8 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 4 - December 2011

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  • Jazz
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  • December
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Beat by Beat / In With

Beat by Beat / In With the NewSound SpectaclesD A V I D P E R L M A NArabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Czech, English, Estonian, French,Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Malay, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi,Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu, Vietnamese.”“By effectively asking every audience member to help tell thestory, in at least some small part, one crucial goal is to blur thetraditional line between audience member, participant and artist”says Ruth Howard. “In that sense, everyone who attends becomespart of the event.”Inspired by the people and places of East Scarborough, Likean Old Tale promises a multi-disciplinary and multicommunityspectacle performed by an intergenerational cast of over 100 localyouths, adults and seniors. And if all goes ahead as planned, theywill leave behind a stable community-based arts entity of some kind,a Scarborough Community Arts Guild, run by the very people — local people, now fouryears further down the road, capable of “forming alliances andpartnerships in the community and across sectors, listening andlearning, making mistakes, looking foolish, creating somethingglorious that awakens a shared desire for more, bringing in the bestand most interesting artists available.” And carrying on.So what is next for Jumblies Theatre? And how does it relate toganizationshave to “move forward and meet audiences, especiallythe younger ones, where they are, and where they want to be?”“I could go on and on, as this question relates to the whole raisond’etre of Jumblies Theatre” Ruth says. “We’re stepping out ofspecialised arts places to ‘meet’ and connect with the people of theplace where we live — so that art can be accessible and meaningfulfor everyone — including the dedicated art-makers and the largerpopulation experiencing and taking part in art activities and events.Everything we do is about this — it’s always been a strategy and a — a response to asking ‘what needsto happen here and now?’ Being out in public housing auditoriums,church basements, suburban motel suites, schools, communityhalls — our limited resources, is truly unviable. But it’s worth is as a wayfor people to meet who wouldn’t otherwise (including artists notfrom the mainstream culture) and to demonstrate what’s possiblesocially and aesthetically (both intertwined).“And it’s especially important, nowadays, to mention that theCity of Toronto’s Cultural Service was our catalyst partner onthis project (our Scarborough residency) — with shared valuesand vision about how art can and must expand and include alland it wouldn’t have started or succeeded without them. In fact,Toronto Culture (through the museum, Montgomery’s Inn, whichis now on the city chopping block), was the seminal and ongoingseventh year as MABELLEarts.“As for ‘young audiences’: well, we have a large, diverse andwonderful teen and young adult contingent in this show and project–infact, they are one of the mainstays (another is a large groupof Tamil seniors). We also have children as young as two andadults in their 80s. I think that the best route to involving youngerpeople in the arts is to work in an intergenerational context — withfamilies, cultural and geographical communities, and people ofall ages–so that children and youth grow up with art being part oflife and important to everyone.”Like many in the global village, I have become a fan of theMetropolitan Opera’s LIVE from the Met in movie houses, combiningas it does all the lazy pleasures of movie going (a directortelling you where to look, a soundtrack telling you what to feel) withan almost voyeuristic immediacy. I am behind the scenes of oneof the world’s great opera houses, or face to face with the four feettall tonsils of the world’s greatest bass-baritone, as the case may be.Add to this usual movie stuff the additional thrill, usually reservedfor NASCAR or other such blood sports, of knowing that the wholething might crash and burn right before my eyes, but almost neverdoes, and I am hooked. Why? Because it’s LIVE!Except that it isn’t. It’s “live from,” but not live at. At, in this case,is the Queensway Cineplex Odeon, TimBits, mint tea and all. Eventhe Met’s celebrity greeters acknowledge as much. One of themalways comes on screen during one or the other intermission, backstage,to remind us, the TimBits audience, that watching this wayisn’t the real thing, and that to fully experience the magic of operawe should pop down to New York, or [tiny pause] go out and supportour local opera company. My most recent foray to the Odeonwas for an enormously satisfying production of Phillip Glass’sSatyagraha, during which bass baritone Eric Owens (Alberich in theMet’s current Ring Cycle) appeared during the intermission to do themandatory “live opera is real magic” speech. Even in his sonoroustones it came off stilted and, dare we say it, just a titch insincere.More’s the pity, because it’s the absolute bottom-line truth. Thereis an innate, unmatchable theatricality in congregating live for music.It cannot be matched or emulated in other media, no matter howgrand. And nowhere is this more evident than in the performance ofnew an example of theatrical spectatorship, seems to negate thatdark. I heard about it from composer Brian Current, director ofthe New Music Ensemble of the Glenn Gould School. The work isAustrian spectral composer Georg Haas’ monumental In Vain, for24 musicians and lighting (2000) Thursday December 8, 7:30pmand Friday December 9, 2:30pm, in the Conservatory Theatre of theRoyal Conservatory.“It’s a 70 minute piece, really a spectral wonder, a beautiful andsubstantial work, based almost entirely on musical colour,” Currentsays. “Sometimes they play in the pitch black, other times there arethe Conservatory Theatre to get complete darkness. “The ensembleis all graduate students and they have been working hard on thiseven memorizingthe portions in thedark. We are alsovery fortunate thatGF Haas is alsocoming in for theseshows from Austria,just to work with usand to deliver a talkat 6pm before theSaturday performance.”Vinko Globokar, 1992, with membersof the U of T Chamber Singers.As it happens, the two In Vain performances fall slap bang rightin the middle of what is undoubtedly December’s new music mainevent (the Vinko Globokar invasion, November 29 to December 11)so here’s hoping it won’t be overlooked. After all, somewhere in thetranformation of noises in the night to sounds in the dark, the trulyANDRE LEDUC10 thewholenote.comDecember 1 – February 7, 2012

“A Feast for the Earsand the Eyes!”- Classical 96.3FMANDRÉ WATTSPLAYS LISZTSun., Dec. 11, 2011 3pmKoerner Hall“Mr. Watts has big sound, bigtechnique and natural musicality.”(The New York Times) The pianosuperstar performs an all-Lisztprogram, including HungarianRhapsody No. 13.“A formidable technical arsenal,a still more powerful intellect.”(The Washington Post)ROYAL CONSERVATORYORCHESTRA CONDUCTEDBY JULIAN KUERTIFri., Jan. 27, 2012 8pmKoerner HallJulian Kuerti conducts the RCOand pianist Minjoo Jo in a wonderfulconcert that will include Dream-e-scapeby R. Murray Schafer, along withLiszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2, andTchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.CECILIA STRING QUARTETWITH JOHN O'CONORSun., Jan. 15, 2012 2pmMazzoleni Concert Hall2010 Banff International String QuartetCompetition winner, the “exquisite”(Montreal Gazette) Cecilia StringQuartet performs with internationalpianist John O’Conor, “a pianist ofunbounding sensitivity,” (Gramophone)in a program of Beethovenand Schumann.Presented in honour ofR.S. Williams & Sons Co.SUSAN GRAHAMWITHMALCOLM MARTINEAUSat., Jan. 28, 2012 8pmKoerner HallThe mezzo-soprano opera starperforms works by Purcell,Schubert, Schumann, Liszt,Duparc, Sondheim, Noel Coward,and many other composersLES VIOLONSDU ROY WITHMAURICE STEGERSun., Feb. 5, 2012 3pmKoerner HallFrom the heart of Quebec City, theJuno Award-winning ensemble “bestknown for its zesty performances ofBaroque and Classical music” (TheNew York Times) performs Baroqueconcertos with Maurice Steger, “theworld’s leading recorder virtuoso.”(The Independent), and a dynamic,sexy, and spontaneous performer.AFIARA STRINGQUARTETThurs., Feb. 2, 2012 7:30pmMazzoleni Concert HallThe “terrifically unified, versatile,idiomatic, and moving ensemble”(San Francisco Classical Voice)performs Haydn, Sibelius, andMendelssohn with guest violistsCatherine Gray and LaurenceSchaufele.Presented in honour ofR.S. Williams & Sons Co.TICKETS ON SALE NOW! 416.408.0208273 Bloor St. W. (Bloor & Avenue Road) Toronto

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