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Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • August
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Quartet
  • Arts
  • September
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CBC Radio's Lost Horizon; Pinocchio as Po-Mo Operatic Poster Boy; Meet the Curators (Crow, Bernstein, Ridge); a Global Music Orchestra is born; and festivals, festivals, festivals in our 13th annual summer music Green Pages. All this and more in our three-month June-through August summer special issue, now available in flipthrough HERE and on the stands commencing Thursday June 1.

Russian folk-songs to

Russian folk-songs to accompaniment by Sevastian. At 7pm on the same day, the Toronto Consort is reprising the Catherine de Medici concert originally performed last November in Toronto, this time at Ottawa’s Dominion-Chalmers United Church. The Consort’s Laura Pudwell, Michele DeBoer, Katherine Hill, music director David Fallis, Paul Jenkins and John Pepper sang back in November, and I expect that the lineup of voices will remain similar for Ottawa. Most of the composers on the program, with the exception of Orlande de Lassus, are little known today, though some of the poets will score better (Ariosto and Pierre de Ronsard are still being read today). For those among us who regret having missed The Italian Queen of France in November, this second chance will be travel-worthy. On that same night at 10pm at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins, the Bicycle Opera Project presents a new production of Juliet Palmer and Anna Chatterton’s garment workers opera, Sweat. I remember seeing its precursor, Stitch, on the night of its world premiere at the old and decrepit Theatre Centre almost ten years ago, and am curious to see how the musical ideas in that similarly themed opera have evolved into Sweat in the intervening years. Sweat was commissioned by Soundstreams and premiered at National Sawdust in Brooklyn last year. It’s still a cappella with five soloists, but with an Announcing the 2017 2018 SEASON VOICE B OX OPERA IN CONCERT Guillermo Silva-Marin General Director operainconcert.com Sun October 29, 2017 CHORUS FIRE Celebrating 40 Years of the OIC Chorus Sun November 26, 2017 RODELINDA by George Frideric Handel Sun February 4, 2018 I DUE FIGARO by Saverio Mercadante Sat March 24 & Sun March 25, 2018 A World Premiere THE ECSTASY OF RITA JOE by Victor Davies For a Subscription brochure and ticket information please call (416) 922-2147 or e-mail admin@operainconcert.com added chorus, about 15 minutes longer and, in addition to English, includes lyrics in Cantonese, Ukrainian and Hungarian. Think of August as the month for classical music in unusual venues. Classical Unbound Festival opens on August 18 in Prince Edward County, with a concert in a privately owned restored barn that doubles as a wine-tasting hall: the Grange of Prince Edward Estate Winery, which seats an audience of 80. There are two “libation-intermissions” which can also be used for the consumption of comestibles, given that picnic baskets will be on hand too. Prince Edward wine country meets Glyndebourne? Why not: Canadian land- and mansion-owners, take note, and consider starting your own festival or concert series. Krisztina Szabó headlines the event, which opens with Haydn’s “Sunrise” Quartet Op. 76 No. 4 with Yosuke Kawasaki (violin I), Jessica Linnebach (violin II), Yehonatan Berick (viola) and Racher Mercer (cello). Berick and Mercer will return for John Burge’s Pas de deux for violin and cello (2011) and the entire quartet will accompany Szabó in Respighi’s Il Tramonto (1914) at the end. In the first two vocal pieces, however, the mezzo will be paired with Joanna G’froerer on flute. Szabó will sing John Corigliano’s Three Irish Folk Songs Settings for Voice and Flute (1988) and after the second intermission, Harry Freedman’s Toccata for Soprano and Flute (1968). I asked Szabó how unusual the voice and flute pairing is in art song. “I have performed with flute before – with the Talisker Players, André Caplet’s piece Écoute, mon coeur – but I haven’t experienced this pairing more than a couple of times prior to this,” she emails back. “I think there is a fair amount of repertoire for voice and flute out there, though probably more for soprano.” Does the timbre react to the brightness of the flute, I wondered? Brightness is not the first image she associates with flute, Szabó tells me. “Of course, brightness is an aspect of its tone, but what strikes me about the flute is its warmth and roundness of tone, particularly in the middle register. I think that warmth will lend itself well to Corigliano’s Songs.” Freedman’s vocal piece uses phonemes for their sound rather than meaning and comes with its own set of demands and pleasures. “Because the voice and flute are equal partners and there is interplay and no words, I will be focusing on being more of an ‘instrument’ in duet with the flute. Freedom from words in art song really frees the singer up, I think, to play with colours more, and this piece has an improvisational, almost jazz-like feel.” Respighi’s Il Tramonto Szabó has sung before – in 2010 with Thirteen Strings – and knows it well. What should we be listening for? “It’s a beautifully expressive piece and I think audiences will be struck by the intimacy of the sound world created by the voice and ensemble, and the poetry and the drama of the storytelling. The dramatic arc makes the piece almost operatic: there is a real climax and dénouement to the story, a real scena. The music is lush and yet intensely intimate.” Perfect for bringing summer to a close. Alexander Sevastian heads to Chamberfest, July 24, for “The Mighty Accordion: A Brief History”, for which he’ll be joined by Robert Pomakov. Lydia Perović is an arts journalist in Toronto. Send her your art-of-song news to artofsong@thewholenote.com. 34 | June 1, 2017 - September 7, 2017 thewholenote.com

Beat by Beat | Choral Scene Of Many Voices: Choirs and Festivals BRIAN CHANG A lot of musical organizations go on break over the summer, but that doesn’t mean the end to opportunities for amazing music. Southern Ontario is lucky to have within a few hours’ drive several world-class music festivals, where there are lots of opportunities to see local and international artists at play. I’ve highlighted a few options for festivals and other exciting performances with a choral flavour. Peter Oundjian at the helm The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Children’s Chorus are joined by soloists for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, for four performances June 21 to 24. This mainstay of choral performance is going to be a fun time. It also marks one of a handful of choral performances remaining in which you can catch Peter Oundjian on the podium before his tenure ends in 2017/18. In his remaining year, there are only three other opportunities to see him in action with a choir in Toronto before his departure. In September, Oundjian leads the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in Brahms’ A German Requiem. In March 2018, he leads the Toronto Children’s Chorus in the premiere of Scottish composer James MacMillan’s Little Mass. And finally, his great send-off will be at the helm of Beethoven’s Nineth Symphony in June 2018. Flag these in your agendas and calendars. If you are a fan of choral music and Peter Oundjian, don’t miss! The National Youth Choir of Canada This year as part of Canada 150, the National Youth Choir of Canada (NYC) will tour Eastern Canada, performing alongside the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO) as part of the NYO’s Edges of Canada Tour. “This is a really unique year; we don’t usually do the choir every year,” says Hilary Knox, executive director of Choirs Canada. Just last year, the choir was convened under the baton of Michael Zaugg. “This year,” she continues, “the National Youth Orchestra was able to get a massive heritage grant to do a tour and to do collaborations as part of Canada 150.” Part of this work includes the National Youth Choir, who will perform and tour alongside the orchestra while also performing in their own concerts through Southern Ontario. This year, the 40 singers of the choir are made up of musicians from every province and the Northwest Territories. Knox talks about their first-time use of YouTube auditions to have a broader reach for participants. “YouTube auditions allow us access to a number of singers we couldn’t reach otherwise.” Beverley Rockwell, a member from the Northwest Territories, enjoyed the YouTube option. “I found it quick, easy and painless,” she says. “Uploading to YouTube and sharing the link to the NYC committee was a good way to get everyone’s auditions easily, and for us to use the resources provided to us in this technological age.” The NYC gives participants broad-based exposure to not only the choral world of Canada, but also the wider artistic community in the country. Rockwell is looking forward to this new experience. “To be experiencing it on the national scale is amazing,” she shares. “In the Northwest Territories, our choirs are small and everyone knows one another, very much like a family, but you can get quite stuck in the comfort of your surroundings…. Also, it’s a chance to gain perspective on how other singers from Canada grew up singing and how they view the wonderful country that is Canada.” Calgary-based conductor Timothy Shantz – chorus master of the Calgary Philharmonic, artistic director of Spiritus Chamber Choir, and founding director of Luminous Voices – will lead the NYC in its a cappella pieces and solo concerts this year. It’s a big year and an exciting one for the NYC – a chance to not only learn and perform but also to share in the intense artistry of Remarkably fresh from adjudicating choirs at Kiwanis and Rotary festivals coast-to-coast, Mary Lou Fallis and longtime stalwart collaborator Peter Tiefenbach join forces with the Elora Singers for “Primadonna Choralis” (July 22). performing with the National Youth Orchestra. “For us, to do a collaboration is so fantastic; it speaks so beautifully to our mission,” says Knox. “To bring the kids together, have them work together…it’s kind of unprecedented. The discussions we’re having with the orchestra are exciting.” Catch them in action across Eastern Canada: July 18 – Knox Presbyterian Church, St. Catharines, ON. July 19 – The NYC stops by the Elora Festival to sing with the Elora Singers. Knox Presbyterian Church, Elora, ON. July 20 – Stratford Summer Music. Edges of Canada Tour with the NYO. Stratford, ON. July 22 – Edges of Canada Tour with the NYO. National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON. July 23 – Edges of Canada Tour with the NYO. Maison Symphonique, Montreal, QC. 2017/18 Concert Series 1. UNITED IN SONG - Celebrating Canada 150 Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 | 4:00 pm Eglinton St. George’s United Church, Toronto 2. CHRISTMAS ORATORIO (Cantatas 1 – 3) J.S. Bach Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 | 8:00 pm | Metropolitan United Church, Toronto A co-production with The Elmer Iseler Singers Patricia Wright, continuo; orchestra and soloists TBA 3. THE COMMUNITY OF SINGERS: JOINING FORCES CHORAL CONDUCTOR SYMPOSIUM Conductors’/Singers’ Workshop (Mar. 23 – 25, 2018) with concert on Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018 | 4:00 pm | Eglinton St. George’s United Church, Toronto Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, Eglinton St. George’s United Church Choir and other choristers from the surrounding area 4. I SAW ETERNITY - Songs of the Earth Sunday, Apr. 29, 2018 | 4:00 pm Eglinton St. George’s United Church, Toronto Tickets/Information: 416-446-0188 | Email: info@amadeuschoir.com ADAM ADLER thewholenote.com June 1, 2017 - September 7, 2017 | 35

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