5 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016

  • Text
  • September
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • October
  • Festival
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Quartet
  • Volume
Music lover's TIFF (our fifth annual guide to the Toronto International Film Festival); Aix Marks the Spot (how Brexit could impact on operatic co-production); The Unstoppable Howard Cable (an affectionate memoir of a late chapter in the life of of a great Canadian arranger; Kensington Jazz Story (the newest kid on the festival block flexes its muscles). These stories and much more as we say a lingering goodbye to summer and turn to the task, for the 22nd season, of covering the live and recorded music that make Southern Ontario tick.


WHEN IT COMES TO OPERATIC CO-PRODUCTIONS Aix Marks the Spot PETER GODDARD The end-of- bringing Richard June latemorning debut produc- Jones’ Aix sun promises to tion of Handel’s fry the brains Ariodante of the assembled Who’s Who Seasons Centre, to the Four of international October 16 to opera critics. No November 4 this one dares though year, a co-production with the to leave the press conference in COC, Dutch the cloisters of National Opera the Théâtre de and Lyric Opera l’archevêché until of Chicago? (As a we deal with matter of interest, what we are here the record, to discuss, and going back to that is not just the 2006/07 the Festival d’Aixen-Provence. that the COC season, shows So we wait, has presented 19 as a trio of officials fills the shiny including this co-productions (above) Théâtre de l’archevêché (left) Bernard Foccroulle air with bright year’s October 6 promises of newly to November 5 re-imaged old work – Mozart meets Mussolini in Così fan tutte to Norma, directed by Kevin Newbury, a co-production with San open the festival’s 68th iteration – and as company director Bernard Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre Foccroulle, frazzled-looking most times yet now cool as a glaçon – del Liceu.) extols outreach programs, “school support,” administrative breakthroughs … We wait, plastic water bottles draining as steadily as the world’s centre for international musical wheeling and dealing? And what will Brexit mean for an Aix festival that’s arguably the temperature mounts. Then: “Brexit.” Foccroulle looks less than happy at the thought. “Artists need to The word, spoken not shouted, came from out of nowhere – maybe travel,” he tells me after the press conference. “And for opera it is from Foccroulle himself? Or who knows? It didn’t matter. It was crucial to work with other cultures, other languages, other ways of as if a code had just been cracked; a world of information started producing art – also to be in contact with other disciplines. How spilling out. much is dictated by the European Union? Well, a lot is facilitated by it, The “British exit” was inevitably the talk of this European summer, supported and subsidized.” its implications growing thornier with every new detail. For this If any torpid Mediterranean city can be described as go-go, assembled music crowd, the very thought of the United Kingdom’s it’s Aix. The city downtown has its share of timeless moments. decision to sever all ties from the European Union (EU) was a stark Cours Mirabeau, the coolest summer-strolling corridor this side of reminder that unfettered border crossing has been to opera’s advantage, long before Handel took his act from Halle to London. geoise homes on the south. Some are now banks. Here and there are Barcelona’s La Rambla, is lined by a row of former grande bour- Bottom line: if there’s a Brexit-induced clawback of arts funding in any number of nearby ornate fountains – “Aix” comes from the word Europe or a redistribution of funds, the shrinking effect will be felt for water – such the Baroque Fontaine de Quatre-Dauphins where soon enough worldwide most particularly when it comes to operatic dolphin-like gargoyles spew water (not a quartet of future French co-production. kings, as the fountain’s name might suggest). This is not to forget For opera and theatre in England, minus the 16 percent of its painter Paul Cézanne’s airy studio that’s an obligatory visit for every budget originally from the EU, it will mean a “great sadness,” Katie bus tour heading north of town. Mitchell, Aix’s genius-in-residence, chimed in from somewhere Aix’s cultural clout has been on the rise pretty much since the festival’s founding in 1948 as home for Mozart aficionados. It’s a photog- behind Foccroulle at the festival-starter press conference. (Note: the formidably stern Mitchell, frequently called Britain’s “greatest living raphy and arts research centre. The festival itself can now brag about director,” has worked mostly away from England the past few years. 97.9 percent full houses for opera and slightly over 94 percent for the Her introspective take on Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is likely to be many concerts. Otherwise Aix is France’s version of Silicon Valley one of this festival’s two legacies.) Brexit pushes the EU-needy English with high-end university research facilities and credit card microchip National Opera even closer to the brink of collapse, if that were indeed processing plants edging their way out into some of the best olivegrowing hectares in all the South of France. (“There are a great many possible (although some fightback came this summer by way of the company’s Tristan und Isolde, with sculptor Anish Kapoor’s sets wise people there” was written into the founding act for the Royal drawing much of the attention). University in Aix, 1413.) The more the talk continued, the more the sense of worry grew. Translated: this means money. Elsewhere, to describe anyone in the What, for example, would Brexit auger for the broader reaches of the arts as a “money person” might be an insult. But not in Aix and not co-production ideal of the sort that has the Canadian Opera Company 8 | September 1, 2016 - October 7, 2016

great chamber music downtown STRINGS Oct. 13 Juilliard Quartet Nov. 10 Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc Dec. 1 Suzie LeBlanc, Robert Kortgaard, Blue Engine String Quartet Dec. 15 Gryphon Trio Jan. 26 St. Lawrence Quartet Feb. 16 Eybler Quartet Mar. 2 Prazak Quartet Mar. 16 Philharmonia Quartett Berlin PIANO Oct. 25 Janina Fialkowska Nov. 15 Danny Driver Jan. 10 Sean Chen Feb. 7 Ilya Poletaev Subscriptions still available. Single tickets now on sale. All concerts at 8pm. 416-366-7723 1-800-708-6754 order online at ONTARIO ARTS COUNCIL CONSEIL DES ARTS DE L’ONTARIO Canadian Patrimoine Heritage canadien

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)