The Palace of the Dreamking

potdkPeter Greve is a Dutch composer of works for various forces all of which could, I suppose, be considered tone poems as they all have thematic/storyline elements.  The “stories” for the pieces on the CD can be found here.  Stylistically Greve is eclectic but very satisfying to listen to.  The Palace of the Dreamking, perhaps unsurprisingly, has a Nordic feel to it particularly in the opening passages.  It’s tonal and almost Sibelius like but then it gets agitated, percussive and more dissonant but for returning to a more elegiac mood.  He has a real gift for melody too.

Continue reading

First half of November

I think it’s time to get back to doing two listing posts per month as the schedule is getting pretty busy.

On November 1st at 8pm Karina Gauvin is appearing at Koerner Hall with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in a programme of opera arias from 18th century St. Petersburg.  The following night at 7.30pm, in Mazzoleni Hall, the Glenn Gould School has its fall production.  This time it’s Jonathan Dove’s Siren Song.  Curiously UoT Opera is also doing a work by Dove this season.

Karina_Gauvin

Continue reading

News, news, news

Various new production and season announcements…

LooseTEA Theatre have announced their season.  November 2nd to 4th, at Heliconian Hall, there’s a double bill of Anne Frank operas.  Singing Only Softly music by Cecilia Livingston, libretto by Monica Pearce and Alaina Viau will be presented with The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigory Frid.  The singers are Sara Schabas and Gillian Grossman and Cheryl Duvall will be at the piano.  Alaina Viau directs.  December 3rd to 5th , also at Heliconian, they will present the production version of Carmen #YesAllWomen.  (My thoughts on a 2016 WIP version).  This version will combine voices (Erica Iris and Keith Klassen), chamber orchestra and turntables (SlowPitchSound).  The libretto is by Alaina VIau and Monica Pearce, the music by Samuel Bisson.  Alaina Viau directs and Scott Christian conducts.  Tickets for both shows are available at www.looseteamusictheatre.com.

loosetea

Continue reading

Rusalka – Dream or Nightmare?

David McVicar’s production of Dvořák’s Rusalka opens with a prelude while the overture plays.  We see the Foreign Princess and the Prince.  She appears to be upbraiding him and he is drinking hard.  Are we seeing a failed/forced marriage that in reality the Prince made rather than some preferred alternative?  Is what we see over the next three and half hours some dream version of what might have been?  In this most Freudian of operas, why not?

19-20-02-MC-D-0171

Continue reading

What’s old is new

Back to the Tranzac last night for the first Toronto performance of Against the Grain’s national tour of the Joel Ivany transladaptation of Puccini’s La Bohème which started it all back in 2011.  The Tranzac has changed a lot and so, of course, has Against the Grain.  The room is way smarter, they brought in a proper piano to replace the one that Topher plonked the first performance out on (and which memorably accompanied Jonathan MacArthur’s rather startling Hitler a few years later).  And not in any way to knock that first cast it’s a sign of AtG’s rising stature that this time they are fielding a cast that would not be out of place in most regional houses in Canada.

OP190927_DSC3511.NEF

Continue reading

The Way I See It

The first of Amplified Opera’s series of three shows in the Ernest Balmer Studio took place last night. The series explores the idea of “otherness” in opera.  The Way I See It , directed by Aria Umezawa, explores how the opera and wider world treat the visually impaired and how we (in the broadest sense) can not just accommodate but incorporate their insights and perspectives into our performance practice.

19_Oct10-Amplify-068

Continue reading