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Volume 8 Issue 9 - June 2003

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On May 21 the

On May 21 the nominations for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards were announced. In the past opera, when included, has found itself in the "Outstanding Musical" division. This year opera has a division all to itself. In the category "Outstanding Production of an Opera" the nominees are: "Facing South", Tapestry New Opera works; "Jenufa", Canadian Opera Company; "Medee", Opera Atelier; "Oedipus Rex/Symphony of Psalms", COC; and "The Queen Of Spades", COC. In the category. "Outstanding Performance in an Opera" the nominees are: Eva Urbanova, "Jenufa"; Michael Schade, "Oedipus Rex I Symphony Of Psalms"; Ewa Podles, "Oedipus Rex/Symphony , Of Psalms"; Judith Forst, "The Queen Of Spades"; Xiu Wei Sun, "Madama Butterfly". Winners will be announced June 23 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. While the nominees above are all worthy candidates, the list raises a number of questions. The "General Theatre" division has separate nom-, inees for both Best Musical and Best Play, and separate nomirultions for Best Director, Best Male Performance and Best Female Performance in each of these "General Theatre" categories. There are also nominations for Best Feature Role; Best Set, Costumes and Lighting, combining the two. Shouldn't all these categories also be recognized in Opera? 24 ON OPERA by Christopher Haile The reality is that a far greater number of different operas are produCed in the city than musicals. In ' any given year we can count on seven productions from the COC, two each from Opera Atelier and the Toronto Operetta Theatre and vari- A fully-staged production .by the Metropolitan f amily Thursday, Friday, Saturday June 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m. Narrator: Anne Thomson Joseph: Benjamin Stein Pharoah: Malcolm Sinclair Directed by William Martyn; Music Direction by Patricia Wright; Produced by Marlene Smith · Admission: adults; children 12 and under For tickets: 416-363-0331 Ext. 51 Metropolitan United Church 56 Queen Street East at Church Street, Toronto 416-363-0331 Eva Urbanova able numbers from the numerous alternative companies such as Au- Jason in "Mectee", Daniel Belcher tumn Leaf, Tapestry New Opera for his wonderfully natural portray­ Works and Queen of Puddings. alofthetitlecharacterin "TheMar­ When the Royal Opera Canada be- riage of Figaro", Peter Collins for gins operations in North York this his eerie Peter Quint in the COC Enfall, the minimum numlx(r of profes- semble' s "The Tum of the Screw", sional, fully staged opera productions Gregory Dahl for his haunted Comwill rise from eleven to fifteen. mander Peary in "Facing South" and In any given year Toronto is lucky John Mac Master for his tortured to see half that number of profession- Laca of "Jenufa". al, fully staged productions ofmusi- Were there a category for "Outcals. The reason is simple. The standing Feature Performance", it greatest emphasis on the production could recognize Patrick Carfizzi in ofmusicalsoccursattheout-of-town the COC's "An Italian Girl in Alsurnmerfestivals, which, ofcourse, giers", James Martin as Matthew are out-of-bounds for the Doras. Henson in "Facing South"' Shannon TheDoracommitteeshouldatleast Mercer as Oscar in the COC's "A separate the category for "Outstand- Masked Ball", Comelis Opthof as ing Performance" in opera into Male Sharpless in "Madama Butterfly", and Female as it does for plays and Nathalie Paulin as Creuse in "Memusicals. Were that the case, there dee" and Jennie Such as Cherubino would have been room on the list for in "The Marriage of Figaro". Stephanie Novacek for her fearless Another quibble: the Dora negotiationofthedemandingtitlerole Awards committee should make in "Mectee" an~ Nathalie Paulin, one clear its policy on revivals. In of the mos~gerual Sus~ ;o:.onto , 1998theCOC's "Oedipus Rex" won has s~n m ~ra ,,Atelier s The seven Doras including ''Outstanding Mamage off 1garo · Production". How does it come to And joining lone. male. Micha~! be nominated again? Past winners Schade could be Cyril Auv1ty .for his should not be eligible a second time portrayal of the morally ambiguous in the same category. For what it's worth, !fl were to award the Doras for opera in the 2002-03 season in the full array of categories available for plays and . musicals, these would be my choices: Outstanding Production: "Jenufa". Outstanding Performance by a Female: Eva Urbanova in "Jenufa". Outstanding Performance by a Male: Cyril Auvity in "Medee". Outstanding Feature Role: Jennie Such in "The Marriage of Figaro". Outstanding Set Design: Derek McLane for "Jenufa". Outstanding Costume Design: Dora Rust-D'Eye for "Medee". Outstanding Lighting Design: Michael Whitfield for "Jenufa". Outstanding Stage Direction: Nicholas Muni for "Jenufa". · Outstanding Musical Direcfor: tie between Richard Bradshaw for his harrowing account of "Jenufa" and Herve Niquet for revealing Charpentier's "Medee" for the masterpiece it is. Music THEATRE SPOTLIGHT by Sarah B. Hood Summer Season Takes Off' HIGJl-FLYING HIT He's one of Hollywood's biggest stars these days, but back in 1986 Tom Cruise was only beginning to show his full potential when he follow~ up 1983 's' popular teen frolic Ris,lcy Business with his role as Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the fullthrottle 1986 air force drama Top Gun. The Girogio Moroder theme song "Take My Breath Away" and a cast that included Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins and a young Meg Ryan probably didn't hurt Top Gun's success. However, it was about as far away from the musical comedy idiom as they come. Nonetheless, in 2002 Denis Mc­ Grath and Scott White's Top Gun! Tfte Musical became the most successful box office draw of the Toronto Fringe, beating out even the record-holding The Drowsy Chaperone. The satirical show, which imagines one ~riter's struggle to stage a Top Gun musical adaptation against many, many odds, went on to score a hit at Houston's Theater Lab. Now it's returning to Toronto for a full run from June 4 to 22 at Factory Theatre with a cast that includes Drew Carnwath, Dmitry Chepovetsky, David Collins, Steven Gallagher, Alison bawrence, Racheal McCaig and Mary Francis Moore . HERE'S TO THE LADY WHO SINGS We get a rare chance to see an unquestionably accomplished Broadway star when Elaine Stritch turns up at ~e Elgin Theatre from Juhe 23 to 28 with heF autobiographical onewoman show Elaine Stritch at liberty. Her last appearance here was in 1994, as Parthy Hawks in the Liv­ Ent revival of Show Boat that opened the (then) North York Centre for the Performing Arts. Over the course of her show, Stritch reminisces about such colleagues as Ethel Merman (whom she understudied in Call Me Madam) and Noel Coward (who wrote Sail Away for her). She also performs some of the great Coward material, like "Why Do the Wrong People Tr:avel?", " I've Been to a Marvelous Party" and "If Love Were All", alongside memorable June 1 - July 7 2003

. tunes like the Gershwins' "But Not For Me", Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" and her landmark song, the world-weary "Ladies Who Lunch" . from Sondheim's 1970 hit Company. ASTRO-NUTS It's just about time to take off for the country and take in a little summer theatre. Already, June offers _at least a dozen musicals, ranging _from _Broadway chestnuts to original Canadian plays. Among the latter is The Perilous Pirate's Daughter, a musical romp of redcoats and rebels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. Written by Ann Chislett and David ' Archibald, it's based on the career of real-life Upper Canadian pirate Bill Johnston and his daughter Kate. It runs at the Blyth Festival (www: blythfestival'.com) right through the summer, from June 16 toAugust9. For complete information about summer theatre, contact the Association of Summer Theatres 'Round Ontario (ASTRO) at 416-408-4556 or visit, where yqu can request one of their comprehensive brochures online. MUSIC IN THE COUNTRY And then there are the summer music festivals. Westben Arts Festival Theatre ( ~!so ma~e in Canada are Vaude- presents a full summer season of Ville!, which runs at the Huron Coun- musical events on rolling farmland tryPlayhouseII(www.huroncountry . near Campbellford. This June they . from June 17 to team up with Opera Mississauga and August 23, and Menopositive! The theUBCOperaSchooltopresentfour Music~!, fr~m May 27 to June 14 ~t evenings of mu~ie theatre. First, on the V1ctona Playhouse Petrolta June 7, it's Gloria!, a performance ( of Vivaldi and favourite opera clas- The first of these is a revue by sics with Opera~ Mississauga. On veteran music theatre director Alan June 21and22, it's a full-scale pro­ Lund, featuring some of the great duction of The Merry Widow with songs of the Vaudeville era made UBC' s Opera School. On June 24 the famou's .by the !~es of G7orge M. Opera School presents an encore: a Spring Cabaret of opera and Broad­ way hits. Cohan, Fanny Bnce, Eddie Cant~r and Al Joi.son. pular Grease, starring Frankie Avalon (running July 15 to 20), as well as a variety of music performances. . Watch for Sarah B. Hood's upcoming book Toronto: The Unknown City, co-written with Howard Akler, to be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in Fall2003. TOYOV\.:CO sc.ViooL of tY"\vub;BC, A ProfessLO V'vtllL COV'vY\lcttot;:~ , OFFERING GENERAL AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION TO ASPIRING AND ACCOMPLISH~D _, MUSICIAN,?_. _,._...,.. . ... i>RIVATE~drci BEG 11'+iC;HUR _ ·· ,,_. ONALMUSIC . QMJ?tTITiON , .GES 17-35) SS 0Foo,ooo AUDITioNs HE'i:rr£v-E:RY FRIDAY 2-srM TORONTO SCHOOL OF MUSIC CANADA 1063 MCNICOLL AVE. TORONTO, ON. MlW 3W6 PHONE: 416-260-1882 fAX: 416-260-9997 June 1 - July 7 2003 25

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