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Volume 27 Issue 5 | March 4 - April 15, 2022

"Hard to watch and impossible to ignore"--on the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Tafelmusik goes live again in a tribute to Jeanne Lamon; TSO MD reunion as Centennial Countdown kicks off; PASS=Performing Arts Sunday Series at the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts ...; crosstown to the TRANZAC, Matthew Fava on the move; all this and more ....

Teiya Kasahara in the

Teiya Kasahara in the short film Opera Trans*formed And the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, after some very interesting experiments with digital production, is also getting back to live opera production with Handel’s Rinaldo at Koerner Hall. What makes this a must-see for me is that brilliant director and acting teacher Tom Diamond who has mostly been directing south of the border the past few years, is back. Perhaps this could lead to Diamond directing once again for the COC? We can hope. The Shaw and Stratford Festivals have also now muscled up and set dates for their big musicals of the season. Shaw will be presenting the Faustian baseball-set classic Damn Yankees to be directed by Brian Hill, starring Kimberley Rampersad as Lola. Stratford is promising a newly choreographed version of Kander and Ebb’s Chicago, created specifically for the Festival Theatre’s thrust stage by director/choreographer Donna Feore. There is nothing quite like seeing a great production of a large-scale musical to restore a sense of hope and joy. Both shows will run through the summer in repertory with other productions, including (at Shaw) with a return of the outdoor musical and dramatic programming. Silver (screen) linings Luckily while theatres were closed, we have had the silver lining of companies and individual artists embracing the digital realm, both sharing existing work and creating new, specifically to share with audiences over the air waves. The digital wave will continue with two innovative projects debuting in March that have both artistic and societal goals: Opera Trans*formed, a short (seven minute) documentary starring opera innovator Teiya Kasahara, produced by Leah Borts- Kuperman and Maria Sarrouh, seeks to urge audiences to recognize that, in a time of existential crisis for the opera industry, the emerging presence of genderqueer voices is helping reimagine a more vibrant, sustainable, relevant future for the genre. Opera Trans*formed can be seen on March 21 as part of the Toronto Short Film Festival, March 21 to 31. Against the Grain’s latest opera/film hybrid, Bound, in association with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Crows Theatre, also aims to knock down some of the walls in the traditional world of opera, showcasing four life stories that challenge Canada’s myth of belonging in an unusual format, interwoven with music by Handel. Across the footlights As much as the digital production revolution has been a pandemic silver lining, and an important evolution of the art form in its own right, it has to be said that watching a show online is not the same as actually being in a theatre as a performer or member of the audience able to experience that feeling of sharing the experience across the footlights and with other people in the same space. I know I am not alone in being thankful for the wonderful digital creations that have sustained us over the past two years, but even more grateful for the return to live performance. I Remember... Programme Highlights: Arvo Pärt Spiegel im Spiegel Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin, Opera - Letter scene Schumann Piano Quintet, E flat major, Op. 44 Artists: Cesar Bello, Baritone (OCMS debut) Joni Henson, Soprano Inna Perkis, Piano Rosebud String Quartet Boris Zarankin, Piano Host: Julia Zarankin In person at Trinity St. Paul’s. www.offcentremusic.com April 10, 2022 22 | February 2022 thewholenote.com

QUICK PICKS and SHOW INFO MAR 9 to 13: Winter Mixed Program: Elite Syncopations (Kenneth MacMillan to Scott Joplin and others); Skyward by Alysa Pires; On Solid Ground by Siphesihle November; After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon, National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, national.ballet.ca LIVE MAR 11, 8PM & MAR 12, 4PM: Songbook XI, Tapestry New Opera, Ernest Balmer Studio, Always a fun opportunity to get to know new singers and hear again some of Tapestry’s greatest hits. LIVE MAR 16 & 18, 7:30PM: Rinaldo, Glenn Gould School, Royal Conservatory, Tom Diamond directs. LIVE and ONLINE MAR 18 to 27: The Sleeping Beauty, National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons For The Performing Arts. LIVE MAR 19, 7:30PM & MAR 20, 5PM: The Lion Heart, Mightier Productions, College St. United Church, mightierproductions@ gmail.com (416) 882-8044. Live Stream at: mightierproductions. com/lion-heart. LIVE & ONLINE MAR 21: Opera Trans*formed, a short documentary starring opera-superstar Teiya Kasahara, produced by Leah Borts- Kuperman and Maria Sarrouh, at the Toronto Short Film Festival, (Shorts Documentary 2) www.torontoshort.com ONLINE MAR 24, 7PM: Lavender Creek Story Cabaret, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Outdoors, www.luminatofestival.com LIVE MAR 27 to APR 24: Bound, Against the Grain and TSO, Free, atgtheatre.com/bound/ ONLINE GROW APR 1 to MAY 8: Riser Toronto, new work series, Why Not Theatre, Theatre Centre, www.whynot. theatre/risertoronto LIVE APR 6 to OCT 30 (opening night June 3): Chicago, Festival Theatre, Stratford Festival, stratfordfestival.ca, LIVE APR 8 & 9, 7:30PM: Only You (Canada), Anne Plamondon Productions: Only You is an exploration of everything that binds and separates us. In a quest towards understanding, acceptance and honesty, its two protagonists gradually remove the invisible veils between them to unmask the truth. Fleck Dance Theatre, harbourfrontcentre.com APR 19 to MAY 29: Boy Falls From The Sky, Royal Alexandra Theatre, Mirvish Productions, mirvish.com, LIVE APR 19 to APR 30: GROW. Premiere of new Canadian musical. Book by Matt Murray, music by Colleen Dauncey, lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal. Directed by Dennis Garnhum, Grand Theatre, grandtheatre.com, LIVE APR 23 to OCT 9 (opening night May 19) Damn Yankees, Shaw Festival, shawfest.com LIVE Jennifer Parr is a Toronto-based director, dramaturge, fight director and acting coach, brought up from a young age on a rich mix of musicals, Shakespeare and new Canadian plays. NEW DATES Lauren Pearl Lauren Margison Danlie Rae Acebuque Marjorie Maltais Ryan Downey Scott Rumble Sandra Horst Narmina Afandiyeva thewholenote.com March 4 - April 15, 2022 | 23

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