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4 years ago

Volume 4 Issue 7 - April 1999

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Symphony
  • Bloor
  • Choral

·go M BY DAVID G. H.

·go M BY DAVID G. H. PARSONS Spring fever must be in the air! With acoustic explorations of sound objects, modem dance creations , and one major operatic premiere in the line-up, a recurring theme in the new music community for April is crossdisciplinary, multi-media and music theatre. (As usual we offer a few advance listening suggestions for concerts listed in the column. Canadian titles can be acquired at the Canadian Music Centre, where you can also explore repertoire in the Library's listening rooms.) With the arrival of spring come memories of the losses of winter. Everyone active in music from coast to coast grieved for the death of Harry Somers last· month. Somers was one of the greatest composers this country has ever produced, creating masterpieces in all genres of music - chrunber, orchestral, choral, vocal ru1d, of course, opera. Canada has lost not only an outstanding and intemationally recognized compositional talent,.but a friend and colleague of countless composers, perfonners, educators, broadcasters and administrators across our new music commw1ity. On a personal level, tl10se who knew Harry even only slightly will never forget the man's wry humour, urbane chann and keen intellect. That wonderful resonant voice has been silenced. The magnificent music lives on. By a strange coincidence, exactly one month following the passing of Canada's most renowned opera composer, the Canadian Opera Company is · mounting its first full-scale, main stage production since Somers' Mario and the Magician took to the boards in I 992. The Golden Ass, with music by Wi1mipeg composer Randolph Peters set to a libretto by the Canadian literary giant Robertson Davies, will receive its world premiere perfonnances April 13- 25 at the Hwmningbird Centre. A comic re-working of Apuleius' ancient tale from TI1e Metamorphosis, the story tells of a hedonistic man who suffers tonnents and pw1ishments after being transfonned into an ass, and discovers that neither flesh nor spirit hold the secret oflife. Davies completed this script, his last work and first opera libretto, shortly before his death in I 99j. Randolph Peters scored a previous success with the COC with his opera Nosferatu in 1993, and a couple of"teaser" highlights from the latest opera were presented by the Company to enthusiastic audiences at Harbourfront last summer. The cast for this eagerly awaited production includes Kevin Anderson, Judith Forst, Rebecca Caine and Theodore Baerg. Slightly earlier in April · (du Maurier Theatre, 7-10), ARRAYMUSIC and Dru1cemakers join forces with visiting French guest artists Studio GRAME for a brru1d new collaborative creation, Chemin de ronde. This "collage" of dance and music and choreographed by Serge Berinathan, has a unique score co-developed by three Canadian composers (Michael J. Baker, Henry Kucharzyk, Linda C. Smith) and three composers based in France (Jean Francois Estag~r, James Oiroudon, Pierre Alain Jaffrennou). "It is rare tl1at composition is also a social activity," says Baker. "The process has been mysterious, surprising ru1d fun, • like a transatlru1tic grune of . follow the leader." This collaboration of three distinct artistic companies is scheduled to move to France in the year 2001, but we get to see it first! On April 8, Music Toronto welcomes Japanese composer Michio Mamiya and tl1e Tokyo String QUartet as its special guest artists. Mruniya's music is heavily influenced by studies of various folk traditions - not only of his homelru1d, but of mru1y TORONTO'S ONLY COMPREHENSIVE CLASSICAL & CONTEMPORARY CONCERT LISTING SOURCE

other 'countries including Asia, recital at the Ford Centre April Africa, Scandinavia- and avant 23 . Ms. Bessette, a well-known garde jazz. His oeuvre encom- exponent of contemporary music, passes pieces for traditional ' 1 has progranuned the complete Japanese instruments as well as Vingt regards sur !'enfant Jesus · operas, choral and'orchestral works. by Olivier Messiaen. TI1is will The Quartet will introduce be a rare opportunity to hear this Mamiya's String Quartet No. 3 in masterpiece in its entirety on a its Canadian premiere, and on single evening. the afternoon before the concert, Curious listeners can dive into the composer talks ori the present these contemplative, mystical state of western contemporary pieces on recording first. There music composition in Japan. For are several perfonnances in the lecture reservations contact the catalogue, but the interpretatimi Japan Foundation (416) 966- by Messiaen's life-long champion 1600. This appearance in Yvmme Loriod (Ades ADE Toronto continues Mamiya's 203752) remains definitive. ongoing relationship with Bessette's artistry is also shown Canada, originating when he was · on several CDs, including her a guest professor at Western in 1977. rendition of numbers II, 14 and Stylistically, Mamiya been 20 of the series (CBC Records described as exploring the MVCD I 041 ). "transition between the twin states of concreteness and abstraction". Several pieces · have been recorded on disc, and a good introduction is "Works by , Michio Mamiya" (Fontec FOCD 2519)containing various chamber pieces including his second String Quartet. The International Sound Sculpture Festival-Symposium, co-produced by the Goethe Institute and New Music Concerts is the first event of this scale in Canada. Rmming from April I 0 - May 6, it will showcase the work of over 20 artists and feature guided tours of .installation sites, opportunities for individual discovery, roundtable discussions and special perfonnance presentations. TI1e line-up features Cr

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