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Volume 20 Issue 8 - May 2015

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Beat by Beat | Art of

Beat by Beat | Art of SongOff Centre MusicSalon at 20HANS DE GROOTOff Centre Music Salon is celebrating its 20th anniversary thisyear. To mark the occasion a special concert will be givenon June 7 at Glenn Gould Studio. It features a great array ofCanadian singers (many of whom performed with Off Centre MusicSalon early in their careers): sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, JoniHenson, Nathalie Paulin, Monica Whicher, Lucia Cesaroni and IlanaZarankin; mezzos Krisztina Szabó, NorineBurgess, Lauren Segal and Emilia Boteva;tenor Jeffrey Hill; baritones Russell Braunand James Westman; and bass-baritoneOlivier Laquerre. Pianist-composer JimmyRoberts will also take part.In the beginning Off Centre Music Salonpresented recitals but the directors, BorisZarankin and Inna Perkis, soon realizedthat there were many musical organizationsthat offered recitals and that theywould only be duplicating the kind of thingthat was already available. Instead they hiton the notion of performing each programas a salon in the tradition of 17th-centuryFrance or early 20th-century Vienna. Theywere concerned that each concert shouldhave a storyline and should include thespoken word as well as music, a practicethat has now been adopted by other organizations,notably the Talisker Players. Theyprogrammed an annual Schubertiad, evenbefore the Aldeburgh Connection followedsuit. They like to present their programs asif they are improvised, although in realityeverything is carefully prepared.This season included a new venture, twoconcerts characterized as “dérangé,” programsthat can be seen as “out of line,” and in which themusic is at the intersection of Canadian contemporary,classical, jazz and folk music. The curatorsof the series are their daughter, soprano IlanaZarankin, and drummer Nico Dann.Their 2015-16 season will see a change of venuefrom Glenn Gould Studio to Trinity-St. Paul’sCentre, a good move, I think, since the ambienceof GGS always worked against the notionof the salon that the organizers tried to create.Dates, artists and contents have already been set.The season begins on September 27 with “RussiaAdrift,” a program which will focus on Russiancomposers who spent much of their lives inexile; the second concert on November 1, “TheGeometry of Love,” will deal with the tangledrelationship of composers and writers such asBeethoven, Strauss, Mahler, Rilke and Nietzsche;the musical life of Paris and Berlin in the 1920s(Les Six, the jazz music of Hindemith) will beexplored on February 21; the season will end withthe annual Schubertiad in which tenor JeffreyHill will perform Die Schöne Müllerin on April 10.Against the Grain Theatre: Anyone who saw the magnificent doublebill of Janácek’s Diary of One who Disappeared and Kurtág’s KafkaFragments two years ago will be interested in their concerts on June 2,3, 4 and 5 at Neubacher Shor Contemporary, in which mezzo KrisztinaSzabó will sing Olivier Messiaen’s Harawi and bass-baritone StephenHegedus will perform Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin. The musicaldirector and pianist is Christopher (“Topher”) Mokrzewski and thestage director Joel Ivany. There will be a free preview of selectionsfrom both works in the Richard Bradshaw Auditorium at the FourSeasons Centre on May 21.Also at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (and free): On May 5baritone Joshua Hopkins (who is currently singing Figaro in Rossini’sThe Barber of Seville for the Canadian Opera Company) will singlieder by Schubert and Schumann; on May 19 Ekaterina Gubanova,mezzo (Judith in the COC’s revival of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle), andRachel Andrist, piano, will perform the Songs and Dances of Deathby Mussorgsky; and on May 20 there will be a farewell concert by thegraduating artists of the COC Ensemble Studio.Ilana ZarankinKrisztina SzabóStephen HegedusNew Music Concerts: On May 17 NMC will present“Michel Gonneville and the Belgian Connection” withworks by Gonneville and Henri Pousseur. The sopranois Ethel Guéret and the conductor Robert Aitken, atTrinity-St. Paul’s Centre.Recitals at Rosedale: Lucia Cesaroni, soprano,Emily D’Angelo. mezzo, and Anthony Cleverton, baritone,are the soloists in the final concert this season.The pianist is Rachel Andrist. The program includesselections fromSchumann’s Lieder und Gesängeaus Wilhelm Meister, Opus 98a, as well as works bySchubert, Duparc and Berlioz and also traditional folksongs from the British Isles, at Rosedale PresbyterianChurch May 3.Pax Christi: Also on May 3 Pax Christi Choralewill present the North American premiere of HubertParry’s oratorio Judith (written in 1888). The soloistsare Shannon Mercer, soprano, Jillian Yemen, mezzo,David Menzies, tenor, and Michael York, baritone. Theconductor is Stephanie Martin; at Koerner Hall.Toronto Masque Theatre: Two years agothe Toronto Masque Theatre presented TheLesson of Da Ji, a new work by Alice PingYee Ho, with a libretto by Marjorie Chan. OnMay 31 the company will perform a concertversion of the work. Marion Newman,mezzo, is Da Jin and other parts will besung by Derek Kwan, tenor, Vania Chan andCharlotte Corwin, soprano, Ben Covey, baritone,Alexander Dobson, bass-baritone andWilliam Lau, who specializes in female rolesin Peking Opera. Larry Beckwith conducts; atThe Music Gallery.Other Events: Two singer-songwriters willperform in Koerner Hall: Natalie Merchantsings original works on May 1 and 2; BuffySainte-Marie will sing on May 7.On May 3 Natalya Matyusheva, soprano,and Justin Stolz, tenor, will be the soloistswith the Vesnivka Choir and the TorontoUkrainian MaleChamber Choirin a program offolk songs celebratingrebirth,romance andlove at HumberValley UnitedChurch,Etobicoke.On May 5 themezzo MarinaYakhontovaNANC26 | May 1 - June 7, 2015

will sing “Forgotten and Famous Art Songs” from Eastern Europe andAmerica at Windermere United Church. The proceeds will be used toassist injured and displaced persons in the Ukraine.There will be a free noontime recital at St. Andrew’s Church onMay 8. The singer is the baritone Gianmarco Segato.Stephanie Diciantis, soprano, will sing Richard Strauss’ Four LastSongs as well as works by Barber and Rachmaninoff on May 10 atGallery 345. At the same location, on May 27, the mezzo Ali Garrisonwill present a program titled “New Songs from the Heart of Now:Making Songs for Our Time.”On May 12 the Talisker Players will present “Heroes, Gods andMortals,” a selection of adaptations of Greek myths in poetry, proseand song. The musical components consist of works by Pergolesi,Hovhaness, Plant, Turina and Weill as well as the premiere of acommissioned work by Monica Pearce (the Leda Songs, based on textsby Rilke, HD and D. H. Lawrence). The singers are Carla Huhtanen,soprano, and Andrea Ludwig, mezzo, at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.On May 13 Anna Bateman, soprano, Benoit Boutet, tenor, and JeffreyCarl, baritone, are the soloists in a performance of Carl Orff’s CarminaBurana by the Toronto Choral Society at Eastminster United Church.As part of Jewish Music Week Tibor and Kati Kovari, cantors, willperform “Afternoon Tunes: Celebrating Israel in Song” at Miles NadalJCC, May 14; free.To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World Warthe Shevchenko Musical Ensemble will sing “Songs of War and Peace”with Adèle Kozak, soprano, and Hassan Anami, tenor at St. Michael’sCollege School May 17.In the May 21 performance of Verdi’s Requiem by the TorontoSymphony Orchestra (repeated on May 22 and 23) the soloists areAmber Wagner, soprano, Jamie Barton, mezzo, Frank Lopardo,tenor, and Eric Owens, bass. Sir Andrew Davis conducts at RoyThomson Hall.Sonya Harper Nyby, soprano, Laura Schatz, mezzo, AnthonyVarahidis, tenor, and Michael Nyby, baritone, will be the soloistsin Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, K427 at St. Anne’s Anglican Churchon May 24.The soprano Erin Cooper Gay will sing Schubert’s song Der Tod unddas Mädchen; and the Halcyon String Quartet will play Schubert’sother “Death and the Maiden,” Quartet No.14 in D Minor, as well asMozart’s Quartet No.16 in E flat at Heliconian Hall May 25.Tapestry Opera presents the premiere of M’dea Undone: book byMarjorie Chan, score by John Harris. The singers are Lauren Segal,mezzo, Peter Barrett, baritone, James McLean, tenor, and JacquelineWoodley, soprano May 26 at Evergreen Brickworks.The tenor Charles Davidson will sing works by Schubert,Schumann, Weill and others at Metropolitan United Church May 30.On May 31 the Toronto Classical Singers will present Haydn’s TheCreation with Lesley Bouza, soprano, Christopher Mayell, tenor, andBruce Kelly, baritone, at Christ Church Deer Park.Gospel songs are performed by Joni Henson, soprano, Valerie Mero-Smith, mezzo, Alan Reid, tenor, and Sung Chung, baritone, June 3 atHumber Valley United Church.And beyond the GTA: On May 9 there will be a performance ofHaydn’s The Creation with Ellen McAteer and Chelsea Van Pelt,soprano, Chris Mayell, tenor, and Joel Allison and Tyler Fitzgerald,bass, at George Street United Church, Peterborough.The Bach Elgar Choir of Hamilton will perform Rossini’s PetiteMesse Solennelle on May 23. The soloists are Michele Bogdanowicz,mezzo, Zach Finkelstein, tenor, and Giles Tomkins, baritone, atMelrose United Church, Hamilton.Melissa-Marie Shriner will sing musical theatre, jazz and originalcompositions at the Vineland United Mennonite Church in Vinelandon May 30.Hans de Groot is a concertgoer and active listenerwho also sings and plays the recorder. He can becontacted at S†L¬RSEASºN oƒEA|lY MUSIC2015-2016 SEASONDAVID FALLIS, ARTISTIC DIRECTORThe Soul of NaplesNovember 13 & 14, 2015Christmas at the Monasteryof Santa CruzDecember 11, 12 & 13The Way of the PilgrimFebruary 12 & 13, 2016BeowulfMarch 11 & 12Monteverdi VespersMay 6, 7 & 8Subscribe Now and Save5 concerts from TorontoConsort.orgCall 416-964-6337an Ontario government agencyun organisme du gouvernement de l’ May 1 - June 7, 2015 | 27

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