Back in the summer Opera Canada asked a number of us to right a piece on our local opera scene and what was happening there that went beyond rewriting companies’ season announcements and updates. So in July I interviewed the leadership of seven local companies ranging from the COC to Opera 5 (thanks to all the lovely people who gave me their time). That article appeared in print in the most recent Opera Canada magazine. It’s now available on the website. Bear in mind that it was written back in August and that some things have happened since then. Nonetheless I was pleased to be able to offer up what I think was asked for, which was something reasonably analytical and strategic.
Tonight Essential Opera have a short livestream of a new creation. It’s a fifteen minute piece on the theme of Snow White called Mirror, Mirror. Words and music are by Anna Pidgorna. It’s being screened on Youtube and Facebook at 7pm EST.
Tapestry Opera is offering a full-time, paid, multi-year professional opportunity to female-identifying and non-binary music directors and conductors in partnership with Pacific Opera Victoria and leading orchestral partner the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with over 10 other Canadian opera companies and orchestras for national placements. All the details on the programme and the application process are here.
The Royal Conservatory of Music have announced a metric shedload of cancellations, alterations and postponements relative to their 2020/21 season. All the details are here. In any event, if you werte planning on seeing anything live or via webstream from the RCM I’d double check!
Suzie Leblanc has a new website. You can check it out here.
I’ve just received news of programming into the fall and beyond from Tapestry, Toronto City Opera and Loose Tea Music Theatre.
Tapestry have announced three livestream concerts to be shown on their Youtube channel.
- October 24th 8pm: jazz pianist Robi Botos will be improvising on Tapestry’s amazing Bösendorfer Imperial Grand in live collaboration with an Art Battle Toronto artist, creating something new and unique.
- November 7th: The first episode of S.O.S. Sketch Opera Singers. It’s a collection of short opera sketches like the LibLab with an amazing line up of composers, librettists and performers. Check out the details.
- November 28th at 8pm there’s a collaboration between husband and wife duo soprano Xin Wang and saxophonist Wallace Halladay directed by Michael Mori and featuring the music of Ana Sokolovic.
Tapestry have also introduced a free “membership program” to create added value for their audience. Details here.
The death of Canadian soprano Erin Wall at the far too young age of 44 from complications due to metastatic breast cancer was announced a couple of days ago. She was a regular performer in Toronto with both the TSO and the COC, as well as internationally, and a well respected colleague respected for her supportive attitude to younger singers.
The official press release announcing the cancellation of the balance of the COC’s “in person” season just arrived in my mailbox. My initial reaction was “this is news?” and then I realised that, yes, this was the first time the official decision had been announced although it was pretty obviously coming when I interviewed Alexander Neef back in July. So there it is. No live opera at the COC until fall 2021. The previously announced virtual fall season goes on as announced and the Ensemble Studio, Orchestra Academy and Artist in residence programs also continue. So it goes.
So what am I still watching on-line?
- Opera Revue; they are still producing interesting concerts more or less weekly
- Against the Grain; ditto plus interviews
- Opera Vision; useful source of full length opera videos in less boring productions than the Met
What new discoveries have I made? Continue reading
The COC has announced a virtual (almost) fall season. It’s mainly community outreach with an emphasis on young people which is entirely consistent with conversations I’ve had with the COC (and indeed other companies).
- In November there will be a three day festival of concerts from the Richard Bradshaw amphitheatre backed up by interviews etc.
Canadian bassist (and much more) George Koller is giving a solo recital in aid of St. Mike’s COVID-19 fund. It’s resented by Canzona Chamber Players on their Youtube channel and by the looks of it fills the slot for this year’s Elizabeth Krehm memorial concert. It’s on September 27th at 7pm and it’s free but, of course, donations to St. Mike’s are encouraged.
Toronto’s Upper Canada Choristers and their Latin ensemble Cantemos will present music from Latin America in a concert titled Inti Ukana: A Latin American Tapestry. This was originally scheduled for May as a public performance but will now be live-streamed, with some pre-recorded elements, It’s on Friday, October 2nd at 7:30 p.m. It will be accessible through the choir’s website,
Confluence Concerts have announced a five concert and two special event virtual 2020/21 season with their usual eclectic and enticing mix of repertoire.
September 23rd 2020 – Something to Live for; A Billy Strayhorn Celebration
A detailed look at the story of the great 20th century classical and jazz pianist and composer. Best known for his long-time collaboration with Duke Ellington, Strayhorn composed Take the A Train, Lush Life, Something to Live For, Chelsea Bridge, and A Flower is a Lovesome Thing.
Curated and arranged by Andrew Downing
Featuring Larry Beckwith, Alexa Belgrave, Leighton Harrell, Aline Honzy, Drew Jurecka, Marion Newman, Patricia O’Callaghan, Alex Samaras, Suba Sankaran and more.
Yes, Opera Atelier, bar further restrictions on gatherings/performances, is planning to offer two fully staged, costumed and choreographed live shows in the upcoming season, though only for a single performance of each. Both will play at Koerner Hall which is well equipped both back stage and front of house for “social distancing”.