7 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 3 - November 1999

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  • Toronto
  • November
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n No opera, thanks,

n No opera, thanks, we're British lt.JA bit of a myth dispelled . . · by Sarah B. Hood Quick! Name an opera! If you're like most music lovers,. you probably named !lll Italian work, or possibly something German or French. The chances that you thought of a British work are relativ_ely slim. . For all sorts of reasons, Britain is not so quickly associated with opera as those other countries, but the repertoire. of British opera is in fact rather rich. This month Torontonians have a chance to hear four British operas: two in concert pt;rformances and two presented' with full costumes, sets and orchestration. Henry Purcell, who lived from 1659 to 1695, is a quintessential British musician; he was both a chorister and orgarust at the Chapel Royal, and also held an official position at Westminster Abbey. His Dido and Aeneas, written in 1689, widely regarded as the first major British opera, has occasionally been presented here by Opera Atelier; now you can take in his King Arthur; · running from Thursday, November 3 to Sunday, November 7. It's being presented by the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, so it will be sung in authentic Baroque style, in the lovely surroundings of Tafelmusik's traditional home of Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. If you're a purist, you may balk when I mention George Friederich Handel as a British composer, because he's at least ,half German as well. However, an important part of his artistic life was spent in England and, of course, English was the language o(his-work. Handel lived from 1685 to' 1759, and his life's work , includes an impressive 40 operas and about 20 oratorios, plus mimy other kinds of ~cred and secular music. He wrote some of his best known work in his fifties, after he had recovered from a stroke (for example, Saul and Israel in Egypt were both written in 1739). Next month, of course, we'll see the real Handel explosion, since you could almost consider him the Composer Laureate of the ChristmaS season, as the author of the beloved M,essiah (1742), as well as the . · ever-popUlar carol "Joy to the World". But Handel fans can jump the gt!ll with a concert performance of his Alcina presented by Opera in Concert with Jackalyn Short, Catherine Robbins and Elizabeth Turnbull, among others. The show runs ·only two nights: Saturday, November 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 2 p.m.; both at the Jane Mallet Theatre . of ~e St. Lawrence Centre. As an added bonus, lain Scott will present a backgrounder on the - work forty-five minutes before each performance. Most of all, though, this month is your chance to reacqlll!-int yourself with the work of Baron Edward Benjamin Britten, arguably Britain's most important composer of the 20th century. His .characteristic 'and evocative compositions are somewhat under-performed, so the fact that two of his operas are being given full-8cale productions this month is a comparative Britten feast. Britten was born in 1913 at Lowestoft, Suffolk. He spent much of the wartime period in the USA, but returned to England in 1942, where he co-founded the English Opera Group and the important Aldeburgh Festival . with his partner of several decades,. the English tenor Peter Pears. He died in Aide burgh· at the age of 63, as the composer of a body of music that.includes Peter Grimes (1945), Billy Budd (1~51), Gloriana (1953) and Death in Venice ( 1973 ). From Wednesday to Sunday, November 17 to 20, the Upiver- . sity of Toronto's Faculty of Music ispresenting Britten's A Midsummer Nights Dream at the MacMillan Theatre. Don't confuse it with the well known incidental music by Felix · MendelsS,ohn, punctuated with . musical donkey brays. It's a fullscale opera version of Shakespeare's comedy, and will be directed by the well known American director Ken Cazan. (Originally Tom Diamond wa8 annouuced as director, but, happily, his innovative show . Squonk is dojng so well on Broadway that he was needed in New York!.) Musical direction is by Stephen Ralls, a noted accompanist and co-founder of the Aldeburgh Connection concerts that take place at Walter Hall. Then the following week, from Tuesday, November 23 to Sunday the 28th, the Canadian Opera Company presents The Rape of Lucretia, featuring young . Canadian artists from the COC Ensemble Studio. Conducted by COC General Director Richard Bradshaw, the seldom-heard piece. will be directed by Diana Leblanc, with costumes by the inventive Astrid Janson. The · story, immortalized in Shakespeare's lengthy poem The Rape _ofLucrece, concerns a legendary Music Theatre ·Listings ArrayMueic/The Theatre Centre. Eros2. World premiere w.orks by Aplin & Gzowski, Duncanson & Cadesky, Miller & Paivio. December 2-4 & 9-11: 8:00. ·Theatre Centre, .1 032 Queen St. Wef;t. 538-0988. ,. · Cameron MacKintosh/Mirvish Productions. Oliver/ Musical b'y Lionel Bart; directed by Sam Mendes; starring Russ Abbot & Sonia Swaby. November 4 to December 18. Evenings 8:00; matinees·2:00. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. West. 872-1212. to . Canadian Opera· Company. · Britten: The Rape of.Lucretia . COC Ensemble Studio; Richard Bradshaw & Judith Yari, conductors. November 23: 7:00; November 25 & 26: 8 :00; November 28: 2:00. du Maurier Theatre. Centre, 231 Queens Quay West. 363-8231. ,. 'Canadian Stage. Arden and Friends in Concert. Created & performed by Leslie Arden; Paul Sportelli, musical director; Julain Molnar & Glynis Ranney, moment in Roman history, when the rape and subsequent suicide of the beautiful Lucretia moved the people of Rome to rise up and expel the evil Tarquins from power . To prepare us for the full Britten experience, the Opera Division of tbe University of Toronto's Faculty of Music is presenting a Britten Symposium in association with the Canadian Opera Company on· Sunday, November 14. It takes place at Walter Hall, 80 Queen's Park Crescent, at 2:30p.m., and features an appearance by Donald Mitchell, a world authority on Britten who has made the trip from Aldeburgh itself to speak at the symposium. Best of all, perhaps, admission to the event is free. For more information, contact the University's Opera Division at 978-3746. . - Sarah Hood also writes regularly about theatre and dance in such publications as WORD Magazine and Tandem. performers. November 26 to December 18: Monday - Saturday: 8:00; Wednesday matinees: 1 :30; Saturdays: 4:00. 26 Berkeley St. 368- 3110. (Saturday evenings), . Dance Oremue Danae. When ihe Morning Stars Sang Together: A Tribute to William Blake. Sacred dance/music/theatre evening including Chopin: works for solo piano; R . Bruce: solo piano works. Paul· James Dwyer & Elizabeth Szathmary, solo dance; Robert Bruce: composer/piano; D.J. Clary: piano. November 26: . 7:30. Church of the Redeemer,- 162 Bloor St. West. 365-7784. ,. Famous People Players. /.save the PorcH Light On ... December 5: 1 :00 & ' 4:00. Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, 130 Navy St. Oakville. 905-81 5- 2021..99. Ford Centre for th_e Performing Arts. Swingstep. Musical . involving swing, Scottish _ Stepping & fiddling. To November 28. Evenings: 8:00; Wednesday matinees: 1 :00; Saturday & Sunday matinees: 2:00. Apotex Theatre, 5040 Yonge St. 870-8000. to (previews); to (regular). Ford Centre for the Performing Arts. Canadian Opera Company with Marina Mescheri8kova,

soprano. Program to include arias by Verdi & Puccini. COC Orchestra; Richard Bradshaw, cond. Nov 4: 8:00. George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 · . Yonge St. 870-8000: -. He• Here Productions. The Green Psnts. Family-friendly new music event featuring storytelling &.innovative improvisetions for harp, flute, piano, violin, percussion, home-made & electronic instruments. Yvonne Ng, dancer. Nov 15: 7 :00. Artword Theatre, 75 Portland St. 408-1146. 0 (children free). M•kh.m Theatre. I Csn Sing/ (Csn't I?J Comedy with music. November 16 to 20: 8 :00 (November 20: 2:30 & 8:00). 171 Town Centre Blvd. 905- 305-7469 . . .50 to .75. Meadowvale Theatre. I Csn Sing/ (Csn't I?J Comedy with music. Starring Jo-Ann Waytowich & Marcella Smithers. November 13: 8:00. 6315. Montevideo Rd. Mississauga. 905-821-0090. ,. Music Theatre Mieeieeauga. Hello, Dolly! Music & lyrics by Jerry 'Herman; book by Michael Stewart. November 19, 20, 25, 26 & 27: 8:00; November 21: 2:00. Meadowvale Theatre, 1138 Eglinton Ave. West, Toronto, Ont. M6C 232 Tel. (416) 787-3708 Adolfo DeSantis Pianist and conductor ·Private lessons in Hal la~ repertoire Music Di'rector and Opera Coach / . Graduate of Orchestral conducting at: A. Casella Conservatory, L' Aquila, Italy ' Michele Strano Tenor Singing Teacher, private lessons Voice placement Breathing for voiee cgntrol Master classes in singing and Interpreb;t.tion Italian comprehension for voice, music acting Interpretation of Neapolitan singing 631 5 Montevideo Rd. Mississauga. 905-821-0090. .50,E).50. New H.milton Orchestra. Brosdwsy Remembered. Broadway musical retrospective. Louise Pitre & Jeff Hyslop, performers; Michael Reason, conductor. November 12: 8:00. l:iamilton Place, 1 Summers . Lane. 905-526-6556. to , 8 to (sr/st). Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. I Csn Sing (Csn't I?J November 26 & 27: 8:30. Studio Theatre, 1 30 Navy St .. 905-815-2021. .99. OnStage. Operatic arias· & duets by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti & others. Michael Schade, tenor; Russell Braun, baritone; COC Orchestra; Richard Bradshaw, conductor; Eric Friesen, host. November 24: 8 :00. Glenn · Gould Studio, 250 Front St. West. 205-5555. . Opera in Concert. Handel: A!clns. Jackelyn Short, . Catherine Robbin, Elizabeth Turnbull & ·other performers; Opera in Concert Chorus; Gary Thor Wedow, music director. ft Backgrounder with host lain Scott, 45 minute~ prior to each performance. November 27: 8:00: 28: 2:00. Jane 416-960-0472 Annex location Private Instruction Learn to Sing! for adult beginners ( Sightsinging Opera Workshop (see classijieds) · German Lieder . French Diction and Melody· ·Early Music Perform~nce Practice Performance: Coordinating Singing with Acting proVOCE Studios T. Torlone • K. Scott • N. Delong Mallett Theatre, 27 Front St. East. 366-7723. ,. Opera Ont•io. Sussnnsh. By Floyd. Sally Dibblee, Kristofer lrmiter, Steven Harrison & other performers; Kitchener Waterloo Sympt"lony; Daniel Lipton, conductor. November 20, 25 & 27: 8:00 at Great Hall, Hamilton Place, 1 Summers Lane. 905- 526-6556. December 3: 8:00 at The Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St. North, Kitchener. 519-578-1570; 1-800-265- 8977. to . Orion House. Golden Moments in Opers. Opera arias performed by 8 different artists. November 6: 8:00. Church of the Redeemer, 1 62 Bloor St. West. 410-1808. ,. Royal Conservatory of Musi.c Glenn Gould Pr~fessional School. Multidisciplinary presentation of Learning Through the Arts including dancers, musicians, storytellers, .actors, painters & African drummers. November 28: 2:00. Ettore Mazzoleni Concert Hall, 273 Bloor St. West. 408-2824 ext.321. ,. Ryerson Theatre School. Brecht/ Weill: The Thr88penny Opers. Directed by Michael Shamata; musical director David Walden. November 23 to 30: 8:00; November 26: 1 :00; November 27: 2 :00. Abrams Studio, 44 Gerrard St. East. 979-5118. , . Sanderson Centre. Gilbert & Sullivan: Patience. Directed by AlexMustakas. November 19: 2:00 & 8:00; November 20: 8:00. 88 Dalhousie Street, Brentford. 1-800-265-0710. to . Sanderson Centre. Swing-Time to Remember. Wartime musical. November 10: 2 :00 & 8:00. 88 Dalhousie Street, _Brentford. 1- 800-265-0710. Matinee to .50; evening -.50. Sc•borough Music Theatre. Brigsdoon. Music by Frederick Loewe; book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. Nov. 4 to 20. Thursdays to Saturdays: 8:00; Sunday matinees: 2:00. Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. 396-4049. , 5,. · Shaw Festival.· AFoggy Day. Musical by Georg!! & Ira Gershwin. Music arranged &. orchestrated by Christopher Donison; Kelly Robinson, director; Nora Mclellan, Richard Farrell & Todd Waite, performers. Music Theatre listings continue .... Vocal Progr~ms November & D'ecember 1999 Aria Presentation Workshops "Get ready for your auditions and competitions by perfecting your.arias in style and presentation with musical coaching, dramatic study and expert ' assessment." Mozart and Oassic Aria W01:kshop November 20, 21,221999 Belcanto and Italian Repertoire Worl

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