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Volume 28 Issue 5 | April & May 2023

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April and May is Canary Time in the world of WholeNote -- the time when choirs in larger than usual numbers refresh the info in our online "Who's Who" to inform prospective choristers and audiences what they have to offer. Also inside: There's a new New Wave to catch at Esprit; Toronto Bach Festival no 6 includes a Kafeehaus; another new small venue on the "Soft Seat Beat" (we assume the seats are soft!); an ever-so Musically Theatrical spring. And more.


KELLY VS KELLY Another long-awaited world premiere that had much of its early development at Sheridan’s CMTP is Kelly vs Kelly which was originally scheduled to premiere back in the late spring of 2020. Nurtured through the CMTP (which sadly no longer exists), this is also the third of acclaimed composer Britta Johnson’s (Life After) musicals to be developed through the Britta Johnson Crescendo program of the Musical Stage Company. The book this time, is by Sara Farb – perhaps better known to audiences as the exciting actor who originated the role of Princess Mary in Kate Hennig’s Last Wife trilogy, and is currently playing the devilish character of Delphi in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Mirvish Theatre. Judging by an early showcase of excerpts before the pandemic, Johnson and Farb are a powerful team with a great instinct for exciting theatrical storytelling. Like Maggie, Kelly vs Kelly is inspired by true events, in this case from New York in 1915: When a 19-year-old heiress becomes tangled in an affair with a seductive tango dancer, her distraught mother has her arrested and charged with incorrigibility, sparking a court case that scandalizes the nation. The tango dancing at the heart of the story is fully embodied in the staging which will be in the hands of director and choreographer Tracey Flye. May 26-June 18 MACBETH THE MUSICAL Not only are more and more new musicals and operas being created in Canada but more new creators are popping up all the time including 16-year-old composer Laura Nobili who reached out to The WholeNote as I was preparing to write this column to alert us to the premiere of her musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. The title says “opera” but listening to an excerpt (which you can listen to here: ) it sounds more like a sung-through musical but still ambitious in reach and scope. I like the sound of what I heard and am impressed by Laura’s chutzpah in reaching out to get coverage for her creation. Not only the composer but also the director and producer of her show, Laura has gathered a company of young actors, singers and musicians from York Region to join her. There is one performance only on May 17 at the City Playhouse Theatre in Vaughan. MUSIC THEATRE | QUICKPICKS As is often now the case there isn’t room to cover all the wonderful shows opening over the next two months. Dance highlights for me include the world premiere of Homelands, a multimedia dance creation from Toronto’s own Kaha:wi dance theatre as part of Harbourfront’s contemporary dance series Torque on April 14 and 15. Theatre Passe Never the Last Muraille continues their championship of experimental music theatre, April 8-16, with Never the Last which weaves together text and violin solos composed by Sophie- Carmen Eckhardt- Gramatté’ to explore the composer’s love affair and marriage with expressionist painter Walter Gramatté. May 24-27 will see the return of Junior, the international children’s festival taking place at Harbourfront. A wonderful multidisciplinary festival including many immersive events as well as more traditional staged performances, Junior has been reinvented post-pandemic with a new more participatory approach to creating theatrical works for young audiences, and all outdoor events will be free. On May 26-28, following the huge success of Follies in the fall of 2021, Richard Ouzounian is directing a staged concert of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at Koerner Hall with a starry cast including Eric McCormack, Cynthia Dale, Dan Chameroy, and Chilina Kennedy May will also see the opening of Gypsy at the Shaw Festival starring Kate Hennig in the iconic role of Mama Rose. Luckily Gypsy will run into the fall season so there will be many chances to see it. 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. 36 th Season 2023 June 25th L.R. Wilson Concert Hall, McMaster University Vivaldi Four Seasons, Canadian Four Seasons June 29th FirstOntario Concert Hall, Hamilton Carmina Burana July 6th L.R. Wilson Concert Hall, McMaster University PopOpera July 13th & 14th Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre Verdi’s La Traviata July 19th LIUNA Station, Hamilton All Out 80’s with Jeans ‘n Classics July 20th LIUNA Station, Hamilton Emilie-Claire Barlow July 21st LIUNA Station, Hamilton Practically Hip July 23rd Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, Jordan An Homage to the Noble Grape July 27th L.R. Wilson Concert Hall, Hamilton Berlioz, H, Symphonie Fantastique Ravel, M, Piano Concerto in G (Elisabeth Pion) Ravel, M, Bolero, Vivier, O, Orion August 3rd FirstOntario Concert Hall, Hamilton Jesus Christ Superstar August 17th Burlington Performing Arts Centre Ichmouratov, A, The Bewitched Canoe Tchaikovsky, 9, Violin Concerto (Kerson Leong) Rimsky-Korsakov, N, Scheherazade 905-525-7664 12 | April & May, 2023

great chamber music downtown 2023–24 SUBSCRIPTION SERIES STRINGS Quatuor Danel Thurs. Oct. 12, 2023 Gryphon Trio Thurs. Dec. 7, 2023 Verona Quartet Thurs. Jan. 18, 2024 Aizuri Quartet Thurs. Feb. 22, 2024 St. Lawrence Quartet Tues. Mar. 5, 2024 PIANO Duo Turgeon Tues. Nov. 7, 2023 Maria Thompson Corley Tues. Feb. 13, 2024 David Fung Tues. Mar. 5, 2024 SUBSCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE FROM 0 TO 3 COSE Celebration of Small Ensembles May 6, 20 June 3 at the Aperture Room MAY 6, 2023 / 5pm Sounds of Conflict Madame Speaker Classics, Swing, and The American Songbook May 20, 2023 / 5pm The Earth Has Its Music Music From Everyday Life Sonder: A String Quartet Act June 3, 2023 / 5pm Far From Triumphing Court Unspoken Poetry Colour You Like 3 Concert Pass Single Tickets Student / Arts Worker

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