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Volume 7 Issue 4 - December 2001/January 2002

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Theatre
  • January
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Singers
  • Wholenote
  • Stuffers
  • Dvds
  • Discs

·:· ON OUR (OVER ·:·

·:· ON OUR (OVER ·:· THURSDAY JANUARY 17TH, 2002 THE ROYAL YORK HOTEL CONCERT HALL 1111 Special performance by The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir with Conductor Noel Edison Ill Champagne Reception & Silent Auction II Soiree with Michael Schade & Norine Burgess 11111 Dinner & Live Auction RSVP Mr. Dan Fraser (416)598-0422 www.tmchoir.org Festival of Music-Sitar-Gazal & A Band of Jazz to Fusion 'SH~NTI' presents: Festival of Music for the Peace on Earth by Sitarist Shambhu Das, the man who taught Ex-Beatie George Harrison to play sitar & played sitar in his Wonderwall concert for all listeners- Classical Music to modern fusion. A collaboration of Eastern and / Modern fusion with romantic Shambhu Das&GeorgeHarrison gazal singing arid sitar player at: Univ of Toronto, Medical Science Auditorium Shambhu Das: Saturday, January Sth, 2002@6:30 pm isa classically trained Sitarist of the highest order.After receiving many Tickets: S & . Advance Tickets call: years of personal instructions from VOGA:416·966·9642 now legendary Pandit Ravi Shankar, Das went on to begin his own career, receiving many accolades from the international press and in his own time teaching and collaboration closely with many accomplished performers. Peter -Beatlemania Shoppe ........ 416-977-2782 Motimahal Cuisine, Markham ••.• 905-943-9300 S.K;Video .................................. 416· 755-5367 or visit www.shambhudas.com THE TORONTO STAR Tuesday, August 7, 2001 Das is a disciple of Shankars and the man who taught Harrison to playthe sitar. I ·.met Das at his Scarborough studio, where he gives private sitar lessons. 'LONDON FREE PRESS' THEATER was turned into a temple by Sitarist Shambhu Das ... incense burned as Mr. Das sat in a half lotus position to play the ancient stringed instrument. Performances, Workshops Gaza/: Sumita Chatterji For info: 416-332-9980 "Best Gaza/ Singer in Canada" Awarded by Mike Harris in 1999. Fax: 416-332-0203 shambhudas@altavista.com SHANTI 8 wholenote DECEMBER 1, 2001 - JANUARY 31, 2002 ~ ~ ~ ~ KR1szTINA SZAB6 AND ROGER HONEYWELL: Giulio Cesare in Egitto Krisztina -Szab6 by Allqn Pulker .The photo of mezzo soprano Krisztina Szabo gracing our cover fitted perfectly the mood of the December-January music scene -­ somewhere between glitter and golden glow. - But her presence on the cover is more than mere window dressing. Significantly, she is appearing three times over the period of time covered by this issue - early in December in Sartorio's Giulio Cesare in Egitto; in recital in mid-December with James Westman; and in mid-January in Strauss's Salome. All three productions are under the auspices of the Caqadian Opera( Company, whose multifaceted ensemb.le program has facilitated Szabo' s transition from student to professional (a transition referenced in several WholeNote stories as the biggest . challenge facing young singers). The three roles she plays this December/January provide some insight into how the COC helps the process along: in Giulio Cesare she is undertaking a major role, along with fellow Ensemble Studio member, rising tenor Roger Honeywell. It's a low key production (at the Imperial Oil Theatre, not the Hummingbird) of a little-known but intriguing work which will not invite comparisons with other productions. The arias.are plentiful and short, there are three duets for her and much of the action is carried by recitative, so there is plenty of variety without the big arias of a mo;e modem work. Tht;:n; on December 14 she gets the opportunity to do three big arias, but will be sharing the stage, and the burden, with James Westman and members of the Ensemble Studio. In Salome it's back to the trenches! She plays the part of the page, a minor part, except that she has a lot of singing for about ten pages early in the score, and then does not appear again - a lot of responsibility, but for a short time. Her stepping in at the last minute last spring to perform the· role of Idamante in the C.O.C. 's production of Mozart's ldomeneo, and her performance of Zerlina in Rhombus Media's Don Giovanni: Leporello 's Revenge film established her as the genuine article. She now · stands poised to join the ranks of Canadian singers with established international careers. KRISZTINA'S EARLIEST TRAINING as a singer. was her six years in the Torontd Children's Chorus, where she "learned to sight sing like a demon" and also learned to sing in many different languages, skills that provided a strong foundation for her musical development. (It's another nice resonance in a month in which choirs, including children's and youth choirs, figure so prominently in the concert scene.) She is a graduate of the Faculty of Music at the Univer-

sity of Western Ontario, where she studied voice with Darryl Edwards, who is still her teacher and piano with Damiana Bratusz, who "taught us what integrity is in music.,; After 'graduation she lived for two years in England, where she heard about the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio Program. She auditioned for one of the highly coveted spots - over a hundred singers audition annually for a han,dful of positions - and was accepted. It woul'd appear she has made the most of the opportunity. The path to where she now stands, she says, has been straight and ciear' though by no means easy. But what interests her most is "engaging in work that challenges and inspires." She especially enjoyed working with innovative Toronto opera company Queen of Puddings because so much more than just singing was expected of her. In that context she got to really work on movement, which, along with acting ability, she recognizes as a vital skill for a singer. "To succeed in singing these days," she says, "it is very important to act and move well." From Tom Diamond at the COC she is learning that studying the score of an opera to discover what the strong emotional statement that needs to be made in each scene, is as important to her as it is to learn the music, . which she usually does very quickly, thanks to Jean Ashworth Bartle and the Toronto Children's Chorus. AFTER SALOME IN FEBRUARY she is travelling to Strasbourg where she will be playing the part of Magnolia in a production of Showboat (the cast of which will include fellow Canadian, baritone Brett Polegato.) In May she will be performing with l'Opera de ;Quebec and in October in Opera Atelier's production of Cherubini's Medee. In 2004 she will be taking the title role in a production of La Cenerentola in Nevada. In other words - get out to hear Krisztina in December or January -opportunities like this are likely to be fewer and farther between! CONCERT NOTES OVER VIEW· by Allan Pulker Chanticleer and Dawn Upshaw Two CONCERTS COMING UP at the Weston Recital Hall in the next while caught my eye: partly because the artists, quite different, have just released a CD together. First is a concert by Chanticleer on Dec 6, second, a recital by America11 soprano, Dawn Upshaw, with pianist, Gilbert Kalish, on Jan 9. (Chanticleer's latest CD; Christmas with Chanticleer, features Dawn Upshaw as "special guest" and the CD has a Canadian connection to boot, including beautiful arrangements by director, Joseph Jennings, of The Huron .Carol and Healey Willan's .The Three Kings.) , •!• OVER VIEW DAWN UPSHAW: "Thoughtcharged clarity and a voice like the light of ordinary days" innocence of Praetorius' work with the complexities and ironies of the troubled times in which Distler lived (he was driven to suicide in 1942 at the age of 34 by harrassment from the Nazi authorities in his native.Germany.) Upshaw's pr-ogram is more contemporary, the earliest compositions being by Schumann and Mussorgsky, and the latest by six contemporary composers, all now in their early to mid forties. Upshaw is a singer well worth hearing. Praised by critics for her fusion of searching . intelligence and a voice of great purity and clarity, she has collaborated with some of the Chanticleer's concert program, though it includes the music of contemporary composers, John Tavener and Jaakko Mantyjarvi, and 20th century cotpposer, Hugo most celebrated artists of our Distler, is solidly anchored in the time, including Richard Goode, past. The Hugo Distler piece, Es Gilbert Kalish, the Kronos ist ein Ros entsprungen, based on Quartet, James Levine, Esa- Michael Praetorius' exquisite Pekka Salonen, Peter Sellars and Christmas hymn of the same · Simon Rattle. A reviewer for the name, is an inspired piece of work Philadelphia Enquirer wrote of in its synthesis of the purity and her that she " ... sets about

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