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5 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 6 - March 2000

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • April
  • Musical
  • Glenn
  • Bloor
  • Symphony

58 Mendelssohn continued

58 Mendelssohn continued from page 6 contact with Jacques just last year when he conducted the choir with orchestra in a perfonnance here ofCarmina Burana with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. I was very impressed with his work not only with the singers, but also with the orchestra. He was Dutoit's assistant in Montreal, you know, and now has his own orchestra in France. He's a remarkable and exciting talent. Part of my mandate is to bring in guest conductors, the way orchestras do." He's also enthusiastic about his soloists. "Judith Forst is not often thought of as being a choral soloist. She is one of Canada's great opera singers as well as a great person. It will be a real boost to us as well as to the audience having her with us. Linda Maguire (pictured on our cover) did the title role in Florence, the opera we did a few years ago in Elora, so I know her well and know just how good she is with contemporary music. Also she is a high mezzo, which makes her a perfect match for this particular part." Edison had to think long and hard about the choice of soloists for this concert. "For one thing, they each have to make their own individual claim on their parts and they have to hold their own against a huge orchestra, with a Jot ofbmss, harp, piano and organ. All five soloists have what it takes to do this." THE CHALLENGE OF 11 SELUNG NEW 11 Hoping to get him to conunent on the challenges of progrruruning new music in Toronto, I remind him of the TSO/ Gurrelieder contretemps at the beginning of the season. (Jukka Pekka Saraste, as I w1derstood it, wanted to open tllis season witl1 Ben Heppner and Jeru1ifer Lannore in Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, which Heppner was also doing with the Pittsburgh Symphony as tl1eir season opener. l11e TSO, worried about sales, opted instead for a sort of pops concert opener with Kathleen Battle, which ·didn't sell very well. Meanwhile in Pittsburgh the Gurrelieder concert sold out, witll people lined up in the street to get tickets.) "l11e Penderccki Credo has sold out in Europe but you don't seem to expect it to sell out here", I ask. "Is there a problem "selling" new music, even great new music, in Toronto?" "Well tl1e T.S.O. is bringing back Gurre/ieder next season" he replies. "It is wonderful stuff, fabulous - it is early Schoenberg, very melodic, before he went atonal, and it will go over very well, it will be. an event." 2Mi P*AQAW4W&4&01F But big choral works, he says, are another matter. "A colleague of mine in New York says that for most people there are only three works for choir -Messiah, Carmina Burana and Beetlloven's Ninth. '1 suppose you could add Brahms' and Verdi's Requiems and Mendelssohn'sElijah, but the point is, it is quite a small nwnber of pieces for choir to wllich audiences will come out in droves." "And here, we are presenting one piece that is only two years old, and a new cmrunission. People are much more inclined to get excited about that sort of tiling in Europe. In Toronto we are caught between our yearnings for England and our hopes for America, which make for a ldnd of hesitancy." "As artists, even, we tend to stay in groups, an alanning protectionism as we compete for the lion;s share of tile corporate and govenunent money and of the public's support. It would be good if we could !cam to support one another more." He looks grin! for a second, but only a second. "Things are gradually changing" he says. There are significant nwnbers of very musically cultured people here who, wrule they like the "chestnuts" are also interested in hearing new works. For them, he vows, March 7 will be as exciting and rewarding a concert as it will be for the perfonners t11emselves. (jrand odds on a (jrand Piano! Support Canadian music history and win a pianoJ We're taking the Historic Register on tour. It's our beautiful new book listing over 50,000 tOriner students from across Canada and we're taking it across the country to show it off! Come out and see us! See your name in print! Listen to performances and record a ''musical signature". Meet fascinating alumni and look through our historical memorabilia. Sign up for the Historic Register's second edition! May 6 & 7, 2000 Ford Centre for The Performing Arts, Toronto May 8, 2000 The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto " maha Disk\avier Win a ,a , (jrand Piano· Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. has provided a Yamaha Disklavier Grand piano (worth ,000) for a raffle prize. Tickets are on sale now and the draw is May 8, 2000. per ticket or 3 for Buy your tickets today' 1 800 709 0888 or (416) 408 2824 The ROYAL CONSERVATORY of M usic CoNSERVATOIRE ROYAL de MusiQUE

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