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Volume 12 - Issue 1 - September 2006

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The University of

The University of Toronto OperaDivision presents JohannStrauss's "Die Fledermaus" (Nov.9-12) and Benjamin Britten's "TheRape of Lucretia" (March 15-18),while the Glenn Gould Vocal Ensembleat Royal Conservatory ofMusic presents a major rarity inRespighi's 1922 opera "SleepingBeauty" ("Labella dormente nelbosco") (March 16-22).Fans of early music will bepleased to learn that Tafelmusikwill perform Henry Purcell's semiopera"The Fairy Queen" (1692)in concert (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) underRichard Egarr. The Toronto Consortwill present its first stagedopera in the form of the 1604 madrigal-comedyby Orazio Vecchi(1550-1605) called "The NightGames of Siena" ("Le veglie diSiena") (April 20-21) with dancersand commedia dell'arte artists.Out of town, Opera Ontario celebratesthe Mozart year with "DonGiovanni " starring rising star DanielOkulitch (Hamilton Oct. 19 &21; Kitchener Oct. 27 & 29). Thecompany's winter presentation isSaint-Saens's "Samson et Delilah"in concert with Richard Margison,Allyson McHardy and a 100-voicechoir (Hamilton Jan. 25 & 27;Kitchener Jan. 31). To finish theseason, Canada's own Briinnhilde,Frances Ginzer, appears in thetitle role of Puccini's "Tosca"(Hamilton May 3 & 5; KitchenerMay 11 & 13).2006-2007Opera CoursesandOpera Tourswithlain Scott3 & 4 WEEK COURSESAll courses are held on Tuesdays 2.30-4.30 and 7.00-9.00at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club 141 St George StreetThe ABCs of OperaOpera 101- How to enjoy Italian OperaOpera's 10 Deadly SinsVerdi's Fathers & DaughtersOpera 102 - Other forms of operaDueling Divas - Great SopranosHow to run an opera companyWEEKEND SEMINARS10- 4 each day including lunchesTristan und IsoldeAt the Arts and Letters ClubThe Legends of Faust in OperaAt the Arts and Letters ClubDie MeistersingerAt the Rosedale Golf ClubTOURSSan Francisco Tristan & IsoldeMontreal LakmeNew York Die MeistersingerVerdi's ItalyWagner's Italy12 - 26 September3 - 17 October31 Oct.-21 Nov.28 Nov.-12 Dec.9 - 30 January, 20076 - 27 February13 March - 3 April14-15 October20 - 21 January, 200724 - 25 February21-26 October9-11 February2-5 March13-25 April12-27 JuneDIS C: ~·)'___.,-OPERA at Homeby Phil EhrensaftDer Ring on Screen and Disc"But a miracle happens when the Ring is heard, no matter what theinsane ideas of narcissistic stage directors. Exegesis disappearsand the listener is swept into something primal, timeless, and ispushed by elemental forces." Harold C. SchonbergBig screen, small screen, and now the very small screen of ubiquitousiPod's don'tjust exercise major impacts on contemporary culture,they are among its defining pillars. Film/tv muscled its wayinto opera houses when stage directors grabbed an outsized role.Compare that to operas written before the onset of "talkies" in the1920s, where staging played a distinctly subordinate role to singers,conductors and orchestras.Even the ultimate opera showman, Richard Wagner, in constructinghis Bayreuth cultural temple to strut his Gesamtkunstwerk ("totalwork of art"), was driven by acoustical rather than architecturalsplendour. Architecturally, Bayreuth' s squat hall is nothing much towrite home about, unless you happen to be Stravinsky: "It was likea crematorium, and a very old-fashioned one at that, and one expectedto see the gentleman in black who had been entrusted with thetask of singing the praises of the departed."But the hall, still the world' s largest freestanding timber building,is exquisitely suited to Wagner's dense orchestration. And, make nomistake, dramatic purpose is served. Sinking the orchestra pit out ofsight, sombre ambient light and stark seating create just the relationbetween audience and stage that Wagner thought appropriate. Hisstaging, though, was modest and conventional relative to the Ring'sinnovations in musical structures, libretto and exploration of the fullrange of the human voice.No fewer than six DVD sets of the '" 1full Ring cycle have appeared sinceDVD displaced VHS. Only one ofthem respects this subordination ofstaging, sets and costumes, the Met' s1990 performance. (Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)I wouldn't callthe staging modest - with the Met'senormous budget, nothing ever is -but it's most definitely subordinate.This Met DVD Ring cycle is theessential first purchase in building aWagner library . James Levine hastransformed the Orchestra from acompetent ensemble into a house orchestraworthy of Carnegie Hall .Hildegard Behrens, Jesse Norman,Christa Ludwig, James Morris,Siegfried Jerusalem, and DawnUpshaw are among the who'swho cast. Otto Schenk's stagingis masterful. Video director, BrianLarge, is one of the best inthe business. The Met Ring isexemplary opera on film .My other contender for a firstWagner acquisition would still bethe landmark Solti audio recordingfor Decca/Universal. TheMet DVD has the obvious advantageof displaying visuallyWagner' s Gesamtkunstwerk.Sound-wise, though, Decca' s engineerspulled out all the stopsfor this first stereo recording ofthe Ring, which began in 1958with Das Rheingold. Solti'sRing was key in kicking off thestereo LP era, and its sound andperformances are still tough tobeat. If you buy the CD set,make sure you get the second1997 re-mastering. Better yet, ifyou're lucky, get the LP set,IjGOT05732 WWW.THEWHOLENOT E.COM S EPTEMBER 1 - O CTO BER 7 2006

WE ARE All Music's CHILDRENby ml buellSeptember's Child'"This take felt good! "Identify this member of our musiccommunity, also known for saying"VAFANGOOL!" for a chance towin tickets or a recording!Think you might know who September'schild is?Send your best guess tomusicschildren@thewholenote.com.(Winners will be selected by randomdraw among correct entries received bySeptember 15th, 2006.)(Photo taken in Montreal, October 1948)July/ August's Child was ...Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart(1756-91) Aged Eight, Holding aBird's Nest, 1764-65 - a portraitattributed to Johann Zoffany.Did you know that Papageno'sthing for birds was shared byMozart himself?On 27 May 1784, Mozart purchaseda starling - according to anexpense book in which he noted thedate, price, a musical fragment thebird apparently whistled, and thewords "Das war schOn!". Europeanstarlings, notable for their abilityto mimic, were popular pets atthe time. There seems to be an ongoingchicken/egg debate as to whowas inspired by whom here ...Three years later, when thebird died, the burial ceremonyincluded a procession of heavilyveiled mourners, hymns, and agraveside poem by Mozart. ..A little fool lies hereWhom I held dear-A starling in the primeOf his brief timeWhose doom it was to drainDeath's bitter pain ... (etc)Another event in the same week,the death of Mozart's fatherLeopold, may also have promptedthis funereal behaviour. Some eightdays later, Mozart composed adivertimento for sextet (K. 522),nicknamed the Musical Joke: inspired,some suggest, by the organizedcacophony of starlings.Was this painter also for thebirds? Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) was a German-born portraitpainter who studied in Italy andlater made his reputation in late18th century England paintingepisodes from London's theatricalproductions, portraits and"conversation pieces".In 1772 Zoffany enjoyed a seven-yearstay in Italy with the patronageof King George III andspent several years painting portraitsin India. Returning to Englandhe became a founder-memberof the Royal Academy(1768): generally reputed for hisbrilliant technical skills and forintroducing greater liveliness andpersonal anecdote into Englishconversation pieces. But. ...In two portraits of Mozart attributedto Zoffany (the oneshown here and a lesser-knownportrait of Mozart at the age often) he painted the composer withbrown eyes, instead of blue, suggestingthat Mozart may not haveactually sat for the paintings! InGilbert and Sullivan's The Piratesof Penzance (1879), the Major­General assures us," .. . /can tell undoubted Raphaelsfrom Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,I know the croaking chorus fromthe Frogs of Aristophanes!"Nevertheless, this portrait withthe bird's nest has long been oneof the most popularized and bestlovedimages of Mozart as a child.thanks to our advertisers ...CONGRATULATIONSTO OUR WINNERS!• Artin Shafa and a Mozartlovingfriend will have the pleasureof the Toronto MendelssohnChoir's season premiere concertof Mozart's Requiem on Friday,November 3, at 8:00 PM and dinnerfor two at II Fornello! Guestconductor I vars Taurins of Tafel-' musik leads the choir with guestsoloists Sookhyung Park (soprano),Anita Krause (mezzo-soprano),Eric Shaw (tenor), ThomasGoerz (bass-baritone) and theFestival Orchestra.•Robert Lesco and a friend,guests of Music Toronto, willhear the Emerson Quartet(Thursday September 28th,8pm)play Mozart's Divertimento forstring trio in E-flat, K.563 andBrahms' Piano Quartet in g,Op.25. Guest: Wu Han, piano.• Carol Ditner-Wilson and herguest will hear the ExultateChamber Singers Mozart 250,(Saturday October 20th 8 pm) includingAlma Dei Creatoris, AveVerum Corpus, Salve Regina,Exsultate Jubilate, Solemn Vespers,and choruses from Die ZauberjWteand ldomeneo. Guestsoprano soloist Teri Dunn.•Jay Stephenson and a guestwill be treated to AmadeusChamber Choir's season opener:Amadeus Sings Mozart SundayOctober 21st, 7:30 pm.MUSIC'S CHILDREN ISMAKING A LIST for the2006-2007 season!!Know someone whose photographshould appear on this page?Your suggestions are most welcome!musicschildren@thewholenote.comAcrobat 56 Elena Ciarici 36, 52 Kitchener-Wa terloo Chamber Off Centre Music Salon 14 Sound Post 20Aldeburgh Connection 14 Elizabeth Pulker 55 Orchestro 47 Opero in Concert 41 SRI Canada 6All the King's Voices 25 Elmer lseler Singers 17 Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony 43 Opero-IS 32 St. John 's United Church 51Amadeus Choir 23 EMI Canada 72 Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble 26 Opero Ontario 8 Sweetwater Music Weekend 45Arts Richmond Hill 53 ERGO Projects 40 Lockridge HiFi 63 Oriana Women's Choir 51 Talelmusik 3ATMA Classique 7, 46, 70 Esprit Orchestra 2 long & McQuode 27 Orpheus Choir 25 Tapestry New Opera 38Avenue Road Arts School 67 Exultote Chamber Singers 23 Maestro Enterprises 52 Oshawa Durham Symphony Toronto All -Star Big Band 20CanClane Services 56 Georg Heinl 22 Mory Kenedi - Hungarian Rhapsody 37 Orchestra 47 Toronto Chorol Society 24Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Glenview Presbyterian Church 25 Metropolitan United Church 31, 36 Pasquale Bros. 55 Toronto Mendelssohn Choir 13Orchestro 21 Harbourfronl Chorus 25 Mikrokosmos 54 Perimeter Institute 5 Toronto Symphony Orchestra 4Christ Church Deer Park Harknell Musical Services 28 Mimico Community Chamber Peter Mohan 23 Toronto Theatre Organ Society 21Jazz Vespers 30 Helicanion Hall 55 Orchestro 50 RCM Community School 21 TrypTych 41City of Toronto Historic Hilton Hotel (Tundra Restaurant) 69 Mississauga Chorol Society 51 RCM Glenn Gould School 42 U of T Faculty of Music 13Museums 20, 22 Humbercresl United Church 24 Music @ Ascension 51 Remenyi House of Music 65 Vladimir Dounin 54Civic light Opera Co. 31 Hymn Society (Southern Ontario Music far Young Children 29 Robert lowrey's Piano Experts 71 Wesley Mimico UnitedClapping land 54 Chapter) 24 Music Gallery 18 Rosedale Presbyterian Church 51 Church Chair 50Colours al Music Festi val 45 International Music Academy 52 Music an the Hill 35 Samantha Chong 39 WholeNote 50, 67Cosmo Music 29 Islington United Church 30 Music Toronto 8, 9 Scarborough Bel Canto Choir 51 WholeNote MorketPloce 57, 58Dove Snider Music Centre 26 Jubilate Singers 51 Noxos of Canada 59 Sinfonia Toronto 17 Women's Musical Club 14Deer Pork Concerts 22 New Music Concerts 19 Small World Music 11 Worlds of Music Toronto 27S EPTEMBER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2006 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 33

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