Announcements round up

The word Everything on a To-Do list on a dry erase board to remiWow!  There’s a stack of season and other announcements in my inbox.  Apologies for any redundancy from earlier posts but here’s stuff you might want to know.  In no particular order…

On November 6th at 7.30pm in the Conservatory’s Temerty Theatre Happenstance, made up of clarinettist Brad Cherwin, pianist Alice Hwang and singers Adam Harris and Whitney Mather, are giving a free concert.  Adam will be singing a set by Jean Francaix, promised to be “hysterical”, with bass clarinet, and Whitney will be singing Messiaen’s Resurrection with Alice and a duo for soprano and clarinet, Pascal Dusapin’s To God.  I would be all over this but I’m tied up that night.

Tapestry Opera have announced details of their 2017/18 season.  There are four shows:

  • November 30th to December 3rd in the Dancemakers’ Studio at the Distillery, they are presenting Tapestry Briefs: Winter Shorts which will showcase scenes from the 2016 LibLab.  No word on performers yet.
  • Tap Ex: Forbidden is another mash up initiative.  This time it’s opera meets Persian classical and hip-hop.  Composer Afarin Mansouri and librettist Donna-Michelle St. Bernard will explore the dark issues of repression countered with humorous and witty commentary on human nature’s temptations to explore the forbidden.  February 8th to 11th at the Ernest Balmer Studio.
  • March 29th to April 14th at the Bluma Appel Theatre there’s Morris Panych and James Rolfe’s operatic adaptation of Gogol’s surreal The Overcoat.  It’s a copro with Canadian Stage and Vancouver Opera.
  • Finally Songbook VIII will run on May 8th to 11th at the Ernest Balmer Studio.  As usual, it will be a selection from Tapestry’s back catalogue.

Details on show times, tickets etc at

Voicebox: Opera in Concert have released details of their 2017/18 shows.

  • October 29th at 2.30pm they are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the chorus with former members Russell Braun and Isabel Bayrakdarian as soloists in a varied program drawn from previous Voicebox productions.
  • November 26th at 2.30pm it’s Handel’s Rodelinda with orchestra.  Soloists include Christina Raphaëlle Haldane, Charles Sy, Alexander Dobson and David Trudgen.  Larry Beckwith conducts.
  • Saverio Mercadante’s I due figaro follows on February 4th at 2.30pm.Soloists include Beste Kalender, Ilana Zarankin, Holly Chaplin and Nicholas Borg.  Narmina Afandiyeva is Pianist and Music Director with Robert Cooper and the OIC Chorus.
  • Finally, there’s the world premiere of Victor Davies’ The Ecstasy of Rita Joe.  It’s on Saturday, March 24th at 8 pm and Sunday, March 25th at 2:30 pm.  The work is based on the iconic play by George Ryga and features a cast of Indigenous artists starring Marion Newman, Everett Morrison, Michelle Laffertyand Evan Korbut.  Robert Cooper conducts the cast, chorus and orchestra.

All performances at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

On Saturday November 18th at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church on Huron Street Toronto masque Theatre are hosting international early music ensemble Masques in an all Telemann program.  This is the Toronto leg of Masques’ Canadian tour which will also see them in Calgary, Montreal and Kitchener-Waterloo.  Also from Toronto Masque Theatre is their double bill of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and James Rolfe’s Aeneas and Dido. Krisztina Szabo and Alexander Dobson take the leading roles.  This one’s at Trinity St. Pauls’s on October 20th and 21st.  Tickets and so on at

Also a couple of things that aren’t exactly opera but may be of interest.

  • Factory presents the world premiere of trace, a one-man-two-piano-play written, composed and performed by Jeff Ho and directed by Nina LeeAquino.  A personal story of family and genealogy, trace follows the footprints taken by Jeff’s great grandmother who fled the Japanese in WWII by escaping to Hong Kong, losing one of her two sons during the trek; his mother’s similar pilgrimage to Canada, also with two sons in tow; and by Jeff himself, when he too embarked on a journey, moving from Markham to Montreal to pursue an uncharacteristically Chinese life.
    trace is a chamber play structured as a piano sonata with a prelude, three movements and a coda. Tickets and more at
  • Berlin group the Semer Ensemble hits Toronto on November 8th with an eclectic program based on the catalogue of the near legendary Semer label, all of whose master recordings were destroyed on Kristallnacht.  Expect an eclectic mix of Yiddish folk and theatre songs, klezmer, Berlin Cabaret, Russian and Ukrainian folk songs, operatic arias, and cantorial music memorializing pre Holocaust Jewish culture.  It’s at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in the George Weston Recital Hall.

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