21C 2022

gouldswallThe schedule for the Royal Conservatory’s 2022 21C festival has been announced.  As usual it’s heavy on premieres and this year showcases the Kronos Quartet.  The three things that are likely of most interest to OR readers are:

  • The premiere of Gould’s Wall by Brian Current co-presented with Tapestry Opera.  It’s  a re-imagining of the life of Glenn Gould and features singers climbing along the wall of The Royal Conservatory’s atrium.  It opens on January 12th and runs until the 16th.
  • Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler gets a single performance on January 15th at 8pm in Koerner Hall.  It tells the story of a singer and her husband coming to terms with Alzheimer’s.
  • A recital by Gerald Finley and Julius Drake at 3pm on January 23rd in Koerner Hall.  This features the premiere of a new song cycle by Marc-Anthony Turnage plus lots of other goodies.

The full line up and ticket information is here.

Toronto Operetta Theatre announces live season

StLawrenceCentre4So the latest Toronto organisation to announce a return to “live” is Toronto Operetta Theatre.  There are three shows:

  • Oscar Straus’ A Waltz Dream will play December 29th, and 31st and January 2nd and 4th.  The cast includes Andrea Nuñez, Scott Rumble, Elizabeth Beeler, Keith Klassen and Greg Finney.  Derek Bates conducts.
  • Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld will be presented on February 16th, 18th, 19th and 20th.  The cast includes Vania Chan, Tonatiuh Abrego, Ryan Downey and Rosalind McArthur with Derek Bates again conducting.
  • Finally, there’ll be the premiere of Michael Rose’s musical, A Northern Lights Dream.  This will play May 5th, 6th and 7th with Natalya Gennadi, Karen Bojti, Ian Backstrom, Daniela Agostino and Stephanie O’Leary.in the cast.  Suzy Smith conducts.

All three shows will play at the St. Lawrence Centre.  At time of writing two shows in each run will be restricted to 50% capacity though I imagine that could change before May.

Mozart is Dead

As live music slowly rises from the tomb in Toronto we greet any new initiative with enthusiasm.  When it comes from the fertile creative imagination of Brad Cherwin and friends we get even more excited.  Mozart is DEAD aka the West End Micro Music Festival is a series of three concerts at the Redeemer Lutheran Church at 1691 Bloor Street West (close to Keele subway).  The concerts are at 7.30pm on three successive Fridays; November 26th, December 3rd and 10th.  In the first the Interro Quartet reinvent the string quartet, in the second we are promised “thickets of cables” transforming “single voices into otherwordly and ethereal choruses” and in the last we get a fresh take on music by Mozart, Stravinsky and Francaix.

More details and tickets are available here.  It’s free for students and about $20 per or $50 for all three for grown ups.

mozartisdead

A couple more shows

Cello+Suites+square+(with+text)Here are a couple more shows I missed one way or another.

Tomorrow (October 29th) at 7pm the second of Confluence’s Bach cello suites concerts will be streamed on Youtube.

Saturday November 13th at3 pm at St. Andrew’s Church in Toronto and Friday November 19th at 7.30pm at People’s Theatre for the Performing Arts in Markham, Toronto City Opera are doing Verdi’s <em>Nabucco</em> in concert. It’s the usual formula; young local singers, volunteer choir and piano accompaniment. There will be no surtitles but the libretto will be available plus a narrator. More details here.

Looking to November

Norway-NovemberAs the rest of the world moves to live in-person performance Toronto is still mostly stuck in Covidland.  My calendar for the month currently has two in-person shows (both courtesy of the RCM) and three streams.  So:

November 6th at 7.30pm in Mazzoleni Hall. The GGS Opera programme is presenting Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba.  It seems hard to believe that the premiere was over ten years ago!

November 27th at 8pm in Koerner Hall.  Stewart Goodyear, soloists, the Penderecki Quartet and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir present the premiere of Goodyear’s Piano Quintet plus Beethoven’s 9th symphony in piano reduction.  This one is also livestreamed.

And so to streams:

November 19th at 8pm.  Soundstreams presents Love Songs; a 45 minute programme of music by Claude Vivier and Christopher Mayo. (ticketed)

November 25th at 7.30 pm (and the following three days).  UoT Opera is performing Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. (free)

November 26th at 7.30pm.  The COC and Against the Grain are collaborating on a staged Mozart Requiem.  (free)

October upcoming

Still not a whole lot going on and much of what is, is at short notice so it misses posts like this.  But, here’s what’s in my diary for October so far.

  • September 30th to October 17th.  Mistatim; a streamed version of the Rsd Sky/TSO collaboration for young people presented by Crow’s Theatre.  Streaming codes are $20 from the Crow’s box office.
  • October 14th 8pm.  Soundstreams presents RBC Bridges Showcase; six short choral works by young composers.  It’s on-line and free and available for a month.  Register here.
  • October 15th, 7.30pm.  The annual IRCPA Encounter concert with ten young singers and Rachel Andrist at the piano.  It’s being broadcast from Zoomer Hall, presumably w/o a live audience.  It’s free at Classical 96.3 FM, and at http://classicalfm.ca.
  •  October 24th at 3pm.  The Dover Quartet at Koerner Hall in a programme that includes Barber’s Dover Beach.  There are in-person tickets and live stream codes available.  The pricing structure is complex so check out rcmusic.ca for details.
  • October 29th (subscriber/donors) and 30th (plebs) at 7.30pm.  The COC is streaming Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi from the Four Seasons Centre.  The stream will be “on-demand” for at least a month and is free.

That’s it I’m afraid.

Underwhelmed

facepalmThe COC has announced “live” performances for the balance of the 2021/22 season and colour me massively underwhelmed.  Obviously, the return to live performance is something we’ve all been waiting for but three dull revival productions of ultra-mainstream operas is not what I had hoped for.  For the record here is what’s coming up:

Puccini – Madama Butterfly – February 4th – 25th, 2022.  Tghis is the COC production that has been seen umpteen times already at the COC and it has absolutely nothing to say.  One had hoped that if and when the COC did this piece again they would come up with a new production that wasn’t so transparently colonialist.

Verdi – La Traviata – April 23rd – May 20th, 2022.  Another basically dull, traditional production though, at least, as Douglas Adams might say “mostly harmless”.

Mozart – The Magic Flute –  May 6th – 21st, 2022.  This is the production that the original director called “feminist” though anything “feminist” or, indeed, “anythingist” has escaped me on the multiple occasions I’ve seen it.

So there it is.  Looks like a “lowest common denominator” approach to luring back the traditional crowd.  It’s certainly hard to see how it helps with reaching out to new audiences or to achieving any of the bold goals of diversity, inclusion and telling stories relevant to today’s audience that were bruited so loud during lockdown.

Confluence Concerts 2021/22

js-bachConfluence Conerts has announced its 2021/22 season with some details to be firmed up when anyone figures out what the “new normal” actually is.  First up is a presentation of the Bach suites for solo cello in conjunction with the Toronto Bach Festival.  They are being performed at Heliconian Hall and recorded for later, free, Youtube streaming on Confluence’s channel.  There will be some tickets available for the live performance but no details on that yet.  The performances are as follows:

Cello Suites No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007 and No. 3 in C Major BWV 1009
Concert September 22nd at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall
YouTube premiere October 1st
With Winona Zelenka  and Michelle Tang, cello

Cello Suites No.4 in E-flat Major BWV 1010 and No. 6 in D Major BWV 1012
Concert October 21st at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall
YouTube premiere October 29th
With Keiran Campbell, cello and Elinor Frey, violoncello piccolo

Cello Suites No. 2 in D Minor BWV 1008 and No. 5 in C Minor BWV 1011
Concert November 3rd at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall
YouTube premiere November 10th
With Andrew Downing, double bass, and Ryan Davis, viola

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Royal Conservatory 2021/22

rcmThe Royal Conservatory of Music has just announced a real live season for 2021/22. Covid restrictions will likely be in place for at least the first part of the season but hopefully will ease up at some point. There’s the usual eclectic mix of classical, vocal, jazz, world music etc so I’ll just cover the classical vocal stuff which is actually pretty exciting.  Let’s go through it chronologically. Continue reading