8 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 3 - November 2002

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • December
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Choir
  • Violin


DECCA/DEUTSCHE GRAM­ MOPHON (UNIVERSAL): Richard Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos, a 1988 Met production for TV with James Levine, conductor, andJessye Norman, Kathleen Battle and Tatiana Troyanos; Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten, Sir Georg Solti conducting at the Salzburg Festival, 1992; Tch'aikovsky, Eugene Onegin, film directed by Petr W~igl, Sir Georg Solti directing the Orchestra of the RoyaI Opera House -- a superb film married to an acclaimed audio recording); Verdi, Simon Boccanegra, Met production conducted by James Levine, cast includes Kiri Te Kanawa and Placido Domingo. EMI: Angela Gheorghiu Live from Covent Garden. Selections from Handel, Mozart, Massenet, Charpentier, Puccini, Cilea, Bellini, Brediceanu, and Loewe. Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Ion Martin. IMAGE: Pride of place among Image's new titles g\:)es to the Tony Palmer film of Britten's last opera, Death in Venice, produced with the active collaboration of the composer; not far behind is Baz Luhrmann' s production at the Australian Opera of that warhorse of all warhorses, La Boheme, using appropriately young singers. and scenery moved up to 1950s Paris. Also new: Mozart's Magic Flute using original instruments at the Drottingholm Court Theatre; a 1983 Australian Opera production of fl Trovatore featuring Donald Shanks and Joan Sutherland; a profile of Kiri Te Kanawa, with ample musical interludes; and a 1998 documentary on Ute Lemper (honorary operatic status by virtue of her mastery of Weil!). KUL TUR: The Glyndebourne Festival's 1977 production of Britten's Death in Venice is very highly recommended; Donizetti, LucreziaBorgia, starring Joan Sutherland and Ricardo Kraus in a 1977 Royal Ope era production; a Broadway Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline and Linda Rondstadt; Janacek's Kat'a Kahanova, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis at Glyndebourne, with Nancy Gustafson, Felicity Palmer, and Ryland Davies; Mozart, Mirridate, · re di Ponto, with Bruce Ford in the title role at the Royal Opera, 1991; Meyerbeer, Les Huguenots, a 1990 Australian Opera production featuring Joan Sutherland with Francesca Patane as Tosca. NAXOS (ARTHAlJS, BBC OPUS ARTE, TDK): Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti is at the top of my list. Thanks to a new Naxos distribution agreement with TDK, the latter's operatic riches will now be available in North America. The first two titles available are an Aida directed by Franco Zeffirelli and a Rigoletto with Leo Nucci. ArtHaus, the industry leader in new productions, adds Handel's Tamerlano, with Elisabeth Norberg Schultz, to its catalogue. Besides Tahiti, BBC also released a San Francisco Opera production of Lehar' s Merry Widow and a Rigoletto (infamous nude scenes and all) from the Royal Opera House, with Edward Downes, Marcelo Alvarez, Christine Schafer. SONY's DVD series on the von Karajan legacy now includes a wonderful , Falstaff starring Giuseppe Taddei, Janet Perry, Christa Ludwig. V AI: Verdi's La Forza de! Destina heads the list of V Al's eight new releases. This 1958 live Napoli production stars Franco Corelli ai:id Renata Tebaldi. Their other new titles include: a film of Menotti's The Medium; the Stuttgart Oper's 1961 Tosca; Gounod's Faust featuring Alfredo Kraus; and Donizetti, The Daughter of the Regiment (sung in English) with Beverly Sills. Has anything been held back for the Christmas tide? We'll see next month. SPOTLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE by Sarah B. Hood New York Comedy, Toronto Crimes TUNES FROM CAMP GRENADA Back in September flagged a couple of this month's shows as productions to watch for. One of these was Broadway choreographer/director Susan Stroman's 2000 Tony-winning show CONTACT, a musical without dialogue that runs at the Canon Theatre from November 5 to December 15. The second was Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!, the revue of Allen Sherman songs Rocco Perri and Bessie Starkman that has already cut a swathe in Chicago and New York. DOMESTIC SPIRITS I recently had· a chance to chat with In 1912 a young Jewish woman Jimmy Spadola, who played in the named Bessie Starkman was living New York production and will join with her husband and two children the Toronto edition at the New in "The Ward", the down-at-heel Yorker Theatre,.where it's booked Toronto,neighbourhood that used until January 5. to lie near Dundas between Uni- Spadola grew up in Palisades, versity and Bay. When a boarder N.J., just across the river from named Rocco Perri moved in, Manhattan. "My father was an avid Starkman made her move and ran Allen Sherman lover," he recalls. away with her new man to become "He played them all the time and I an underworld queen, the only listened to them all the time. They woman ever to run a mob, until were really a big influence in my her assassination in 1930. ·life." Although Sherman's· comic Tribal Productions is presentlyrics date back to the '60s and are ing a season-opening production of steeped in a specifically New York a brand-new musical based on the Jewish idiom, Spadola says they lives of Starkman and Perri from continue to win audiences over. November 8 to 23 at the Toronto "When you hear 'Hava Nagilah' Centre for the Arts. Titled Whiskey sung as 'Harry and Sheila'," he . Serenade, it's the work of local says, you just have to laugh. "It's writer/composer team Ralph Small not rocket science," he adds. "It's and Mitchell Kitz. The music, says just a celebration of the man's mu- Small, "is definitely in the style of · sic." the era. There's Italian arias and PHILIP L. DA VIS Luthi er fonnerly with J.J. Schroder: Ronkfurt, West Gennany A Fine Selection of Small and Full Sized Instruments and Bows • Expert Repairs (416) 466-9619 67 Wolverleigh Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, M4J 1R6 November 1 - December 7 2002

Jewish klezmer music blended. And who were admittedly a little past 'Let It Roll' is a hard-driving their prime by that time - and it bluesy, jazzy type of number. Some of the scenes are quite risque," he warns. "It's not a tame family drama." saw heavy competition from the big Broadway hit of that year, A Chorus Line. It wasn't until a 1997 revival that it really came into its CHARLY'S BACK own, winning six Tony Awards . . If you still haven't seen it, you have What's especially interesting until November 10 to catch a new, about the filming of Chicago - run of Cl}arly Chiarelli, s Cu 'Fu?, apart from the fact that it was s\lot here in Toronto - is that it's the about growing up Italian in Hamilton, at Artword Theatre. Chiarelli's first indication in about 25 years one-man performance, which in- that Broadway is healthy enough eludes his own musical interpola- to inspire big-budget Hollywood tions on the harmonica, has become movies again. Of course, in the '60s a popular staple for both Italian and it was common for popular stage non-Italian audiences.. musicals to spawn successful movies. Beginning with Gigi (1958), ST AGE TO SCREEN the Oscar for Byst Picture was regu­ Fans of the musical comedy genre larly doled out to musicals; it went should be watching with interest to West Side Story (1961); My Fair when the film Chicago opens on Lady (1964); The Sound of iylusic December 25 this year. Starring an (1965), and Oliver! (1968). (The "A-list" cast of Renee Zetlweger, Sound of Music still ranks among Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta- the top 100 highest grossing films Jones, it's an adaptation ofa Broad- · in the U.S.) way show by Kander and Ebb, who But through the 70s, the market also wrote Cabaret and Kiss of the for movie musicals lagged. Caba­ Spider Woman. Chicago originally ret (1972) was well received, peropened in 1975 with Gwen Verdon, haps on the coattails of the 60s Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach - wave, but since that time (correct me if I'm wrong) the only really successful movie adaptation of a stage musical has been Grease (1978). There have been a few forgettable attempts (like Annie in 1982 and A Chorus Line in 1985) and some dreadful failures (the less said about Madonna's 1996 Evita the better). Throughout this period Bro~dway was also floundering to re-establish itself. Meanwhile, Brit songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber was making some headway, but apart from the aforementioned Evita and Norman Jewison's 1973 Jesus Christ Superstar, his work has not been filmed for theatre release. Similarly, Les Miz never made it to the movies. And, oddly, no one has filmed any of Stephen Sondheim's shows (except for television) since 1966, when Zero Mostel starred in a movie version of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. (Oh, all right, there was a West German production of A Little Night Music in 1977, but do . you know anyone who's seen it?) So if you enjoy .movie versions of stage musicals, you should be rooting for Chicago, because, with the recent success of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Ruuge, trendspotters have been predicting a comeback for the musical genre. If Chicago manages to catch the wave, we can expect to see lots more movie musicals springing into production. If it tanks big-time, we may have to make do' with fohn Travolta and Oliyia Newton-John for another 25 years. Established 1981 OUR PRICE= MUSIC TO OUR CUSTOMERS' EARS YAMAHA DIGITAL PIANOS ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD I GUITARS ALSO USED PIANOS (uPRIGHTS & GRANDS) LESSONS• SERVICE• TUNING ACCESSORIES • BOOKS VISIT OUR SHOWROGM of music.416 416-924-7499 !"="1 499 COLLEGE St :diiliiili.: • ··· ~ · · . (2 BLOCKS WEST OFF BAT.HURST) :~ COURSES: Opera-IS pre.sents Opera Courses & Opera Tours call e-mail . (416) 486 8408 ' with Iain Scott MOZART's Mezzos and Sopranos 13 / 14 Jan11ao1 to 3 I 4 Februa1J' 2003 STRAUSS's Sopranos and Mezzos 24 I 25 Fehru_ao 'to 24 I 25 March 2003 Mondqy qfternoon - OAKVILLE ; Tuesdt1J' morning - BURLINGTON Tuesdt1J' aftemoon - ARTS&LETTERS CLUB; T11esdt1J' evenitz~ - U of T ..,_ call Conference World Tours (416) 221 6411 Fourth Annual "VERDI's ITALY" 17 Mqy to 1June 2003 OPERA CRUISE- from Venice to Atheris 25 June to 9 Ju!J 2003 ..,. The "RING" in Edinburgh + Scottish Golf 8 AuJ;u.rt - 11 August, 2003 ..,_ The Splendours of SICILY . November 1 - December 7 2002 18 October - 1 November 2003 Iain Scott 25

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