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Volume 28 Issue 2 | November 1 - December 13, 2022

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Available now for your online "flip-through" reading pleasure, The WholeNote Volume 28 no.2. For Openers, my uncle had a barn; then: Trichy Sankaran at 80; the return of the professional chamber choir; what makes music theatre more than just theatre; how to fit three violin concerti into one concert; and more.

The WholeNote VOLUME

The WholeNote VOLUME 28 NO 2 NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 13, 2022 IN THIS EDITION STORIES AND INTERVIEWS Wendalyn Bartley, Max Christie, Paul Ennis, Jennifer Parr, David Perlman, Lydia Perović, Colin Story, Andrew Timar CD Reviewers Sophie Bisson, Stuart Broomer, Max Christie, Daniel Foley, Raul da Gama, Janos Gardonyi, Richard Haskell, Fraser Jackson, Tiina Kiik, Kati Kiilaspea, Pamela Margles, Lesley Mitchell- Clarke, David Olds, Ted Parkinson, Ivana Popovic, Allan Pulker, Cathy Riches, Terry Robbins, Michael Schulman, Adam Scime, Andrew Scott, Andrew Timar, Yoshi Maclear Wall, Ken Waxman, Matthew Whitfield Proofreading Paul Ennis, John Sharpe Listings Team John Sharpe, Gary Heard, Colin Story Design Team Kevin King, Susan Sinclair Circulation Team Wende Bartley, Jack Buell, Sharon Clark, Vito Gallucci, James Harris, Bob Jerome, Miquela Leahy, Chris Malcolm, Sheila McCoy, Lorna Nevison, Tom Sepp and Dave Taylor . UPCOMING DATES AND DEADLINES Weekly Online Listings Updates 6pm every Tuesday for weekend posting for Volume 28 No. 3 Dec 6, 2022 - Feb 14, 2023 Publication Dates Friday, Dec 2 (digital) Tuesday, Dec 6 (print) Print edition listings deadline 6pm Tuesday, Nov 22 Print advertising, reservation deadline 6pm Tuesday, Nov 22 Printed in Canada Couto Printing & Publishing Services Circulation Statement - Sept 20, 2022 8,800 printed & distributed Canadian Publication Product Sales Agreement 1263846 ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTE Publications Mail Agreement #40026682 WholeNote Media Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported on or advertised in this issue. COPYRIGHT © 2022 WHOLENOTE MEDIA INC FOR OPENERS Hey, my uncle has a barn! DAV ID PERLMAN Pretend we are on Jeopardy. On Jeopardy, not in jeopardy – that comes later. It’s the last remaining clue in what has proved to be a surprisingly difficult category. “I’ll take Music Theatre for a thousand, Alex.” (Oh how we miss him, still.) “In the film version of this musical, released in 1939, and directed by Busby Berkely, its radically revised plot retained only two songs from the original stage version which had strong political overtones with discussions of Nietzsche, a Communist character, and two African-American youths who are victims of racism.” (Says Wikipedia, by the way.) No one hazards a guess. “Babes in Arms”, Alex says. “In this iconic 1937 Rodgers and Hart coming-of-age musical comedy, a group of small-town Long Island teenagers put on a show to avoid being sent to a work farm by the town sheriff when their actor parents go on the road for five months in an effort to earn some money by reviving vaudeville.” In fairness to our contestants, the original clue, as I’ve framed it here, would never have made it past the uncle responsible for approving Alex’s script. Had the clue been that this is the show where Judy Garland tells Mickey Rooney ‘Hey, my uncle has a barn!’…” we’d all have hit our buzzers. The sanitization of the original stage play continued. In the 1959 re-write of the script by George Oppenheimer – the only version available for performance from 1959 to 1998 – the young people are trying to save a local summer stock theatre from being demolished, not trying to avoid being sent to a work farm. For better and for worse, the trope of artists as children – lucky enough to be having fun doing what they love while raising money for worthy causes – has been entrenched with “hey, my uncle has a barn” as its defining meme: shorthand for the barnstorming luck that is just waiting out there for you when you don’t have the assets, financial and circumstantial that is, to pursue your artistic dreams. In my version, updated and Canadianized of course, the actor-parents apply for a Canada Council touring grant to take the kids along. Then, when their application is turned down, they come to their senses and get real jobs, so their kids can chase their dreams. My one and only uncle had a barn. Well, two barns and three grading sheds actually, in what was called Rhodesia, back in the day when what the barns and sheds were being used to produce (tobacco) was as little acknowledged as a problem as the question of whose land the barns were on. Mind you, that didn’t stop me, decades later, from turning to my beloved uncle for help in buying the first computer we needed to start making the community newspaper that in turn spawned this magazine. Blood money. We reached our 55,000th free listing the other day. So here’s the in jeopardy bit Philanthropy in the form of uncles with barns, actual or metaphorical, is a real hitand-miss way of doing things in the arts. It can work out (very badly for you) when your “uncle’s” barn is Louie B. Mayer’s Hollywood film studio. It can work unequivocally well (such as at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto’s downtown east) when the chemistry between an avuncular developer and a visionary theatre company clicks. But it works disproportionately to the advantage of the already lucky – those with roots and connections and networks already in place. And it works equally disproportionately in favour of artists, rich and poor alike, who are clustered in and around the downtown. Or has done, so far. Except that now the ability for the working poor, artists among them, to keep a roof over one’s head long enough to meet someone whose uncle has a barn is threatened as never before by skyrocketing occupancy costs. Ironically enough, those of us who have benefited most from living in proximity to the cultural industries of the city’s downtown are now the ones most at risk of displacement. I had a call from someone in east Scarborough the other day, following up on an e-mail inquiry I’d never responded to, almost a year previously. “Would you happen to know of even one secular rehearsal space in Scarborough?” they wanted to know, “neither located in a Church, Synagogue or Mosque, nor affiliated with a religious organization (for example, the YMCA), accessible, well-lit, warm in the winter and cool in the summer, with high ceilings and a friendly and proficient staff.” I had to reply that I did not know. We need to do better, and we’re not the only ones. Avuncular developers with pockets deep enough to house the mayor and city council in are no substitute for enlightened policy. David Perlman can be reached at 6 | November 1 - December 13, 2022

A HARMONIOUS HOLIDAY A CONCERT OF PEACE AND HARMONY TUESDAY │DEC.6 │7:30 PM Metropolitan United Church HANNAFORD STREET SILVER BAND FORTE TORONTO GAY MEN’S CHOIR Host Tom Allen Tickets: visit Phone: 416.366.7723 OR 1.800.708.6754 November 1 - December 13, 2022 | 7

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