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Volume 16 Issue 10 - July/August 2011

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • August
  • Toronto
  • Festival
  • Festivals
  • Quartet
  • Concerts
  • Trio
  • Orchestra
  • Musical

Herring in the

Herring in the Grass?CHRISTOPHER HOILEThis summer there is not quite as much opera on offer in town inJuly and August as there has been in past seasons. Yet, it is nottotally absent and nearby summer music festivals should holdmuch of interest for opera lovers.For staged operas with piano accompaniment, Summer OperaLyric Theatre is always reliable. This year SOLT (www.solt.ca) ispresenting Mozart’s Idomeneo on July 29 and 31 and on August 3and 6 with Michael Rose as music director. Playing with it in repertoryis Verdi’s La Traviata on July 30 and August 2, 4 and 6 withJennifer Tung as music director and Aaron Copland’s seldom-stagedThe Tender Land on July 30 and August 3, 5 and 7 with NicoleBellamy as music director. The Tender Land, which premiered atthe New York City Opera in 1954, concerns Laurie, a girl about tograduate from high school, who falls in love with an itinerant worker.It was staged at Glimmerglass just last year. All performancestake place at the intimate Robert Gill Theatre on the University ofToronto campus.On July 9, Opera by Request (www.operabyrequest.ca) willpresent a concert performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore with StevenSherwood (Manrico), Carrie Gray (Leonora), Karen Bojti (Azucena)and Yevgeny Yablonovsky (Count di Luna) with William Shookhoffas music director. The performance takes place at the College StreetUnited Church, 452 College St.The 24th annual Brott Music Festival in Hamilton (www.brottmusic.com)offers several enjoyable options. Opera Ovations! onJuly 7 presents well-known opera excerpts sung by Ermano Mauro,Sinead Sugrue, Lauren Segal and Peter McGillivray accompaniedby the National Academy Orchestra under Boris Brott himself.On August 6 the festival presents Bizet’s Carmen in concert withLauren Segal (Carmen), Keith Klassen (Don José), Gregory Dahl(Escamillo) and Sinead Sugrue (Michaëla). Brott again conductsthe NAO and Giandomenico Vaccari oversees the production. Theprevious day, Signore Vaccari will hold a dress rehearsal chat aboutthe opera and discuss his role in rebuilding Bari’s famous PetruzzelliTheatre. The festival concludes on August 18 with a performanceof Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with John McMaster, Leslie AnneBradley and Theodore Baerg.To the west, Stratford Summer Music is presenting A Serenade forMaureen Forrester at the Avon Theatre on July 25 commemoratingher life and career. Soloists include Kimberly Barber, AllysonMcHardy, Catherine Robbin, Krisztina Szabó, Jean Stilwell andMary Lou Fallis. In addition to musical performances will betributes from music critic William Littler, director Brian MacDonald,prima ballerina Karen Kain and composer R. Murray Schafer.Video tributes will come from conductors Zubin Mehta and SirAndrew Davis. For more information and to booktickets visit www.stratfordsummermusic.ca.To the northeast the Westben Arts Festival inCampbellford is mounting a fully-staged productionof Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring from July 1to July 3. The UBC Opera Ensemble is directed byNancy Hermiston and Philip Headlam conducts theWestben Festival Orchestra. On July 14 well-knownsingers like Donna Bennett, Gabrielle Prata, ColinAinsworth and Robert Longo take a break fromopera to explore musicals from West Side Story toA Little Night Music and beyond. On July 24, IsabelBayrakdarian with Serouj Kradjian at the pianopresents a concert titled Sunday Afternoon at theOpera. Visit www.westben.ca for more information.If you’re looking for rarities and would ratherstay in Canada, head over to Quebec to the Festivalde Lanaudière (www.lanaudiere.org) near Montreal.On July 30 it will present what must be the first fully-stagedperformance in Canada of the romantic opera Der Vampyr (1828)by Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861), a composer whose operasare known to have heavily influenced Wagner. Wagner, in fact,conducted the work in 1833 with his brother in the tenor role. Theopera is ultimately based on the first vampire story in English, theshort novel The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori, doctor to LordByron and friend to Percy and Mary Shelley. The singers includePhillip Addis in the title role, Frédéric Antoun, Nathalie Paulin andRobert Pomakov. Alain Gaulthier directs and Jean-Marie Zeitouniconducts the Orchestre du Festival. Toronto last had a chance tohear the work in 1994 when Opera In Concert presented it. SinceWelcome to Tapestry, the home to new opera.WAYNE STRONGMAN MANAGING ARTISTIC DIRECTORNEW OPERA2011 / 2012 Creative Development Season OpenerOPERA BRIEFSSeptember 23 & 24GENEROUSLY SUPPORTEDBY THE RBC EMERGINGARTISTS PROJECTScenes from the 2011 LibLab — in a new venue!Theatre Passe Muraille (Mainspace)Visit tapestrynewopera.com forupdates on the 2011/12 Seasonand to follow our current worksin development.You can find us onON SALE NOWVisit tapestrynewopera.comfor ticket informationPhoto of Marcus Nanceby Brian Mosoffwww.brianmosoff.com16 thewholenote.comJuly 1–September 7, 2011

wb-wholenote.indd 15/13/11 4:59:57 PMLauren Segal, left, seen here as Dryad, in the Canadian OperaCompany production of Ariadne auf Naxos, 2011, takes onthe role of Carmen, in concert, for the Boris Brott Festival.Also pictured, Richard Margison as Tenor/Bacchus, AliceCoote as The Composer and Teiya Kasahara as Echo.then others have championed it including Roberto Abbado, whoconducted it in Bologna in 2008.Opera productions in the US within a day’s drive of Torontoinclude Luigi Cherubini’s Medea (1797) in Italian at GlimmerglassOpera (www.glimmerglass.org) July 8 to August 16; RichardStrauss’s Die Liebe der Danae (1940) at the Bard Music Festival(http://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf) July 29 to August 7; and at theOhio Light Opera (www.ohiolightopera.org) July 15 to August 6,Cole Porter’s Jubilee (1935), Victor Herbert’s The Fortune Teller(1898) and Leo Fall’s Madame Pompadour (1922).Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera andtheatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.MICHAEL COOPERIsabel bayrakdarIansUnday afternoon at tHe operaSunday, July 24th at 2:00 pmInternationally renowned soprano, andfour-time Juno Award winner IsabelBayrakdarian, appears in concert with lifeand musical partner, Serouj Kradjian.SOLD OUT! Meadow Passesavailable, weather permitting.liszt at 200July 7th to 10thCelebrate Liszt’s 200th birthday with four days of music featuringsoprano Donna Bennett, pianists Brian Finley, Philip Thomson,William Aide, André Laplante, and The Adorno Quartet.oUt of tHis World! tHe sWingle singersThursday, August 4th at 2:00pmAn unforgettable afternoon with the multi-Grammy Award winningensemble of a capella singers from London, England, performingtheir arrangements of classical, jazz and popular music.exceptional performances, extraordinary setting1-705-653-5508 • 1-877-883-5777 • www.westben.caJuly 1–September 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 17

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