8 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 10 - July/August 2003

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... ···· : 8'8 READERSHIP SURVEY ,DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 18 New prizes added! We have extended the deadline for sending in your WholeNote Readership Survey to midnight Friday, July 18! Share your thoughts, help WholeNote plan for the future, and have a chance to win one of two pairs of subscriptions to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's The WholeNote Selection series for the 2003/2004 season.* For details of The WholeNote Selectien, see the TSO's advertisement on the inside back cover of this issue. The WholeNote Readership Survey is available online at It is also available on pages 59 & 60 of the June issue. (Please fax survey from June issue to 647-435-0803.) ! EARLY BIRDS can still catch the CDs! ! (rl If you fill out your survey online and send it by June IA~-~~r~~ lr~~ -~i~;.~~11ty ~~~~~~ ~-u1~ ~~~- ~~~ ~~ ~J 'The names of a// respondents who submitted a completed survey before the midnight July 18 deadline will be entered in the TSO tickets draw. Each prize consists of 2 subscriptions to 5 concerts which the winner will choose from the "Series Highlights" list in the TSO advertisement on page 47 in this issue of WholeNote. Concerts not listed in the ad on page 47 are not available for selection. Prizes must be redeemed by 5 pm on September 19, 2003. Concerts and dates are subject to availability; some may be sold out by the time of redemption. No exchanges permitted. Not redeemable for cash or tax receipts. WholeNote Magazine employees, writers and contractors are not eligible to win. ACADEMY OF Music 15 ACROBAT Music 37 ALL THE KING'S VOICES 12, 14 AMADEUS CHOIR 13 AM1c18 ANNO DOMINI 12 ARTIFACT Music 44 BAROOUE Music BESIDE THE GRANGE 22 BLACK SEA FIOOLES FOR SALE 35 BLACK TULIP AOMIN SERVICES 35 BRon SUMMER Music FESTIVAL 25 CALVIN CHOIR 22 CANADIAN Music CENTRE 43 CANCLONE 36 CBC RECORDS 43 CHRIST CHURCH DEER PARK 22 CLAVIERS BAROQUES 11 COLLINGWOOD SUMMER Music FESTIVAL 29 COMMENSAL, LE 17 CONCERTSINGERS 14, 35 DANFORTH BAPTIST CHURCH 35 DAVE SN10ER Music CENTRE 10 DAVID JENSEN HARPSICHORDS 10 DEER PARK UNITED CHURCH 15 ELORA FESTIVAL SINGERS EMI CLASSICS 37 ETOBICOKE COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND 18 EXECUTIVE STEREO 36 EXULTATE CHAMBER SINGERS 14 FESTIVAL ALEXANDRIA 30 FESTIVAL OF THE SOUND 9 INDEX OF ADVERTISERS GARY ARMSTRONG 10 GEORGE HEINL 10 GUELPH JAZZ FESTIVAL 28 HARKNETT MUSICAL SERVICES 18 HELICONIAN CLUB 34 JANET CATHERINE DEA 14 KATARINA BuLAT 35 -- - - PAX CHRISTI CHORALE 12 PHILIP l. DAVIS LUTHIER 11 RCM Music & BooK STORE 13 REMENYI HOUSE OF Music 19 RICK TAIT· THROUGH IT ALL 39 Rom OPERA CANADA 35.48 SACRED Music Soc1m 22 K1NCAR01NE SUMMER Music FESTIVAL 2 Sr. JAMES' CATHEORAL- L1 WANG • SUMMER SUNDAYS 20 ETHIOPIAN FAMINE RELIEF 24 SONY CLASSICAL 41 LONG & McUuAoE 11 SouNo PosT 11 MARKHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL 27 SOUTHERN ONTARIO MARKHAM THEATRE CHAMBER Music INSTITUTE 31 · FOR PERFORMING ARTS 45 STRATFORD SuMMER Music 45 MCP. TIMOTHY SULLIVAN 39 STUDIO 92 35 M1KROKOSMOS 3 7 STUDIO A-MIRAOOR 38 Music GALLERY INSTITUTE 15 SUMMER OPERA LYRIC THEATRE 20 Music· MONDAYS 21 SUSAN SPIER 3 5 Music TORONTO 7 Svt,1PHONY IN THE BARN 46 MYMUSIC.CA 4 THORNHILL CHAMBER NATHANIEL Om CHORALE 12 Music INSTITUTE 20 NATIONAL YOUTH foREAOOR RECORDS 39 ORCHESTRA OF CANADA 23 ToRONTO SCHOOL OF Music 13 NAXOS 39 TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 4 7 NoRTH44° 14 U NIVER SI TY OF NORTH TORONTO TORONTO BOOKSTORE 9 INSTITUTE OF Music 33 UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT Music OPERA EVERYWHERE 22 ANO ARTS SCHOOL 34 ORATORY· CHURCH OF WAOEBRIOGE ANO Sr. Co LUMBA THE HOLY FAMILY 15 MALE VOICE CHORUS 23 ORPHEUS CHOIR OF TORONTO 14 WARE ACADEMY OF Music 34 OTTAWA INr'L. WESTBEN ARTS CHAMBER Music FESTIVAL 3 FESTIVAL THEATRE 31 PATTIE KELLY 14 ZEN RECORDS 38 BEN HEPPNER by Pamela Marg/es ,"J remember one time standing onstage at the Met during the overture of Die Meistersinger, " says Canadian tenor Ben Heppner. "I'm the first person seen. As I l1ill erif oying the music, much !just love, all of the sudden it hit me: 'Metropolitan Opera ... James Levine ... Meistersinger ... I've got the best job in the worki! '" IT USUALLY TAKES A TRIP to one of the world's major opera houses or concert halls to hear Heppner, the outstanding dramatic tenor of our day, on stage. But in late July, Heppner will present a series of four recitals in Stratford, Ontario. Even though he lives in Scarborough, with his pianist wife and three children, the oldest of whom just graduated from university, opportunities to hear him locally are unfortunately rare. He played supporting roles with the Canadian Opera Company in the 1980s. But that was well before his triumphant Metropolitan Opera debut in 1991 replacing Pavarotti in Jdomeneo. The only chaoce Toronto audieoces have had to hear him in a leading operatic role was in 1996, when he made a thrilling Canio in I Pagliacci with the Canadian Opera Company. Fortunately, there have been other appearances. In a recital at the Weston Recital Hall, he made his entrance carrying a can of Spam (the tacky luncheon meat, not its computer-generated namesake), which he mischievously plunked on the piano to introduce the sentimental songs featured on his irresistible 1999 recording My Secret Hean, whichhehasdubbed "Songs My Mother Wished I Sang". Giving a master class at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music two years ago, Heppn"r was so approachable, insightful and supportive that the students responled unreservedly - even when he handed a surprised baritone a pitcher of water to hold while singing. "I thought, 'He'll be thinking more about not spilling the water than he will about his singing.' I had never even thought of doing that before, but it worked. Somehow worrying about this silly pitcher of water freed his mind from the toils and tribulations of technique to reach a level of communication. He just needed to concentrate on the line instead of trying to act by moving his hands .... Singing is all about resisting natural urges like pushing the top note. If you try to make it happen, you are definitely heading for trouble. You have to, with all of your might, leave everything alone and allow it to happen." 'fiIFN CAME 1HAT RECITAL at Roy Thomson Hall a year and a half ago. There was clearly trouble from the beginning, with notes cracking am phrases strained, and a valiant Heppner trying to find different ways of making his voice work. Finally, well into the second half of the program, he cut short the concert. "I will be back," he promised. This past February, after undergoing a serious regime of weight-loss, exercise and vocal rest, he returned in triumph to the Met in Les Troyens, the first time he had performed it on the operatic stage: "Aeneas is a hugely demanding role. It's exposed, it's difficult, it's unrewarding- it's just pedal to the metal. Berlioz demands such extremes of your voice, I don't know who he was writing for. The role feels like it is for several different types of voices - spinto tenor, then what feels like a baritone, then, in the love duet, Nuit d'Jvresse, one of those high light French tenors, then a full dramatic tenor for Inutiles Regrets. It is quite a piece!" At the performance I attended, he managed all of this with gorgeous ease - and the Met audience cheered him wildly. IF ANYTIIlNG, HEPPNER HAS returned stronger than ever. "At first I was still adjusting i:ny support mechanism to my lighter weight, so my confidence had to be rebuilt." But when he next went to Berlin for Tristan und Isolde, "as soon as I opened the score, everything fell back in place, just like I had never left it. It was as though I had never had a problem. I actually sing much less carefully, with more abandon now - I would have expected the opposite." Is he a better singer? "Absolutely, in every way." Heppner grew up in Dawson Creek, B.C. Religion has played an essential part in his life. "Now I realiz.e how much my soul really resonates with singing -when it's gone you feel lost. I didn't know for a number of months whether my voice would come back. It took a long time because I couldn't figure out the problem. I don't know if b July 1 - September 7 2003

you think I would question my faith den. I just had the sound over headmore, but it was quite the opposite - it phones and a conductor showing me has grown, and I have grown more in , with his hands what was happening in my faith. If we put my problems in per- the orchestra. It's called post-synchrospective, the little tiial that I went through niz.ation, when they match a voice in - doesn't even count on the radar. Glad I it's done a lot. It worked like a charm." we~t thro~gh it. Don't want to do!~ llEPPNER's OPENNESS ro experiagarn. But 1t made me a better person. tal · mak him f; · In April, at a Toronto church, he mfen . stagm~als d' es lika avRounbete be fit rt ti the b 'bl o controvers1 irectors e o rt gave a ne conce or 1 e sem- Wil and H . · · h had ttended Wha . mary e once a . twas. son , the late erbert Wenucke. t th -'~th fhis Chri . In fact, he shad only one dreadful ex-. apparen was e Ut;JJ o suan . "I th 1 · f faith and where that commitment leads penence.. t was ~ ow pomt ~ my 11· 'call B th al ealed his opera career - a temble product10n of lffitramrdus~ Y · u e so revrti /domeneo just following the. first Gulf ex o mary range as a pe ormer. W . 1991 Id H ulled ff fth . ar m , so omeneo was a type eppner p o one o e most m- fSaddam H · ~""":~ be gh · ed d · · I o ussemu:uw1gto· tau t spir an entertarnmg encores have 1 T :.. -'~ 1 Id heard h h k ti a esson. uuay never wou go ever , w en e too requests or thr gh · b 1 b bl eeded th traditi nal h fr th d' . ou 1t, ut pro a y n e o ymns. om e au 1ence money then.,, and worked them mto a medley, from ' . . Amazi G t The Old R d On stage, Heppner 1s commandmg C ng race 0 ugge -'andnotjustbecauseheis6'2. Heisa ross. · · 1 th ·cal "Wasn't that fun? I'd already PH~deionatifite, mte~ ynallea~thth actor. rked t 'th . M 1 e1 n esemono ywi echarwo ou WI my accompanist, e Bo k that 'f 1 d'dn't t to d acters he plays, even though most of w er, 1 1 wan o a th rminall fl ed "Be 1· rtaṁ h I ul . d . 'Oh M 1 em are te y aw . . r 1oz ce ymn wo say. , e mak think A . d 't kn that ' B t f h manages to e us eneas JS oesn ow . u · o course e h b him a 1· h kn . all fth . It . tth 'ght ero, utweneversee accomp JS o:vs 0 , em. was JUS e n anything - in fact he leaves devastation audience -. I d never do . that . anywhere w h erever h e goes. 1 t ' s th e kind o f ro I es ~I~, ~r w~ any oth:r p~t,~u:; I sing - what can I say? es eo yonew ~co P ito · "IhopetodolaClemenzadiTito He once taught me piano for a year - and ,,,~ ,, wumeneo agam · soon - th ey are repoor guy· ally good to sing, to keep you flexible. ATS1RATR>RD IN JULY, Heppn- I'd love to do a Handel opera, but I er will introduce a new program of haven't been offered." When he put songs by the nineteenth century Italian together his splendid disc of French composer Francesco Paolo Tosti, opera arias, Airs Fr(l!1fais, he discovwhom he first eocountered 25 years ago erect a huge amount of overlooked repwhen he was asked to sing Goodbye as ertoire. "I want to do more French part of a farewell recital for his then- grand opera, which was meant for my future wife's piano teacher. colour of voice - like Meyerbeer, Rey- "Tosti was a voice teacher, so he erandHalevy." has a real sense of vocal line. His songs Heppner made a great impact when are logical to sing- I wouldn't say easy, he premiered American composer because there are some rough corners William Bolcom's operaMcTeague in in them, but they are really written for Chicago in 1992. "Balcom reaIJy loves singers. This is very accessible music. the voice and actually writes for it. So It's not Verdi, but it's worth hearing." much modem music has forgotten that While most of the great tenors past the voice is like a single string - basiand present have recorded a selection cally just a set of stretchable cords in of Tosti songs, Heppner is preparing the throat. I desperately try to find a the first recording devoted to them. musical line, ~ven in wide intervals. I "I've included a lot of the pot-boilers think the human voice isn't pointillistic like Ideate and L 'alha separa. There - it's melodic." are so many songs - over fourteen vol- "There are some great singers who umes - so I picked some that hadn't just don't move me, like Callas. It's not been heard, especially the more som- necessarily how well they sing," he bre ones." says, "it's a personal thing. That's why For the Tosti project, Heppner is we need emotional content. The voice working with an intimate salon-style that you love, in the end, is the voice C?/J . ' d!l!/@lid'J TOUONTO 2003-04 SEASON CHMjBER MUSIC DOWNTOWN QUARTETS Oct. 16 Nov. 6 Nov. 20 Jan. 15 Feb. 5 Mar. 18 Apr. 1 Apr. 15 PIANO Oct. 14 Nov. 25 Dec. 9 .Ju'l. 20 .Mar. 2 THURSDAYS Kod{t!y Quartet Brentano Quartet Zehetmair Quartet St. Lawrence Quartet Berlin Philharmonic Quartet Vogler Quartet with pianist Angela Cheng Petersen Quartet Tokyo Quartet Richard Goode Claire-Marie LeGuay Marc-Andre Hamelin Duo Turgeon Simon Trpceski orchestra. But most of his projects in- that really moves you." evitably involve the top orchestras and Ben Heppner performs /qr Stratford Summer Music on July 24 to 27 in the Stratford conductors of our time. He worked with Giuseppe Sinopoli on his final recording, Ariadne CJJ{f Naxos, before his tragets call the Stratford Festival line at 1-800- City Hall at JI :15. For infom1111ion and tickic early' death. "The first time we 567-1600. He will also give a· recital at Roy worked together, for a recording of Thomson Hall Thursday, Nov.27at8pm. Die Frau ohne Scholten, I didn't meet For informaiion abouJ Ben Heppner, and him. I did the recording in Chicago - a complete discography, check his website at the rest had been done earlier in,Dres- July 1 - September 7 2003 7 ' TUESDAYS ENSEMBLES-IN-RESIDENCE TUESDAYS Oct. 21 Music TORONTO Chamber Society Dec. 2 Gryphon Trio Feb. 17 Music TORONTO Chamber Society Mar. 23 Gryphon Trio DISCOVERY Jan ~ 29 Feb. 12 Mar. 11 THURSDAYS Barbara Hannigan, soprano Lara St. John, violinist 13erenika Zahzevvski, pianist CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS Nov. 6 Brentai10 String Quartet Jan. 20 Duo Turgeon Jan. 29 Barbara Hanni,gan, soprano Mar. 23 Gryphon Trio AFFORDABLE + ACCESSIBLE + INTIMATE + EXHILARATING GREAT CLASSICAL MUSIC IN A PERFECT SMALL CONCERT HALL DOWNTOWN SUBSCRIPTIONS FROM

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