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Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • April
  • Jazz
  • Faculty
  • Ontario
  • Western
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra

“Give me music I can

“Give me music I can live in like a house!” This concert at the St.John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church also features world premieresby Toronto’s Phil McConnell and American composer BruceBroughton. For more details and to reserve tickets, visitwww.spo.ca.We end on a high-energy note on April 3 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and their premiere of Brian Current’s WhirlingDervish--and I’m sure Current has come up with some excellent new musicto make this an event that will spin us right into spring! For moredetails, visit www.kwsymphony.ca.From dances of the mind to mystic motion, new musicnever ceases to move us. So be sure to get in with the new viathe WholeNote concert listings here and online atwww.thewholenote.com. Jason Van Eyk is the Ontario Regional Director of the CanadianMusic Centre. He can be contacted at newmusic@thewholenote.com.Two RaritiesCHRISTOPHER HOILEMthe Nationalist movement in music in the 19th century. OnMarch 9, 11, 12 and 13, Toronto Operetta Theatre presentsLuisa Fernanda (1932) byThe Devil and Kate (1899). Both works are regularly staged in theirlargely unknown outside of them. To discover more about the twoworks I spoke with Guillermo Silva-Marin, artistic director of bothopera companies.Luisa FernandaBretón’s La Verbena de la palomaCeciliaValdés in 2003 and Francisco Asenjo Barbieri’s El Barberillo deLavapiés in 2005. This makes TOT the only operetta company inthe world, as far as can be determined, to include Spanish repertoireon a regular basis along with works from Europe and America.Spanish works. diversify the TOT’s offerings both because of the inherent value ofthe works and because the Hispanic community, as he notes, “ishardly ever represented in the cultural tapestry of this city.” Unlikethe works were “too typically Spanish” to travel and second for thepractical reason that Spain was politically isolated in the central partof the 20th century when interest in opera was expanding. fact, it presents an art form that neatly complements its Europeana little bit more overt as to how it is critical of social, moral andpolitical issues and portrays those not so much in a fun way but ina critical way. Gilbert and Sullivan poke fun at those in power butor of whatever social issues they’re trying to present. That givesLuisa Fernanda in particularwas to create a nationalist school of opera, Spanish composers werefully aware of the artistic movements of their time. Silva-Marin says,“You get this mixture which is fascinating in that it is undeniablymovements from abroad.”Luisa Fernanda is set in Madrid in 1868 during the revolutionaryrepublican movement that threatened the regime of Queen IsabelII. A typical love triangle takes on political implications when therevolutionary ideas and to accept the attentions of the wealthy use surtitles for the musical numbers.24 thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

The Devil and Kate, like LuisaFernanda, is a work that hasnever been off the boards inits home country since itspremiere. Though it may seemheresy to say so, The Devil andKate is generally consideredRepublic and in Slovakia thanRusalka (1901). Besides its robusthumour, one of the work’s greatestattractions is its abundance offolk dances. Ever since Opera inConcert’s presentation of RusalkaGuillermo Silva-Marin. in 1998, Silva-Marin becameeight published operas. As it happened he came across a DVD ofthe Wexford Festival’s 1988 production of the opera sung in English.Based on a Bohemian fairy tale, Kate wants to dance so much thatshe declares she’d dance with the devil himself. What do you knowbut a mysterious stranger named Marbuel suddenly appears, danceswith Kate and disappears with her underground. Fortunately, Katehas a friend Jirka, who vows to rescue her. Marion Newman singsKate, Giles Tomkins will be the devil’s servant Marbuel. OiC willuse the same clever translation by Ian Gledhill used at Wexford.For more information about TOT visit www.torontooperetta.comand for OiC go to www.operainconcert.com. Without the efforts ofGuillermo Silva-Marin, Toronto’s opera scene would lose the diversitythat makes it so rich. Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre.He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com.Glenn Gould School OperaMaurice Ravel: L’heure espagnoleGeorges Bizet: Le docteur MiracleWEDNESDAY, MARCH 23 & FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 20118:00 PM KOERNER HALLThe talented artists of The Glenn Gould School VocalProgram and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra performtwo charming and humorous one-act operas by Raveland Bizet. Conducted by Uri Mayer, Directed by Brent Krysa,set and costume design by Michael Gianfranco, and lightingby Kimberly Purtell.TICKETS ON SALE NOW! rcmusic.ca 416.408.0208273 Bloor St. W.(Bloor & Avenue Road) TorontoGenerously supported by theD&T Davis Charitable FoundationAll That Jass?JIM GALLOWAYOingissued for sale in the U.S. That honour might well have gone toKeppard turned down an offer from the Victor Talking MachineCompany. The story goes that he didn’t want other musicians to beable to steal his music by listening to records.Another version claims that the Victor Company wanted theband to make a test recording without pay. Yet another story is thatKeppard was offered .00 to make a recording – much less thanhe was making on the vaudeville circuit at that time, although prettywell the going rate for a recording. He refused saying, “I drink thatmuch in gin every day!”Well, there isn’t much information available about the earlyCanadian bands or, for that matter, musicians. But in the mid 20s apiano player called Gilbert Watson formed a band which included ana couple of numbers in Montreal for Starr Records, probably the bigger than a square of chocolate can store upwards of 2,000 tunesas MP3s, it is fascinating to look back in time to the early days ofphonograph recordings. Before discs, recordings were made oncylinders were selling by the millions. Then the gramophone disctook over the market. It also had been around since the late 1800s,invented by a German-born American called Emile Berliner. Hefounded the Berliner Gramophone Company in 1895, and in 1899the Berliner Gramophone Company of Canada in Montreal. Thephonographs.( He also created Deutsche Grammophon in 1898.) players in the history of the music (and who was already playingin the 1920s telling me about his memories of the early days ofdiscs when it was an acoustic process, before the days of electricrecording.A large metal horn protruded from one wall in the studio. Onthe other side of the wall was the recording equipment consisting ofa needle, connected to the narrow end of the horn, which vibrated toJazz Vespersplay, pray & read...Songs of the SpiritSunday March 6at 7pmSt Mark’s Presbyterian Church1 Greenland Rd (Don Mills & The Donway E)Admission is free. Canned foods & cash donationsare welcome for the local food bank.For further info, call 416 444 3471 stmarkstoronto.orgMarch 1 - April 7, 2010 thewholenote.com 25

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