3 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020

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Visions of 2020! Sampling from back to front for a change: in Rearview Mirror, Robert Harris on the Beethoven he loves (and loves to hate!); Errol Gay, a most musical life remembered; Luna Pearl Woolf in focus in recordings editor David Olds' "Editor's Corner" and in Jenny Parr's preview of "Jacqueline"; Speranza Scappucci explains how not to reinvent Rossini; The Indigo Project, where "each piece of cloth tells a story"; and, leading it all off, Jully Black makes a giant leap in "Caroline, or Change." And as always, much more. Now online in flip-through format here and on stands starting Thurs Jan 30.

Beat by Beat | Choral

Beat by Beat | Choral Scene Conversations in Song and Choral Relevance BRIAN CHANG Guest artistic director Scott Metcalfe leads The Toronto Consort on March 6 and 7 EARLY MUSIC QUICK PICKS !! FEB 9, 2PM: Rezonance Baroque Ensemble. “Flights of Fancy.” St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 361 Danforth Avenue. In a column dedicated to modern concert presentations, it is important to mention the preservation of old skills, such as the art of improvisation. These performers are some of the city’s best, and there is nothing like live improv; it’s like a good tightrope walk without a safety net! !! FEB 29, 7:30PM: Oakville Chamber Orchestra. “Four Elements & Four Seasons.” Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, 130 Navy Street, Oakville. Although Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is the main attraction, Rebel’s Les Élémens is a superb piece from one of the French Baroque’s lesser-known composers. Rebel is also on the program at Tafelmusik’s “Dreaming Jupiter” this month, providing two opportunities to unearth a new discovery. !! MAR 6 & 7, 8PM: Toronto Consort. “Crossing the Channel.” Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West. The contenance angloise, also known as the “mellifluous style,” was pioneered by John Dunstaple and other English composers and it changed the musical landscape in both France and England. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear these fascinating, forward-looking selections from the late-medieval period. Matthew Whitfield is a Toronto-based harpsichordist and organist. Artists of many kinds feel like it should be the goal for their art to rise above the everyday – art is its own thing. Other artists strive to make the everyday the fulcrum of their art: to drive conversations to respond to them, to change narratives, and to leave people changed. Over the next month I’m highlighting two of the latter for you to attend and find yourself inserted into an ongoing conversation about the past, about now, about who we are, about who we want to be. I hope you don’t just accept the music passively and are instead empowered to respond to it. My kind of choral music is about conversations in song. Join me! The Woman Donald Trump Took off American Money The Nathaniel Dett Chorale presents a concert version of American composer Nkeiru Okoye’s opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom as part of their Voices of the Diaspora series. Harriet Tubman has been much in popular culture lately. Beginning in 2020, she should have been on American bills in circulation across the US, but Donald Trump’s office has stopped this from happening. Tubman, born Araminta Ross, is part of the black history of Canada and her incredible story and leadership continue to inspire. Cynthia Erivo brought Tubman to life in the 2019 film Harriet and has earned Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Original Song for it. Here in Canada, Southern Ontario has been an important marker on the life and enduring legacy of Tubman’s work. Driving through Southern Ontario, you’ll see the Underground Railroad marked with footprints and the North Star. The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples is based at York University, which is also home to the Nathaniel Dett Chorale. There is deep and rich history of black peoples and cultures across the region and exploring that vibrancy is core to the Nathaniel Dett Chorale. TAFELMUSIK BAROQUE SUMMER INSTITUTE MAY 31– JUNE 13, 2020 TORONTO, CANADA Conductor: Paul Grambo ~ Accompanist: Jean Willadsen An Irish Celtic Celebration An intensive 14-day residency in instrumental and vocal period performance. For advanced students and professional musicians. Application deadline: March 1, 2020. TAFELMUSIK BAROQUE SUMMER INSTITUTE SPONSOR Elisa Citterio, Music Director with special guests Anne Lindsay (fiddle) & Sharlene Wallace (harp) Saturday, March 7, 7:30 pm Grace Church on-the-hill, 300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto Tickets available online at & 30 | February 2020

A previously unreleased conceptual design of a new note that was produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and obtained by The New York Times depicts Harriet Tubman in a dark coat with a wide collar and a white scarf. This preliminary design was completed in late 2016. Commissioned by the American Opera Project (AOP), the opera had its premiere in 2014 in Brooklyn and has been performed periodically since its inception. “The opera’s grounding in folk music gives it yet another dimension – one that is educational, while entertaining,” wrote Okoye in the original production program. “Between spirituals, juba, ragtime, field hollers, work songs, gospel, jazz and shouts – the opera remains surprisingly contemporary, interweaving these idioms, seamlessly, with Western traditions. “Many people know about Harriet Tubman as the legendary American hero…I decided to find Tubman as a human being beyond her enslavement and liberation of others.” The opera enlivens the relationships that inspired Tubman to become a leader. Behind the great risk and danger she faced were people whom she loved dearly. These relationships gave her the strong feelings of love and responsibility to justice that moved her to lead others to safety. Behind all of this is a powerful story of relationships which Okoye has brought to life. AOP describes the opera as telling “how a young girl born in slavery becomes the legendary Underground Railroad conductor.” More than 150 years on, we can still learn so much more about this incredible woman, the community she helped build and the legacy of her legend. That legend should have been commemorated with the honouring of Tubman on the bill. But, just as when she was alive Tubman was despised and feared for what she represented – justice and freedom – even now, there are political forces who would further February 2020 | 31

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