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Volume 10 Issue 7 - April 2005

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BooK Shelf BY PAMELA

BooK Shelf BY PAMELA MARGLES I was pleased to read Charles Brauner, in the Cambridge Companion to Rossini, exploding the myth of Maria Callas single-handedly reviving bet canto, and giving Marilyn Home her due. About Horne he says, 'No singer comes near her in importance for the Rossini Renaissance. ' The ·callas mystique mystifies me, although I never heard her live. The wonderful soprano Elena Kelessidi, who 'died' most exquisitely in the recent Canadian Opera Company production of La Boheme, tells (in Diva: The New Generation by Helena Matheopoulos, 1998) how her teacher, Professor Pavlov, who had studied with StanislavsK'y, emphasized the need to die beautifully. This is nothing like the way it's done in real life, or even the theatre. Operatic gestures, he would tell her, can't be natural because you need to coordinate with the music. But Linda and Michael Hutcheon look at the 'positive valuing' of death from the opposite perspective, the libretti, in their study Opera: The Art of Dying. if Richard Somerset-Ward had continued his study of the high voice, called Angels and Monsters: Male anti Female Sopranos in the Story of Opera, into the twentieth century - and let's hope he does - he would have found in Horne the peifect example- of the star opera singer influencing the composer. But, although a number of comemporary composers did write for her, her greatest impa(:t was on the rediscovery of works by composers long dead. Two indelible yet very different images of Horne are reinforced by her autobiography, The Song Continues. There's the diva in full battle gear struuing across the stage of the National Arts Centre in Rinaldo almost thirty years ago, and, during a master-class just a couple of years back at the University of Toronto, there's the decidedly non-diva-like teacher pushing the piano across the stage of Walter Hall to get it into the position she wanted. invincible certainly, but an angel nonetheless. The Cambridge Companion to Rossini Edited by Emanuele Senici Cambridge University Press 280 pages illustrated, .95 These fifteen essays from the world's top Rossini scholars dispel the prevailing misconception that Rossini was . lazy - after all, he wrote 1 thirty-nine operas in nineteen years - or that he willfully retired from composing to live a life of luxury. Indeed he never stopped composing, even if he no longer wrote operas. Richard Osbourne sets the tone with a concise, elegant summary of Rossini's life. Charles Brauner examines criticisms of Rossini's operas, and looks at why most of the works, especially the serious operas, totally disappeared from opera houses. Philip Gossett shows how the manuscripts reveal the extraordinary clarity of Rossini's thought. Marco Beghelli describes how, in Rossini, 'it is the voice that "makes the drama'', more than the character who acts it out'. Heather Hadlock describes the genesis of the various endings for Tancredi. Damien Colas traces Rossini's vocal style to the technique of the castrati. Mercedes Viale Ferrero's study of the early stagings of the operas is accompanied by fascinating illustrations. contemporary If you love Rossini, this comprehensive study is essential reading. If you don't, this book could make you realize what you are missing. Opera: The Art of Dying By Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon Harvard University Press 245 pages illustrated, .95 Linda Hutcheon, a professor of English literature at University of Toronto; and Michael Hutcheon a medical doctor, set out to show that in opera, unlike modern life, death is 'not sad, bad or unwanted'. For the one-hundred-and-eightythree pages of text in their book Opera: The Art of Dying, they have supplied forty-three pages of notes. But there is barely any mention of music. So when they call the death of the Prioress in Dialogues des Carmelites 'one of the most harrowing scenes in opera' they ignore how Poulenc's music makes it so. Their literal retellings and analyses of opera plots treat them like reallife situations - but what is the Ring after all but a fantastic, epic myth? What makes it so revealing of the human condition is the music. Puccini, who is discussed at length here, freely rewrote libretti to make them work. I don't know of a librettist ever rewriting the music. A terrific image from a production of Masked Ball illustrates the cover f this book. But Verdi is not addressed, even though no composer ever treated the art of dying more frequently, or more profoundly. Their approach to opera will leave most music lovers, musicians, musicologists, and opera producers wondering -where's the music? Angels and Monsters Richard Somerset-Ward Yale University Press· 339 pages illustrated, .50 In his study of how opera composers were influenced by the singers of their time, Richard Somerset-Ward focuses on singers in the higher registers - not just sopranos, but castrati; mezzos and contraltos. He has no trouble rustling up enough bad behaviour among them to justify the word 'monsters'. There's the cross-dressing bisexual arsonist, Mlle de Maupin, who killed three men in duels, or the thoroughly outrageous Cuzzoni, who Handel called 'a veritable devil'. The castrato Marchesi insisted on always making his first entrance plumed and armed in battle regalia, singing his signature 'portmanteau aria', no matter what the opera, composer, or storyline. The 'angels', like Wagner's niece Johanna, were more elusive. In reality she was not the 'heroic' figure her uncle imagined, but nonetheless inspired him to create Elizabeth, Elsa and Briinnhilde. Somerset-Ward's research in contemporary documents and singing manuals is thorough; making this a fascinating history of the rise and fall of bel canto singing from he perspective of its higher-voiced creators. WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 'His organization by composers and countries requires some jumping back and forth, but his enthusiasm wins out. The illustrations in- , elude the truly bizarre swimming machines Wagner designed for the Rhinemaidens. Marilyn Horne: The Song Continues By Marilyn Horne with Jane Scovell Baskerville Publishers 296 pages illustrated plus CD, .95 Marilyn Horne published her autobiography twenty years ago. Since retiring from singing, she;: has updated the narrative for this welcome reissue. Co-author Jane Scovell has apparently been involved at every step, but H.ome's forthright, determined voice comes through. 'No nonsense, that's me' - but plenty of heart. She was a pioneer, bringing longburied Rossini and Handel operas back to opera houses around the world. But could she have pulled that off today, when 'great singing, intentionally or not, is being de-emphasized'? Obviously she minds that the director has more power than the singers and conductor. Tm all for invention and innovation, but they should SERVE the masterpiece, not distort it.' She is candid about her relationships, especially with her husband, conductor Henry Lewis, and, after her marriage ended, with bass Nicola Zaccaria, her struggles with her weight, racial problems being married to a black man, and above all her cherished relationship with her daughter. 'Being a mother was far more difficult than being a Tancredi'. Baskerville has provided an extensive discography, and, even better, enclosed a CD of previously unreleased live recordings, including her singing early soprano roles. Richard Taverner -1111111111111111111111 ROYAL LEPAGE -llllllllllllllllHlll l,,.llellS.-t• APRIL 1 - MAY 7 2005

Music AND HEALTH AND Music "If it weren't for the Opera • • • by MASHA BUELL WITH DR. BRIAN HANDS "The Chief of Scaff of my hospital, Dr. Paul Rekai, a board member of the Canadian Opera Company said, in his thick Hungarian accent, YOU WILL BE THE DOCTOR FOR THE OPERA, and so it began ..... " "The opera would send all their 'unwell' voices to me, the new and the well-established. 'Cats' and 'Phantom of the Opera' were being launched in ToronttJ at the rime, and producers who had cast members with 'unwell' voices called the COC and asked who rook care of their voice problems ... " On. BRIAN HANDS' prac- 1 ice is almost exclusively devoted to care of the professional voice. The opportunity to concentrate on this occurred soon after his Fellowship was completed in 1973. His ear. nose and throat special is! training in medical school. however. did not have the voice as a particular foi.:us. " ... So I began to team. My training increased with attendance at major world voice conferences, study sessions wirh leaders in this field from New York, Philadelphia, Paris and in Italy. In 1995 I co-chaired the Canadian Voice Care Conference. " The increasing demand for his services launched him on a path of life-long learning as his practice continued to grow well beyond the opera community. "Movie companies began to shoot more films in Toronto. They for healing power, ease, comfort & confidence in your true conscious voice. • Sun., May I st. l 0-5 70 for students " too had established actors with ACADEMY CONCERT SERIES 47. AcctARIDN 44 ACROBAT Music 72 AlDEBURGH CONNECTION 47, 54 ALEXANDER SINGERS & PLAYERS 34 Alt THE KING'S VOICES 58 AMADEUS CHOIR 44 AMICI CHAMBER ENSEMBLE 43 ANAlEKTA 15 ANNO DOMINI CHAMBER SINGERS 44 ARCAOY 43 ARRAYMUSIC 54 ART Of TIME ENSEMBLE 58 ASSOCIATES OF THE TSO 46 ATMA ClASSIOUE 81 BACH CHILDREN'S CHORUS 58 BACH EtGAR CHOIR 58 BAY BLOOR RADIO 88 BRAMPTON CONCERT BAND 58 CAMMAC 69 CANADIAN CHILDREN'S OPERA CHORUS 33 CANADIAN SINFDNIETTA 44 CANCtONE SERVICES 72 CARIBBEAN CHORALE 5 7 CATHEDRAL BLUFFS SYMPHONY 50 CATHERINE RODNEY 54 CHRIST CHURCH DEER PARK JAZZ VESPERS 37 CHRYLARK ARTS AND Music 41, 55 CONCERTS AT Sr. GEORGE'S 45 CONTINUUM CONTEMPORARY Music 26 DANIEL TAYLOR I BIS 84 DAVE SNIDER Music CENTRE 24 DEER PARK CONCERTS 57 DR. SARAH MICKHER CHIROPRACTOR 66 EARL y CHILDHOOD Music ASSOCIATION 66 voice problems. and called the ELMER ISHER SINGERS 56 COC to ask who took care of their EMI CtAss1cs 82 voices ... " Exunm CHAMBER SINGERS 53 Over time Dr. Hands found him- self responding to the needs of record labels, producers for rock concerts, and major theatre compa- nies. 31 years later his patients in- elude an extraordinary range of professional voices that still in- eludes opera singers, but also car- FESTIVAL WINO ORCHESTRA 58 FoREST GROVE UNITED CHURCH 48 FRED GAVlllER MEMORIAL FUND 17 FRIDAYS AT EiGHT 56 GEORGE HEINL 18 GRZEGDRz's GREAT LAKES GUITAR TOUR 42 GuELPH SPRING FESTIVAL 61 HARXNETT MUSICAL SERVICES 36 HEARTSDNG METHOD 39 toon voice actors, radio and televi- HrncoNIAN HALL 70 CONTINUED ON PAGE 66 JANET CATHERINE DEA 58 TLC for musicians bya . . musician Endurance • Breath Posture • Muscle Release Dr. Katarina Bulat CHIROPRACTOR Private Practice: Danforth Et Coxwel I Tel: 416.461.1906 KARL MACHAT 73 KATARINA BULAT 39 L1srME.cA 26 LOCKRIDGE H1F1 71 LONG & McOuAoE 25 MARJORIE SPARKS VOICE STUDIO 67 MEN OF Non 22 MIKROKOSMOS 79 MISSISSAUGA CHORAL SOCIETY 55 MISSISSAUGA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 5 7 MOOREDAlE CONCERTS 48 Music AT PORT MILFORD 69 Music AT Sr. LuKE's 50 Music GAtLERY 29 Music ON THE DONWAY 48 Music ROOM 67 Music TORONTO 9. 42, 47 NADINA MACKIE JACKSON 77 NAXDS 75 NEW Music CONCERTS 25, 55 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM NEW SCHOOL Of CtASSICAl VOCAL STUDIES 67 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS No STRINGS THEATRE PRODUCTIONS 68 NUMUS 31 0AXVlllE CHORAL SOCIETY 23 On CENTRE Music SAtDN 51 OPEN EARS FESTIVAL OF Music & SOUND 25 OPERA ATELIER 85 OPERA ONTARIO 33, 85 0PERA·IS 31 ORCHESTRA T DRDNTO 45 0RIANA WOMEN'S CHOIR 58 ORPHEUS CHOIR 58 PATTIE KmY 67 PAX CHRISTI CHORALE 50 PERIMETER INSTITUTE 27 PETER MAHON 22 PHILIP l. DAVIS LUTHIER 24 OuARTmo GnATO 53 RAFFAELE TREVISAN! 49 RICHARD TAVERNER 38 RICHMOND Hill UNITED CHURCH 55 ROBERT Lowm's PIANO EXPERTS 13 ROBIN Howm 67 ROLAND STARR 51 ROTMAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE, BAYCREST CENTRE 66 Roy THOMSON HALL 3. 6, 7, 42 Rom CONSERVATORY Of Music 41. 69 Rom OPERA CANADA 2 RuAH A COMMUNITY Of FAITH 23 ScARBDRQJJGH Music THEATRE 32 SCARBOROUGH PHILHARMONIC 18, 57 SECOND SATURDAY CONCERT SERIES 43 SINE NDMINE 49 SINFONIA TORONTO 17 SIRIUS THEATRICAL COMPANY 32 SN TouRISME CutTUREL 35 SONGBIRD STUDIOS 67 SOUND POST 20 SouNoSTREAMS CANADA 46 SRI CANADA 4 Sr. JAMES' CATHEDRAL 23. 53 Sr. MICHAEL'S CHOIR SCHOOL 47 STUDIO 92 79 SuE CROWE CONNOll Y 67 SUSAN PURDY Music 66 TAFELMUSIK 8, 21 TAPESTRY NEW OPERA 11 T DREAOOR Music RECORDING FACILITIES 79 TORONTO CENTRE FOR THE ARTS 19 TORONTO CHILDREN'S CHORUS 23, 57 TORONTO MASQUE THEATRE 21 T ORONTD MENDELSSOHN CHOIR 51 TORONTO MENDELSSOHN YOUTH CHOIR 49 TORONTO OPERETTA THEATRE 34 ToRONTO SECONDARY SCHOOL Music 46 TORONTO SENIOR STRINGS 43 TORONTO SYMPHONY 87 TORONTO WELSH MALE VOICE CHOIR 56 TRUE NORTH BRASS 48 TRYPTYCH SuMMER Music THEATRE 32 U OF T FACULTY OF Music 40. 52 UNIVERSAL Music 83, 86 VICTOR TOGNI MEMORIAL CONCERT 58 V1NTA0GE STEINWAY GAllERY 18 VIVA! You 0 TH SINGERS OF TORONTO 33 Vox CURA 68 WHDLENDTE DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTIONS 35 WHOLENDTE SALON 14 WILLIAM VAN REE 73 WOMEN'S MUSICAL CLUB 16, 46 YoRKMINSTER PARK BAPTIST CHURCH 58

Volume 26 (2020- )

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