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Volume 9 Issue 8 - May 2004

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Music THEATRE SPOTLIGHT Community Ch~ir. Bartley's music weaves together narrative text from oral histories of the Davenport Perth neighbourhood. The participants explored the sounds of the production in workshops with Bartley and '"" vocalist Fides Krucker, and through "soundwalks" that involved recordii1g the ambient noises of the area. Once A Shoreline run·s from May 21 to 30 at Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Centre. MOM'S THE WORD Vancouver actor Jay Braieau is delighted to have been chosen to play Edna Tumblad, mother of teenage Tracy, ii1 the Mirvish production of the Broadway hit Hairspray. "It's my, first mother role," he says. (The Mirvishes could have chosen any actor, but ii1 picking Brazeau they've kept with their strong mandate to cast Canadian talent.) Not only that, but the part is often described in terms · of a "star-makii1g" role. "They talk about stuff like that," says Brazeau, "but for me the play Hairspray is the star. That sounds like Debbie Reynolds, but I'm havii1g a really great time," he qualifies. "It's a really infectious musical with a lot of heart. It's for all those people who've ever been overweight and all those people who've been discrimii1ated agaii1st." MORE OF MISS HUNTER Another performer who's on a roll is blues diva Jackie Richardson. Last November she opened as Alberta Hunter ii1 Cookin 'at the Cookery in Wii1nipeg and Toronto. After a brief break ii1 Adventures of A Black Girl in Search of God, she's back ii1 Cookii1' , which has been picked up for an extended run at the New Yorker Theatre. Richardson is thrilled to be playii1g Hunter agaii1. "She was underage when she left her home and took a tram to conquer Chicago," say·s R~chardson. "They say that after the first three years there she got ii1 with the who's who, and when she was still young - 17, 18 years old - when she hit that stage, it was a force. I have a picture of Alberta Hunter with Bricktop, Mabel Mercer, Langston Hughes and a few people I didn't recognize ii1 Bricktop's club ii1 Paris. All the, great musicians - Duke Ellii1gton, Count Basie - that was where they went. continued from page 27 Jackie's cookin' All the musical writers for Broadway would come to Paris and they'd say 'Brickie, I just wrote this for Anything Goes and I'd like one of you to sii1g it tonight, just to see how it sounds.' So that's the crowd that Alberta I-Junter comes from" BOLL YWOOD SOIREE May is South Asian Heritage Month, and the festivities kick off with a one-night production at the ROM called Mona Darling's Dinner Party. It's an all-0ut gala of ii1teractive theatre, for which infamous Hollywood gangstress Mona Darling and her nefarious friends Ajit, Ranju and Mii1ky have surfaced in Toronto. They preside over a diilner theatre extravaganza of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, Hollywood 9ancing, live video projections, a four-

BooK SHELF recording job by Italian television, Music and Arts, even with the latest software, was unable to edit out major doses of stage noise. · by Pamela Margles Bel Canto, a pioneering specialist in historical opera films, also has a VHS T. he two very different types of books reviewed this month approach version of the 197('\ 0tello. Hopefully their suhjectsfrom opposite directions. Rischin uses an iso/{lted event, it will be reworked for DVD. the 'war-time premiere of Messaien 's Quartet for the End of Time, to · Since 1976, theOtello qufStion for illuminate a swath of music history. The reader or companion, as it is both video and audio recordings has variously called, collects a wide variety of writings of historical and anabeen: which excellent Domingo per- lyric significance about a single subject, covering many viewpoints. In formance do you want? For DVD, is . either case, there is much to learn and enjoy. it Kultur's 1992 Solti/Domingoffe Kanawa/Leiferkus quartet at Covent tion of twenty essays about this charis- Garden? TDK/Naxos' Muti/Domin- rnatic composer. go/Frittoli/Nucci 2001 performance at Hilda Morley Wolpe recalls her ·is your· PORTFOLIO Singing in Tune? Call Us NOW! ···· ···· ········· ····1 Call or .~lop l>y: ~7~~:!~;~;:R~F~. 1 La Scala? Or the Levine/Domingo/ husband's ·fantastic imagination' and M1ss1ssauga, ON · deep humanity. David Holzman com- pares his own performance of Bau le Piece to the more abstractly modernist historic recording by David Tudor. Both performances are featured · on the wonderful compact disc of Wolpe's music included with this book. Martin Zenck points out how Wolpe' s unexpected use of zones of tonality expresses "falling into the abyss rather than walking into peaceful fields". Katherine Malyj discusses Wolpe's irony and wit, coloured by ·his humorous sense of the absurd, which gives his music its moral edge. Examples from Wolpe's scores, photographs , and othei: documentation, along with the enclosed CD, make this book a fascinating introduction to an admittedly complex subject Fleming/Morris 1995 Met television broadcast just issued by Universal/ Deutsche Grammophon? Pick a number, any number, and you win. Sparks soar between Kanawa and Domingo. Close-ups of.Domingo's alternatively brooding, loving, and angry face reveal some of the finest operatic acting I've seen on film. Everybody is on best behavior when Solti.conducts. However, Leiferkus' On the Music of Stefan Wolpe: Iago is an oily, cunning fellow rather . Es~ays and Rec.ollections than Verdi's evil force of nature. Edited by Austm Clarkson Nucci's Iago in the new La Scala per- Pendragon Press • formance is literally devilish. The · 383 pages paperback with CD technical quality of TDK's Otello is .00 US exceptional. While Frittoli is very good, ,she's not on the level of Freni or Kanawa. It's been nine years since I view€d the Met performance on PBS; and was utterly seized. I eagerly check my mailbox for Universal's DVD. But "which Domingo DVD?" may be the wrong stance. My stance? Get Jon Vickers ina 1974 film directed by von Karajan, now reissued on DVD by Universal Universal/DG. Vickers played opposite Freni, plus Peter Glossop as a devilishly handsorre Renaissance scherrer. Karajan conducts the Berlin Philharmonic. Vickers' Otello has unmatched dignity. Only a few singers like Vickers arrive each century. As to Freni: if you don't weep when Desdemona, ming imminent death, directs her last praye~ to Mary, you will never weep at the opera. (Singing alongside Vick- . ers does concentrate the mind.) True, there are noticeable lip synchronization problems: acting was filmrlon oceanside castle ranµuts etc., then synched with studio recordings. True, you won't see an actual ocean storm and bobbing ship in the opera house. But this is not the usual on-site production where opera plays second fiddle to cinematic technique. A great conductor ventured to stretch his operatic imagination via film He succeeded. MAY 1 - )UNE 7 2004 "To confront the predictable with the inexplicable, the palpable with the evanescent, the orderly with the chaotic" was, accordin_g to Austin Clarkson, Stefan Wolpe'smethod of expressing his musical ideas meaningfully. This volum: succeeds in placing Wolpe's life, music and ideas in the context of his belief in the power of art to transform society. Clarkson, professor errerirus at York University in Toronto, has edited a clearly-written and unapologetically passionate callee~ • TLC for musicians by a . . musician Endurance • Breath Posture • Muscle Release Dr. Katarina Bulat, Chiropractor Clinic: Back in Motion 1370 Danforth Ave. Tel: 416-461-2225 Private Practice: 18 Verna~ale Cres. Tel: 416-752-8673 WWW.THEWHOL ENOJE.COM BOOK SHELF CONTINUES NEXT PAGE L5J IJ4 · Tel (905) 822-7111 \'\ \.1·1 lwanljorn~~ -•·oiu Member CIPf. EdwardJones Serving lnclividnal Investors Al and Malka Green Artists' Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital Cl )> a. 3 399 Bathurst Streel (at Dundas) • To book an appointment, call 416-603-5263 An integrated & comprehensive health care centre · creat('d by artists - for artists aO For information about our services, contact: The Artists' Health Centre Foundation 416-351-0239 • Shiatsu ·Centre 720 Bathurst St., Suite 502 Toronto, ON MSS 2R4 416-534-1140 x2 Cell: 416-.788-3187 " Carlos Praniauskas, CST, has been treating musicians and performers for 15 years. · Shiatsu is effective for: ·treatment and prevention of repetitive strain injuries ·relief of tension and stress ·producing a feeling of well-being

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