8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 2 - October 2014

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • November
  • Concerts
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Includes the 2014 Blue Pages Member Directory

Jakobín. Opera by

Jakobín. Opera by Request is a small company where the singerschoose the repertoire for performances in concert with piano accompaniment.Three of the singers in Jakobín had previously performedin OBR’s production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa last year. They wantedto do another Czech opera, perhaps another Janáček work. JohnHolland suggested that they do something more unusual since, as it sohappens, 2014 is designated as “The Year of Czech Music.” His choicewas Jakobín, an opera never before staged in Canada and stagedonly once before in North America. Holland points out that Jakobíncontains a wonderfully patriotic duet in Act 2, very appropriate to theémigré Czech community, about how Czech music has sustained themas they have wandered in foreign lands.From the beginning Holland’s desire was to have the performancebe bigger than the presenter’s usual opera in concert. The CzechConsulate, Czech Ministry of Culture and members of the Czechcommunity lent their support to the project. Holland received a grantfrom the Ontario Arts Council to expand the accompaniment fromCOC OPERATOURS FOR THE 2014/2015 SEASONMagnificent opera and symphonic delights await youon this tour to romantic Paris!PARIS: June 12 – 21, 2015OPÉRA BASTILLEMOZART Die Zauberflöted. Robert CarsenCHAUSSON Le roi Arthusn.p. with Sophie Koch andThomas HampsonBEETHOVENc. Philippe Jordan, withJean-Yves Thibaudet, pianoFantasia in C Minor for Piano,Chorus, and Orchestra, Op.80Symphony No. 9, Op.125PALAIS GARNIERGLUCK Alcestewith Véronique Gens2014 2015THÉÂTRE DESCHAMPS-ÉLYSÉESDONIZETTI Maria Stuardawith Aleksandra Kurzak andCarmen GiannattasioOPÉRA ROYAL DU CHÂTEAUDE VERSAILLESVINCI Catone in Utican.p. with Max Emanuel CenčićPHILHARMONIE DE PARISORCHESTRE DE PARISc. Paavo Järvi, with VadimRepin, violin, in a concert ofShostakovich and Beethovend. – Director c. – Conductor n.p. – New ProductionFor up-to-date information (including tour changes and newlyannounced tours), please visit our website at full booking information e-mail OR senda SEPARATE, self-addressed, stamped envelope (#10 business-size)for each tour that interests you to:COC Operatours c/o Merit Travel114 – 101 Cherryhill Blvd.London, ON N6H 4S4coc.caa piano to a chamber orchestra,thus giving William Shookhoff,OBR’s indefatigable accompanist,the chance to conduct. The singerswill be off-book and interact underthe stage direction of Holland.The production is billed as “semistaged”since there will be no set orcostumes, but there will be both anadult and a children’s chorus as thescore requires. And, while the operawill be sung in Czech, there will beEnglish surtitles.The cast includes baritone AndrewTees as the Count, baritone MichaelRobert-Broder as Bohuš, sopranoMichele Cusson as Julie, bass-baritoneDomenico Sanfilippo as Adolf,John Hollandbaritone John Holland as Filip, tenorLenard Whiting as Benda, soprano Danielle Dudycha as Terinka andtenor Ryan Harper as Jiří. The single performance will take placeOctober 24 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. One can phone 647-969-3498for more information or visit the website of the Canadian Institute forCzech Music at rarities: While Jakobín, as a Canadian premiere, may be theprincipal rarity of October, there are performances of other raritieson hand to enliven the month. Opera by Request is also presentinga concert performance of Hamlet (1868) by Ambroise Thomas inToronto on October 10 at the College St. United Church after performancesin Montreal and Point-Claire, Quebec, earlier in the month.Simon Chaussee is the Prince of Denmark, Gerda Findeisen isOphelia, Ioanna Touliatu is Gertrude, Norman Brown is Claudius,Danny LeClerc is Laërtes, Gianmarco Segato is Horatio and SimonChalifoux is Polonius. William Shookhoff serves as pianist andmusic director.Last, but certainly not least, Opera Atelier presents its first full-scaleopera by Handel in the form of his Alcina from 1735. The opera runsfrom October 23 to November 1 and as usual is directed by MarshallPynkoski and choreographed by Jeannette Lajeunnesse-Zingg, withDavid Fallis conducting the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. The storyfrom Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso (1532) concernsthe Circe-like sorceress Alcina who lives in a magical world composedof the souls of her past lovers. The question is whether the Christianknight Ruggiero can resist her enchantments to set these souls free.The cast is made up of singers familiar from previous OA productions.Meghan Lindsay, who sang Agathe in OA’s Der Freischütz,returns to sing the title role. Allyson McHardy sings the trousers roleof Ruggiero and Wallis Giunta is Ruggiero’s beloved Bradamante.They are joined by Mireille Asselin, Krešimir Špicer and OlivierLaquerre.Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera andtheatre. He can be contacted at Silva-MarinFounder and General DirectorLA GRAN VIAA CANADIAN PREMIERE!by Federico ChuecaJosé Hernández, Music Director & PianistGuillermo Silva-Marin, Stage DirectorSunday, November 2 at 2 pmMargie BernalFabíanArciniegasDiego Catalá416-366-7723 | 1-800-708-6754 | www.stlc.comPablo Benítez34 | October 1 - November 7, 2014

Beat by Beat | Art of SongWhither theContralto?HANS DE GROOTSoon after the death ofthe distinguished Welshcontralto Helen Watts, inOctober 2009, a letter appeared inThe Gramophone which arguedthat Watts’ death signalled theend of the contralto voice sinceall lower-voiced singers were nowmezzos. I think there is some truthin that statement but only some.First of all, there are a numberof singers now who see themselvesas contraltos and are generallyregarded as such: Anna Larsson,Sara Mingardo, Ewa Podleś,Sonia Prina, Nathalie Stutzmann,Marie-Nicole LemieuxHilary Summers. Second, there isconsiderable overlap between the mezzo and contralto voice. (I am notnow thinking of high mezzos such as Cecilia Bartoli and MagdalenaKoźená, who could equally well be described as second sopranos,but have in mind a dark voice like that of the very fine English mezzoSarah Connolly.) Anna Larsson made her international debut in thelower solo part in Mahler’s Second Symphony, a part which in thepast has been sung by Stutzmann and by Maureen Forrester. Yet manymezzos have sung and recorded it: Connolly, Bernarda Fink, LorraineHunt Lieberson, Christa Ludwig, Jard van Nes, Christianne Stotijn and,of course, Janet Baker. On the other hand, Larsson has recorded therole of Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal, a part nobody would think of as arole for contraltos.And then voices may change: I first heard Baker, on records and onthe radio, in the early 1960s and it seemed to me then that she representedthe natural successor to Kathleen Ferrier. Such a statementmust seem absurd now but I am not sure that it was absurd 50 yearsago. Baker extended the higher range of her voice over the years and inthe end even sang soprano parts (although they were generally transposeddown). If a singer extends her range at the top, she is bound tolose part of her bottom range.Marie-Nicole Lemieux: These reflections lead to a reminder thatone of the great contraltos of our time, Marie-Nicole Lemieux , will bein Toronto soon. She is singing Mistress Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff, ina series of performances with the Canadian Opera Company, beginningon October 3. Lemieux received her training in Chicoutimi andMontreal. She first came to international notice when she receivedFirst Prize as well as the Special Prize for Lieder at the QueenElizabeth Competition in Brussels in 2000. She made her operaticdebut in Toronto in April 2002, when she sang Cornelia in Handel’sGiulio Cesare. She is especially distinguished for her work in baroqueopera (Monteverdi, Handel, Vivaldi), for which her strongbut agile voice is eminently suitable, but she also singslater opera. Lemieux has sung the role of Mistress Quickly(a mezzo part!) many times: at Covent Garden, at LaScala, in Paris and in Montreal. She is also a fine singerof German lieder and French chansons as shown by herrecordings of Brahms, of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und-Leben and, in L’heure exquise, a recording of songs byHahn, Chausson, Debussy and Enescu.Canadian Opera Company: lunchtime vocal recitals atthe Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in the Four SeasonsCentre continue apace! On October 2 arias and ensemblesfrom operas based on Shakespeare will be sung bystudents at the University of Toronto’s Opera Division;on October 7 Colin Ainsworth, tenor, and Stephen Ralls,piano, will perform three song cycles by Derek Holman;Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure, tenor, and Iain MacNeil,baritone, will sing Fauré and Mahler on October 9; singersand dancers from Opera Atelier will perform excerpts from Handel’sAlcina on October 14; artists of the COC production of Falstaff willperform art songs on October 23. All of these concerts are free.A busy October 4: There are several concerts on October 4: SubaSankaran is the singer in a presentation which will show how globaltraditions can be and have been integrated into Canadian new music(Canadian Music Centre). Voice and Collaborative Piano students fromthe University of Toronto will illustrate the interaction between poeticaland musical language in the classical art song (Edward JohnsonBuilding). Both are free as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. AllisonAngelo, soprano, and Geoffrey Sirett, baritone, will be the singersin a concert commemorating the Great War (St. Andrew’s Church).Emily D’Angelo will be the soprano soloist with the Greater TorontoPhilharmonic Orchestra at Calvin Presbyterian Church.International Divas is an ambitious three-concert series (world,folk, roots, jazz, classics) in natural acoustics. The first of these willtake place on October 5 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre and will feature thevoices of Jackie Richardson, Laila Biali, Luanda Jones, Cindy Church,NOV 7–8, 2014, 8PMT h e P o e m /The SongArt of Time explores the depths ofpoetry’s relationship to song in a widerangingprogram including readingsby Margaret Atwood, the poetry ofWalt Whitman. T. S. Eliot and musicby George Crumb, Leonard Cohen,Franz Liszt and more.featuringMargaret Atwood, Thom Allison,Carla Huhtanen, Gregory Hoskins &Andrew Burashkotickets infoTickets – Harbourfront Centre Theatre, or call 416 973 4000DENIS ROUVREseason sponsorseason patronsEli and Phil Taylorgovernment supportseason October 1 - November 7, 2014 | 35

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