3 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020

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Welcome to our December/January issue as we turn the annual calendar page, halfway through our season for the 25th time, juggling as always, secular stuff, the spirit of the season, new year resolve and winter journeys! Why is Mozart's Handel's Messiah's trumpet a trombone? Why when Laurie Anderson offers to fly you to the moon you should take her up on the invitation. Why messing with Winterreisse can (sometimes) be a very good thing! And a bumper crop of record reviews for your reading (and sometimes listening) pleasure. Available in flipthrough here right now, and on stands commencing Thursday Nov 28. See you on the other side!

Le Chimera Project:

Le Chimera Project: Winterreise at Domaine Forget. (from left) Philippe Sly, Samuel Carrier, Félix de l'Étoile, Karine Gordon, Jonathan Millette. actually going on – there is no pretending.” A more abstract, visceral and, to a degree, spontaneous Winterreise, then? All the musicians will have their music memorized, and within the preset parameters of the staging, there is freedom for individual performers to do what they choose in the moment. “We’d like to show some of the dynamics between musicians in space,” says Sly. “That’s what I find fascinating about watching musicians in general; whatever the content might be, the thing that’s really going on is making an attempt at communication. I think that going through this ordeal of performing is innately dramatic and theatrical.” While there will always be music lovers who will find a narrative in Winterreise, this particular group of creators are more interested in its symbols, feelings, colours of language. “The performance of lieder is not storytelling in the traditional sense,” Sly says. “The idea is not to subvert the tradition, but to actually lay it bare. We’re going deeper into Schubert.” And they are treating the cycle as if it’s been recently written. “This is something we talked about a lot in the course of the making,” says Rallo. “Because we live in the world of recordings, video and audio, we can consume countless versions of Winterreise today. But the fact of the matter is, somebody wrote a song and they’d like you to sing it. I don’t think that Schubert composed with only one idea in mind regarding how it should be performed. And when we freed ourselves from the piano, a lot of the baggage that comes with performing Winterreise in recital went away. We are exploring the notes that are there. We are not changing any music – and some Winterreise versions do that.” Sly and Le Chimera – which, aside from Rallo, de l’Étoile and Carrier, includes designer Doey Lüthi, Jonathan Millette on violin and Karine Gordon on trombone – have performed the piece a few times, including in Rouen and Vichy in France, and each time, Sly and Rallo tell me, Great Joy II: Around the World Exciting new gospel arrangements of an assortment of carols and holiday tunes from countries including France, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy and Germany. Friday December 13, 2019 7:30pm All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church | 2850 Bloor St. W. Harriet Tubman: The Opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom by Nkeiru Okoye is an opera in two acts commissioned by American Opera Projects. “ ensemble of achingly beautiful arias, duets, trios and choruses that recount the major episodes in Tubman’s career…” Glenn McNatt - The Baltimore Sun Friday February 7, 2020 7:30pm Tribute Communities Recital Hall, York University | 4700 Keele St. adult | $25 senior | student | children under 12 free ORDER NOW at 28 | December 2019January 2020

they’ve effectively performed a different piece. “A lot of the times when singers work with pianists,” says Rallo, “they work out every little moment, and the performance becomes replicating this meticulous process. Whereas this performance, I think, is more about the event of it happening. Yes, certain things have been worked out in advance, but every time it happens, it happens in the way that it happens.” The change of location affects the performance: staging is slightly different each time, and whether the musicians do a particular action (as we can see in some of the clips that the group posted on YouTube) it’s to be decided in the moment. “The show always begins with the first song that Phil doesn’t sing,” says Rallo. “He basically does an action during that while they’re playing off stage. And that action, to me, informs the entire evening. And the way he does that action is never the same. It was never staged; it was only given as an idea. Never said how it should be done. And it is a kind of the seed of the evening which informs how the rest of the evening unfolds.” Adds Sly: “I’m not the only performer, let’s keep that in mind. All these people have their own agency and they’re making their decisions that will be different. We’re forced to engage in the moment.” Which is, for Sly, what performing lieder is all about. Unlike many singers his age, the young baritone takes the art song, especially of the German kind, extremely seriously. He eagerly performs and records Lieder and continues to study the poetry. “It’s meeting Dr. Deen Larsen, the founder of the Franz Schubert Institute, that opened a whole new world for me,” he says. “There is deep satisfaction in making those works intelligible. I am in search of a state of flow when I’m performing lieder. That flow when it arrives is just fantastic. Lieder – “little gems that contain the whole universe,” as he describes them – let you say things about poetry and music that you can’t say in opera. “In opera, you are not vulnerable continuously for that amount of time. So there’s an almost masochistic quality to performing lieder that I enjoy. Just getting through it is something. As a singer, you’re part of a lineage of interpretation: I am interpreting Schubert, Schubert is interpreting the poetry – but the only way to truth is through my experience. In lieder, the mask is off.” ART OF SONG QUICK PICKS !! DEC 5, 8PM: Music Toronto presents bass Robert Pomakov with the Gryphon Trio, in a program of Beethoven, Mussorgsky (arr. Kulesha) and Dvořák. Never miss a Robert Pomakov recital, is my advice. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. !! JAN 7, 12:10PM: An onstage conversation with one of the most in-demand lyric mezzos today, Emily D’Angelo. University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Voice Performance Class. Walter Hall. Free and open to all. !! JAN 10, 8PM: Described as an “outrageous double bill of vocal pyrotechnics,” The Mouths That Roared concert will feature Montreal composer/performer Gabriel Dharmoo’s piece Anthropologies imaginaires and soprano Janice Jackson in a program of solo vocal compositions, many written especially for her. The Music Gallery, 918 Bathurst St. !! JAN 26, 2PM: Royal Conservatory of Music presents mezzo Allyson McHardy and soprano Leslie Ann Bradley in a siren-themed program that will include Elizabeth Raum’s Sirens: A Song Cycle for Two Sopranos. (2003). Mazzoleni Concert Hall. !! FEB 3, 7:30PM: Danika Lorèn curates Emily D’Angelo master’s and doctoral-level students from the U of T Faculty of Music in a program titled “Vocalis: A Few Figs from Thistles.” Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. Free and open to the public. Lydia Perović is an arts journalist in Toronto. Send her your art-of-song news to 2019-2020: The Fellowship of Early Music “...graciously sophisticated yet subtly mischievous [with] exquisite intonation and refinement.” – Los Angeles Times “The Search for SALAMONE ROSSI” A documentary film screening and Q&A TUESDAY, JANUARY 21 at 7pm INNIS TOWN HALL, U of T, 2 SUSSEX AVE. COUNTRYSIDE and COURT OCTOBER 25 & 26 at 8pm Artistic Direction by Katherine Hill, with Emilyn Stam Whether enjoyed in refined 16th-century courts or in today’s Hebreo: traditional music scene, the undeniable appeal of French ROSSI’S music has endured MANTUA through the centuries! We kick off Live the season concert whirling by Profeti and twirling della through Quintathe popular “voix de ville” songs and exquisite courtly music of Claude JANUARY Le Jeune and 31 his & FEBRUARY contemporaries, 1 combined at 8pm TRINITY-ST. PAUL’S CENTRE, 427 BLOOR ST. W. with the magic of guest traditional fiddler and dancer Emilyn Stam. Tickets start at only ! | 416-964-6337 | December 2019January 2020 | 29

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