April in Toronto

RevolutionsPosterThe opening weekend of April is almost absurdly rich in opera going opportunities and I’ve already previewed it here.  There are updates on the Tapestry/Volcano show Revolutions.  This is going to be highly experimental and aims to “test the boundaries of how opera is presented in the 21st century.” by exploring the relationship between physical and musical expression.  Marie- Josée Chartier (contemporary dance), stage director Michael Mori, will work with four athletic young opera singers, Neema Bickersteth, Andrea Ludwig, Adrian Kramer and Andrew Love.  Unfortunately it’s one night only and I shall be at the opening of Peter Sellars’ production of Handel’s Hercules at the COC.  Eric Owens, Alice Coote, Richard Croft, David Daniels and Lucy Crowe are singing and Harry Bicket is in the pit.  If that’s not incentive enough the COC is offering a 25% discount if you buy tickets to any two of the three spring operas (the other two are Roberto Devereux and Don Quichotte). 

220px-IsabelBayrakdarianThere’s much more in April.  Tafelmusik have a show with Isabel Bayrakdarian called The Rival Queens.  It’s inspired by the famous rivalry between two 18th-century opera superstars, Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. The programme features music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Telemann, among others. Besides arias from Ms. Bayrakdarian the programme include Handel’s Concerto grosso in D Major and the Overture to his opera Alessandro; Zelenka’s Sinfonia in A Minor; Vivaldi’s Concerto for strings in G Minor; and Telemann’s Concerto in D Minor for two oboes and bassoon.  The show is at Koerner Hall on April 9th (7pm), 10th and 12th (8pm) and 13th (3.30pm).

On the 19th, at 12.30pm,  Bloor Hot Docs is showing the Royal Opera House’s production of Parsifal.  The cast includes Simon O’Neill, Angela Denoke and René Pape in a production by Stephen langridge.  Antonio Pappano conducts.  Here’s a link to the Guardian review of the stage performance.  I’m not a huge fan of opera in cinema but Bloor Hot Docs is not a bad place to see opera and the ROH approach is less annoying than the Met HDs.

On the 25th and 26th Toronto Masque Theatre have a show; The Myth of Europa exploring that theme through two pieces of musical theatre that explore the fascinating from very different perspectives.  The baroque cantata Europe by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair focuses on beauty and optimism while a new work – Europa and the White Bull – by James Rolfe and Steven Heighton explores the darker themes of the myth.  Both pieces will feature soprano Suzie LeBlanc, dancer Stéphanie Brochard and actor Martin Julien. Choreography and direction will be by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière.  The show is at Trinity St. Paul’s at 8pm.  In what seems to be becoming the curse of this season the first performance clashes with the opening night of the COC’s Roberto Devereux.

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