Here’s the news that’s arrived in my inbox this week.
Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts announced that from 2019 the DORA awards will be gender neutral. In categories where there has traditionally been “Best Performance by a Male” and “Best Performance by a Female” there will now be a single “Best Performance” award.
So it looks like January is finally over and that means we can look ahead to next month. Things are definitely winding down. There’s the last Opera Pub of the season on the 3rd at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. The Vancouver Symphony is appearing with Bramwell Tovey at Roy Thomson Hall on the 26th with the highlight being Marion Newman singing Ancestral Voices; a piece Tovey wrote for her. Also that evening the Canadian Children’s Opera opens a two performance run of Alice Ping Yee Ho’s new piece The Monkiest King. That’s at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
The voice competition of the Montreal International Music Competition is not just awarding prizes to singers. There’s also the $10,000 ‘John Newmark’ Award for the best collaborative pianist. There are twelve competitors, all under 35:
They join the 38 singers already announced. And I’ll be there too. I’m now fortunate enough, courtesy of MICM, to be able to be there for the whole of the song and aria competitions and I’ll be providing regular updates and, probably, live social media coverage throughout the events.
Once again there are ten productions in the line up for next season; five of them productions that have been seen before. I don’t see anything terribly compelling here but there are a few reasonably interesting shows. All performances are 12.55pm unless otherwise indicated. Here’s the scoop.
The line up for the vocal section of the Montreal International Music Competition has been announced. There are 38 singers; all under 35. They are drawn from 22 countries and include 8 Canadians. There are two competitions; art song and aria. The former is, of course, with piano accompaniment, the latter, at least in the latter stages, with orchestra. I’m hoping to be in Montreal for the closing stages of the aria competition in the first week of June so watch this space. Here is the line up:
Cineplex’s The Met: Live in HD features Franco Zefferelli’s Tosca on January 27 and Bartlett Sher’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore on February 10th
My first thought was that I would rather be suspended upside down in a vat of ordure and flogged by drug crazed trolls and then I realised that unless I was somewhere in the the multiverse where the Met still had Robert Carsen’s Eugene Onegin this couldn’t be right. The body text clarified. It’s actually the, by now scarcely distinguishable from the Zeff, Caledonian knight Sir David MacVicar “Rivaling the splendor of Franco Zeffirelli’s Napoleonic-era sets and costumes”.
What’s On Stage is a UK on-line magazine covering the theatre scene in the UK. They have an annual reader poll for “best of” in various categories in opera. One such is “Breakthrough Artist in UK Opera” which this year was won by Ottawa native and COC Ensemble Studio graduate Wallis Giunta for a series of roles with Opera North (who picked up a bucketload of awards) including Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti and L’enfant in L’enfant et les sortilèges. She’s not just ridiculously photogenic! I’m slightly shocked to realise it’s almost two years since I interviewed Wally by Skype from her home base in Leipzig but so it is. The interview write up is here.
Winner for “Outstanding Achievement in an Operatic Role” deservedly went to Allan Clayton for his outstanding work creating the title role in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne.
Signal boosting for the good folks at Against the Grain…
Against the Grain Theatre, Opera Columbus and Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity seeking members for virtual chorus extravaganza
Singers across the globe encouraged to submit videos to be considered for groundbreaking musical experiment
TORONTO — Against the Grain Theatre, along with co-producers Opera Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta, are developing Christoph Willibald Gluck’s most famous work, Orphée et Eurydice (Berlioz version). Premiering in 1762, the opera was in the vanguard, changing the way that the musical form was experienced. This interpretation of the opera—while staying true to the music and feel of the Baroque original—will place the work firmly in the 21st century with new electronic orchestration, baroque burlesque dancers, sopranos singing from silks, and aerial dancers. Most importantly, the co-producers are seeking singers of all types who are interested in becoming part of the production’s virtual chorus.
The death of Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky was announced a couple of hours ago. It’s no secret that he had been suffering from brain cancer for some time but, still, 55 is far too young. I’ll remember him for one of the oddest recitals I’ve ever been to. Not that his performance was odd, rather it was excellent, but because his “fan club”, which appeared to be made up of Russian women of a certain age, were the noisiest people I have ever seen in Koerner Hall, on or off stage.
The full schedule of events around Bicycle Opera Project’s weekend in Hamilton in conjunction with the Hamilton Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre have now been announced. We are looking at the weekend of July 15th/16th and the details are as follows: