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Volume 28 Issue 1 | September 20 - November 8, 2022

  • Text
  • Thewholenotecom
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Violin
  • Composer
  • Orchestra
  • October
  • November
  • Symphony
  • September
  • Toronto
Our 28th season in print! “And Now, Back to Live Action”; a symphonic-sized listings section, compared to last season; clubs “On the move” ; FuturesStops Festival and Nuit Blanche; “Pianistic high-wire acts”; Season announcements include full-sized choral works like Mendelssohn’s Elijah; “Icons, innovators and renegades” pulling out all the stops.

The anonymous libretto

The anonymous libretto to Venus and Adonis is thought to be the work of English poet Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (née Kingsmill) 1661 – 1720), widely considered to be one of the integral female poets of the Restoration Era. mattered to him very much that each woman be honoured in her own unique way in word and song. What attracted Marti Maraden to this piece? She’s worked with Norman before, and has known him for many years, she tells me. And she found this piece “extraordinarily evocative and emotionally engaging” on first read-through. “My own Swedish grandmother was an early 20th-century immigrant who came to America all by herself at the age of 17. Her own story was deeply poignant. Whenever I think of immigrants in our own time, who come from profound poverty or frighteningly dangerous environments, I am reminded that displacement and exile are a continuing part of the human journey.” What would she say this ghostly, melancholy play is ultimately about? “For me it is the uncertainly of life, the hopes and aspirations – particularly in this case of women in a time when having a profession is rare. It’s a play about our unknown and often unknowable fate. It is about strangers becoming family and about love and loyalty. But it’s also kind of ghost story – and I love ghost stories!” The music and writing are beautiful, she adds, and the artists involved are extraordinary. “Although the actors will carry their scripts, there will be some very discreet staging and, with the ingenuity of designer Stephen Degenstein, there will be some wonderful visual elements: projections, draped fabric, simple means of delineating place: a window, a milliner’s workshop, etc.” Elsewhere this season in opera: On November 4, Glenn Gould School of Opera is staging the rarely seen in Toronto Venus and Adonis, composed in 1683 by John Blow and written, it appears, by a woman, Anne Kingsmill. (Blow worked on a different play with Aphra Benn, which is an unusually high incidence of co-creating things with playwrights of the female sex for any opera composer before or since.) Venus and Adonis seems a delightfully comic and playful opera, and we’ll see what the director Derek Boyes makes of it. Peter Tiefenbach returns as music director. November 4 and at 7:30pm, Mazzoleni Concert Hall. On October 21, 22 and 23, Toronto Operetta Theatre is presenting its take on Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at the Jane Mallett Theatre. Is it going to be entirely in English, will the dialogues be updated? No info yet, so lots remains to be seen, but the young cast is promising: the always-worth-listening-to soprano Vania Chan, the young tenor Tonatiuh Abrego, and baritone Gregory Finney who has rock solid comedic chops. Guillermo Silva-Marin directing, Larry Beckwith conducting. Lydia Perović is an arts and culture writer in Toronto. Sign up to receive her newsletter at BIZET CARMEN OCTOBER 14 – NOVEMBER 4 TICKETS ON SALE NOW 24 | September 20 - November 8, 2022

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