The most substantial offering I’ve seen this week is a concert from Toronto Summer Music that aired last night. It was a song recital by four of the Toronto’s better known young singers with Steven Philcox on piano. Simona Genga sang some Mahler and some interesting songs by the Basque composer Jésus Gurudi (new to me!). Clarence Frazer gave us excerpts from Die Schöne Müllerin plus three songs by Butterworth. No prizes for guessing which three but they were well done. Jamie Groote sang a set of Jake Heggie songs plus Strauss’ Beim Schlafengehen. Always excellent to hear Strauss sung well. Asitha Tennekoon rounded things off with a set from Wolff’s Mörike Lieder and songs by Holman (Fair Daffodils; obligatory CanCon), Gurney and Finzi. It’s all high class stuff and there’s about 90 minutes of singing. The platform is Vimeo and it looks and sounds good. It’s free and available here.
There’s another short “aria film” from Carson Gilmore too. Mon Coeur is a 1930s movie shoot themed version of “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix,” from Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. It’s as good as his previous two. This time the ambiguity and drama is about desire and jealousy and without ever being in the least bit explicit it’s surprisingly steamy. The singing is by Roksana Zeinapur, who is excellent. The accompaniment is an arrangement for string quartet by Gilmore. The other credits can be found on the video. It’s free too and can be found on Youtube.
There’s another in the Opera Breaks series from Domoney Artists. This time it’s “Crudel! Perché finora” from Le Nozze di Figaro featuring Cait Wood and Clarence Frazer (him again!) with Kathryn Tremills on piano. It’s well sung and very cute. It’s also free on Youtube.
Last, but not least, there’s a very interesting interview up on the Opera Canada Youtube channel. Lucia Cesaroni talks to new COC GD Perryn Leech. Naturally enough there’s nothing concrete about artistic plans but there’s a lot about Leech’s ideas about community engagement and creating a more inclusive opera companies. I particularly liked his comment about opera boards being largely split between people who have made a pile and retired but still want to be able to boss people about and ladies who lunch. Definitely worth a watch.