8 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 4 - December 2012

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • January
  • February
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  • Concerts

the name nyckelharpa (in

the name nyckelharpa (in Swedish‘harpa’ can mean harp or fiddle).”The performance takes place onSunday afternoon, January 27 inTEMC’s intimate venue, St. David’sAnglican Church.Collegium Vocale Gent.Collegium VOCALE Gent/SCHOLA CANTORUMWe’re lucky that the RCM’sPerforming Arts director,Mervon Mehta, is passionateabout bringing internationallyrenowned artists to our parts of the world — for example, the wonderfulensemble Collegium Vocale Gent who appear in Koerner Hallon December 14 to perform four cantatas from Bach’s ChristmasOratorio. Specialists in historically authentic performances of vocalrenaissance and baroque music, they’re led by the acclaimed conductorPhilippe Herreweghe who founded this group in 1970. Theirwork has been described as “breathtaking,” “eloquent,” “unusuallyfinely blended.”A week earlier on December 7, the U of T’s newly formed earlymusic vocal ensemble Schola Cantorum performs in the beautiful,acoustically rich and relatively intimate setting of Trinity CollegeChapel. Featured are Handel’s Coronation Anthems, the four joyfuland celebratory pieces that he composed for the coronations of KingGeorge II and Queen Caroline. The concert is directed by countertenorDaniel Taylor, whose ensemble, the Theatre of Early Music, also participatesin this performance.A few others in brief!!December 14 to 16: The Toronto Consort and guests, the TorontoChamber Choir, present “Praetorius Mass for Christmas Morning.”This production recreates the music that might have been heard ata Lutheran mass on Christmasmorning under MichaelPraetorius and features thesounds of early brass, strings,lutes, keyboards and voices fromtheir positions around the balconiesat Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.!!December 19: At Saint Stephenin-the-FieldsChurch, the ElixirEnsemble — harpsichordistSara-Anne Churchill, gambistJustin Haynes, violinists ElyssaLefurgey-Smith and ValerieGordon — performs music from the Baroque on historical instruments.!!January 1 and 2: Don’t forget the Musicians In Ordinary’s annualNew Year’s Day Baroque Concerts. Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist/theorbist John Edwards are joined by violinists Christopher Verretteand Edwin Huizinga.!!January 12: The Oratory, Holy Family Church presents “O BeataInfantia: Baroque Music for the Christ Child.” Organist Philip Fournierand a fine vocal and string ensemble perform works by Praetorius,Sweelinck, François and Louis Couperin, Perotin and Palestrina.!!January 17 to 20, 22: Tafelmusik’s “Baroque London” explores themusic of the King’s Theatre Haymarket under the guidance of retiredoboist, Mr. Richard Neale. Music by Handel, Galliard, Sammartini,Bononcini and Pepusch illustrates the remembrances of this forgottenoboist, as imagined by actor R.H. Thomson.!!January 31, February 1 to 3: Again the formidable Tafelmusik, whoseshow “Vivaldi, Handel & Sandrine Piau” features this French sopranoin baroque arias, also orchestral suites and concertos.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities who plays the viola da gamba.She can be contacted at garnier40 ANNIVERSARYSEASON 2012-13thpresents~E LOVES ofAPOLLO AND DAPHNEFebruary 15 & 16 at 8 pmFrancesco Cavalli was a brilliant composer whoseoperatic masterpieces were the 17th-centuryequivalents of Rossini and Verdi. The Consortpresents the Canadian premiere of Cavalli’s ironicand erotic tale of Apollo’s unrequited love forthe nymph Daphne. Sung in Italian, this opera inconcert features Charles Daniels as Apollo,Katherine Hill as Daphne, Laura Pudwell asVenus and Michele DeBoer as Aurora.For Tickets call 416-964-6337 or order onlinewww.torontoconsort.orgTrinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. West30 December 1 – February 7, 2013

Beat by Beat | On OperaThree to SavourCHRISTOPHER HOILEThere were so many opera performances crammed intoNovember that it may come as a relief to opera fans that thepace lets up a bit for the last month of 2012 and the first of 2013.The period takes on a distinctly Germanic flavour with the COC’sGrimmFest (a tribute to the 200th anniversary of the Grimm brothers’collection of fairy tales), Toronto Operetta Theatre’s production ofThe Merry Widow and the COC’s production in January of Wagner’sTristan und Isolde. The key, though, is that there is opera available toappeal to a wide range of tastes.GrimmFest: December begins with the COC’s GrimmFest ( running from December 4 to December 8. The occasionis the 200th anniversary of the publication in 1812 ofKinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’sand Household Tales)by linguists, culturalresearchers and brothers,Jacob and WilhelmGrimm. One of the effectsof the rise of Romanticismwas research into folk traditionsin an effort to uncoverthe strands of national identity.Besides that, peoplewere aware that with the riseof industrialization, the traditionsof an oral culture weregradually dying out and manyscholars set out to record oralpoetry and stories before theywere lost. There is some disputeabout the sources that theGrimm brothers used, but theresult of their work gave us suchfamous stories as “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Fishermanand His Wife,” “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The BremenTown Musicians,” “Tom Thumb,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Snow White”and “Rumpelstiltskin” among the two hundred tales collected.The centrepiece of GrimmFest will be the 500th performance of thechildren’s opera The Brothers Grimm by Dean Burry. The anniversaryperformance by the COC Ensemble Studio takes place on December 7at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park with two more performances onDecember 8. The opera was commissioned by the COC in 1999 andhas since become the most performed Canadian opera of all time.Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm are characters and the 45-minute operashows how they were inspired to write “Rapunzel,” “Rumpelstiltskin”and “Little Red Riding Hood.” It has been a staple of the COC’s annualschool tour since it premiered in 2001. In March 2012 it had itsEuropean premiere in Cardiff, Wales.According to Burry, “When The Brothers Grimm premiered in 2001,I never expected that we would be celebrating its 500th performance11 years later. It means so much to have been a part of this incrediblejourney and to have introduced so many young people to operathrough the magic of these incredible fairy tales.”Toronto Operetta Theatre ( will, as usual,present an operetta during the immediate pre- and post-New Year’sEve period with a gala performance on New Year’s Eve itself. This yearthe work will be that ever-popular evocation of turn-of-the-centuryParis, The Merry Widow (1905) by Franz Lehár. This will be the TOT’sfourth staging of the piece after productions in 1995, 2000 and 2007,bringing it equal with Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus as thecompany’s most performed operetta.Anyone who found the COC’s recent productionof Die Fledermaus rather tooconcept-heavy should know that the TOThas always placed its emphasis on a work’smusical values above all else. The storyinvolves the plan of the ambassador ofPontevedro, a bankrupt Balkan country,to find a Pontevedrian husband forHannah Glawari, the country’s richestcitizen, so that her money will remainin the country. With the current monetarycrisis in the European Union, thisamusing plot has acquired a strangenew relevance. For the TOT productionLeslie Ann Bradley sings the titlerole; former COC Ensemble memberAdam Luther is Count Danilo,the man sent to woo her; DavidLudwig is the ambassador BaronZeta; Elizabeth Beeler, a formerHannah Glawari herself, is his wifeOwen McCausland as Wilhelm Valencienne; and Keith Klassen isGrimm and Cameron McPhail Camille de Rossillon, Valencienne’sas Jacob Grimm in theadmirer. Derek Bate, assistant conductorat the COC, conducts andCanadian Opera Company’s2012 Xstrata EnsembleStudio School Tour production Guillermo Silva-Marin directs. Theof The Brothers Grimm. operetta runs from December 28,2012, to January 6, 2013.Tristan: One of the most anticipated offerings of the COC’s 2012-13season is its production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, the company’sfirst production of the masterpiece since 1987. This staging isalso notable as the COC debut of renowned American director PeterSellars. Sellars first created this vision of Tristan in 2005 for OpéraBastille in Paris. Its most notable aspect is the use of a film by videoartist Bill Viola that is projected on a colossal screen above the singers’Chris HutchesonDecember 1 – February 7, 2013 31

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