Broadway, you may have seen Joel Grey, who originated the role of the Emcee in Cabaret, performing the signature tune with an "allgirl" band. If so, like me, you may have an itch to see the whole show again. Well, we're in luck! It may not star Joel Grey, but Lloyd Allison Entertainment is presenting a completely new productiop of the classic Kander and Ebb show in a very suitable, intimate location, the little New Yorker Theatre on Yonge Street. It promises a modest budget, a local cast and a goodsized live band. Cabaret runs from November 14 to December 6. IN THE WINGS The Shaw Festival has announced that its musicals for next summer will be Pal Joey by Rodgers, Hart and O'Hara at the Royal George and the much lesser known Floyd BOOK SHELF by Pamela Margles With so many special musical events going on this month - from a rare concert by Oscar Peterson and an opportunity to hear all eight of R. Murray Schafer's great string quartets, to the massive festival celebrating the music of Benjamin Britten, . organized by the Herculean Nicholas Goldschmid(, it's good to have these four significant books to set the scene and enhance our enjoyment of the music. BRITTEN Paul Kildea Britten on Music edited by Paul Kildea Oxford University Press 456 pages hardcover .00 Collins by Adam Guettel and Tina Though his musical ideas provid­ Landau at the Court House Theaed an unstoppable flow of · tre. (This rarity is inspired by the works, Benjamin Britten was not true story of a Kentucky man who a particularily prolific writer. was trapped in a narrow cave, to Paul Kildea has done a superb the burning interest of the media job of collecting his words from and the general public, in 1925.) speeches, radio broadcasts, inter- Also, Mirvish Productions views, concert notes, and even has announced that Disney's The letters to the editor. He has wise­ Lion King will close definitively ly arranged them chronologically, on January 4, 2004. Meanwhile, with introductions, biographical Mamma Mia! continues at the summaries, annotations and Royal Alex u~til at least Fe?ru~ry cross-references. 29. Now stamng as ~onna is K.m~ _ Britten's writings prove inval­ Huffma~, a two-time Gemim uable for shedding light on his A ward w1,nner for her appearanc- creative process and his role in es on TV s Traders. twentieth century music.· Sarah B. Hood's new book Toron- Throughout, he offers tributes to: The Unknown City, cowritten to cruci.al figures in his life like with Howard Akler, is now availa- his beloved teacher, Frank ble in bookstores around town. Bridge, his longtime performing 32 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2003

and life partner, tenor Peter Pears, his friend and colleague Mstislav Rostropovich, Artur Schnabel, "the greatest pianist I ever heard", and Verdi, who "seems to have discovered the secret of perfection". His writing is elegant, honest and generous. Following Bridge's advice to be true to yourself and develop the technique to be able to express yourself clearly, Britten avoided both sardonic wit and vitriolic attacks. Included are interviews with [R.] Murray S_chafer and Ruby Mercer, a programme note about the adventurous Canadian composer and pianist Colin McPhee, unfortunately identified as American, and a warm t.ribute to Boyd Neel, founder of the Hart House Orchestra. Truly a book to treas- . ' ure. ' Britten: A Celebration takes place in venues throughout southern Ontario from November 9 to November 30. JAZZ A Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson by Oscar Peterson Continuum 400 pages .00 hardcover; .95 paperback PATRIA Patria: The Complete Cycle by R . . Murray Schafer' Coach House Books 272 pages paperback .95 This collection of writings by R. Murray Schafer describes the cycle of ten operatic works, plus . prologue and epilogue, that has occupied him since 1963. Illustrated with pages from Schafer's beautifully decorated scores, production photos, performance notes, and diagrams, these brilliant writings illustrate his working methods. Every page reflects his broad learning and passion for ideas. He reveals how he constantly rethinks every aspect of opera, right from the setting, starting time and duration of performances (especially significant to those of us who spent all night at the Ontario Science Centre for Ra, and watched the sun rise at Heart Lake during The· Princess nique are fascinatihg. His talents were recognized right from his early beginnings in Montreal, and he soon was working with the greatest musicians, especially as a key member of his frie"nd and mentor Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic. Peterson offers eloquent anc) amusing appreciations of colleagues like Lester Young cracking everyone up by consulting his imaginary psychologist, Dr. Willis, the unfazable Charlie Parker meeting a particularly tricky musical cliallenge "as if someone had pulled the plug underneath a 2000-gallon tank of music", and Ella Fitzgerald, who, for Peterson, "could do no wrong". His colourful descriptions of musical passages are virtuosic in their use of language, as are his inspired poems. Peterson offers invaluable insight into the life of a working jazz musician - the camaraderie, the practical jokes, the nick- One of the principal delights of this extraordinary autobiography ' names, and inevitably, the poiis that it sounds like Oscar Peter- sonous racJsm that he had to son's music - expressive, soul- deal with constantly. ful, playful, complex, and altogether beautiful. The Oscar Peterson Quartet Peterson's detailed descriptions performs at Roy Thomson Hall of the painstaking development on Friday, Nov 14 at 8 pm of his amazing 'twofisted' tech- of the Stars). Schafer, an indefatigably imaginative cultural nationalist, keeps trying to shake us up. He even offers readers an invitation to join the · Wolf Project, a temporary but ongoing utopian community built on his passion for the Canadian wilderness. Is he ca·nada,'s answer to Wagner? Surely a production of Patria, or at . least segments, would be an amazing way to celebrate the Canadian Opera Company's new hall. Coach House has done a particularly fine job of producing" this book, beautifully printed on fine paper with a sturining cover and beautiful plates. R. Murray Schafer's eight string Quartets will be presented at ~he . Glenn Gould Studio by New Music Concerts with Quatuor Molinari and soprano Marie-Danielle Parent on Sunday, November 30 INDEFATIGABLE Niki Goldschmidt: · A Life in Canadian Music By Gwenlyn Setterfield University of Toronto Press 222 pages hardcover .00 Gwenlyn Setterfield does a thorough job of documenting Nicho- . las Goldschmidt's remarkable accomplishments on the Canadian music scene, as opera director, conductor, impresario, singer, pianist, and above all, visionary director of music festivals across Canada. With his colourful backround anc;l rich experiences, Goldschmidt makes a fascinating subject. Setterfield comes up with wonderful anecdotes aboµt Gold- . schmidt's ability to inspire others with· his enthusiasm, and make things happen. But what is missing is a sense of the man himself. Fewer press reports, more probing interviews with Goldschmidt and deeper research would have provided insight into what motivates him intellectually, and what moves him musically. One of Goldschmidt's greatest coups was engaging Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the finest composers of our day, to conduct his own works - twice. But Setterfield identifies him only as Goldschmidt a "Polish composer", and comments merely that his momentous first visit in 1976 drew a standing ovation and put Guelph on the map. Benjamin Britten is the current focus of Goldschmidt's irrepressible energy. Yet, although Goldschmidt has protluced many of Britten's works ov.er the years, including significant North American premieres, and continue to champion his music, we learn little about Goldschmidt's relationship to BritteIJ's music beyond what, when, where and how. Nicholas Goldschmidt is Artistic Director of the Britten Celebration taking place throughout southern Ontario from November 9 to November 30 NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2003 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 33

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

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Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)