March was a curiously quiet month. April starts to look busier, at least once we get past Easter. Tonight, Against the Grain have their monthly pub night at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club. Snow is forecast so you should all stay away and then maybe I’ll be able to get in. On Saturday at 4pm there’s a free (or PWYC) recital in Ernest Baumer Studio featuring soprano Stephanie Nakagawa and pianist Peemanat Kittimontreechai. They will be performing arias from contemporary Canadian operas. On Thursday 13th Philippe Jaroussky and Les Violins du Roy will be appearing at Koerner Hall. It’s at 8pm and features mainly fairly obscure Handel material.
Tuesday 18th sees Collectìf present a newly-compiled pastiche, entitled Fête, made up of staged vignettes of art song based on Verlaine’s iconic poetry cycle, Fêtes galantes. If you haven’t seen this outfit I recommend them highly. This one is free in the RBA at noon. Louis Riel opens at the COC on Thursday 20th at 7.30pm (runs until May 13th). The following day there’s a free, but ticketed, all day symposium about Riel. Check the COC website for details. And then Saturday 22nd Opera Atelier’s run of Charpentier’s Médée opens at the Elgin.
On Tuesday 25th, the RBA noon series has A Woman’s Life and Love; mezzo-soprano Lauren Eberwein and soprano Danika Lorèn, explore themes of life, love and sensuality from a woman’s perspective in a program that includes Schumann’s beloved Frauenliebe und -leben. Then on Thursday, same time and place, there’s the annual collaboration concert between the COC Ensemble Studio and L’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal.
But there’s more. On Wednesday 26th, Toronto Operetta Theatre open a four show run of Straus’ The Chocolate Soldier featuring Jennifer Taverner, Michael Nyby, Greg Finney and Anna Macdonald. It’s at the St. Lawrence Centre. Then on Friday at 7.30pm MY Opera open a run of Rossini’s Italian Girl in Algiers at the Aki Studio. There are also performances on Saturday at 4.30pm and Sunday at 2.30pm. These guys have a habit of spotting young talent from outside the usual GGS/UoT circles.