February

nlightsHere are a few more February items of interest in addition to those mentioned here.  Tapestry’s new piece Hook Up opens on January 30th at Theatre Passe Muraille and runs for most of February.  Then on Sunday 3rd February at 2.30 pm VOICEBOX have a performance of Schubert’s rather rare opera Fierrebras.  Kevin Mallon conducts the Aradia Ensemble for this one.  Also there’s Opera Pub as usual on Thursday 7th February.

On February 16th at Gallery 345 at 8pm there will be an Against the Grain presentation of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine.  The “twist” here is that Elle becomes Lui and will be sung by tenor Jacques Arsenault.  Topher Mokrzewski at the piano.  Aria Umezawa directs the first in what is planned as a series of “twisted” concerts.

In free concert news there’s the Quilico Prize competition on February 11th at 5.30pm in the RBA.  Once again the members of theEnsemble Studio compete for cash.  At the nnon hour there’s Susan Bullock and Liz Upchurch on the 19th with a programme of Wagner, Strauss and Duparc and on the 20th there’s Samuel Chan and Stéphane Mayer with an all Schubert programme.  Then on the 21st there’s Lauren Eberwein and Rachel Kerr with a Messiaen and Ravel show.  Given that it’s the Jessye Norman Gala on the 20th as well I think I’ll just schlep my sleeping bag over to the Four Seasons Centre.

Also at the COC of course Elektra continues until February 22nd with Così fan tutte opening on February 5th and running until the 23rd.

Looking ahead

Here’s what’s coming up of note in the next few weeks.

event_2132There are some interesting things coming up at the UoT Faculty of Music.  On January 17th at 7.30pm there’s an opera double bill in Walter Hall featuring Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven and The Maiden from the Sea (Futari Shizuka).  Kristina Szabó features in the first piece with Xin Wang in the second.  The composer conducts.  See Wallace’s comment below for more information. Then at 2.30pm on January 20th in the MacMillan there’s the Student Opera Collective show.  The libretto, as ever, is by Michael Patrick Albano.  This time it’s a black comedy whodunnit about the death of Adriana Lacouvreur.

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Adrianne Pieczonka joins Glenn Gould School

portrait-1-ap-479-isocIt’s recently been announced that Canadian soprano and snow shoveler Adrianne Pieczonka OC will join the Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School as its first Vocal Chair in May 2019.  While my first thought was that a “vocal chair” sounded like something out of a Terry Pratchett novel, more serious consideration has convinced that this is a very good move indeed.  There are a handful, but only a handful, of current Canadian singers who are enjoying as distinguished a career as Adrienne so she knows how the business works at its highest levels.  She’s also a very grounded, down to earth, person so besides contributing to developing the vocal and dramatic talents of the GGS students I can’t think of too many people better able to coach/guide students around the snakes and ladders board of an opera career.  Smart move Glenn Gould School.

Flurries

CussonThere have been a series of interesting announcements about composers and commissions from the Canadian Opera Company recently.  First is the announcement that Ian Cusson is to become composer-in-residence from August 2019.  Cusson is part Métis and, readers may recall, featured as half of a memorable evening kicking off the new Confluence concert series in October.  There’s an initial commission announced too.  He will work with Colleen Murphy on a piece for “families and young people” that weaves elements of myth into a contemporary urban setting.

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Tidings

jpeg14Here’s what’s coming up over the holidays and into January.

Toronto Operetta Theatre’s seasonal production this year is Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.  It runs December 28th through January 2nd at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.   The cast includes Lara Ciekiewicz as Rosalinde, Adam Fisher as Eisenstein and Caitlin Wood as Adele. Derek Bate conducts the TOT orchestra and Guillermo Silva-Marin directs.

The 21C Music Festival runs from January 16th to 20th. This time it will celebrate the American minimalist composer Terry Riley, with his music being performed in three of the concerts, including one that he will headline, titled Terry Riley: Live at 85!  Full details at rcmusic.ca.

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Trending turkeywards

turkeySo one thing can be guaranteed in December; lots of Messiah.  This year I have four on the radar.  There’s the TSO of course.  This year Johannes Debus conducts with soloists Claire de Sévigné, Allyson McHardy, Andrew Haji and Tyler Duncan.  One might almost have expected the COC Chorus but actually it’s the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in the loft.  That one runs December 18th, 19th, 21st and 22nd at 8pm and the 23rd at 3pm.  Roy Thomson Hall of course.  Over at Tafelmusik, it’s Ivars Taurins with Sherezade Panthaki, Krisztina Szabó, Charles Daniels and Drew Santini plus, of course, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.  That’s on December 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st at Koerner Hall at 7.30pm. The Sing-a-Long version is at Roy Thomson Hall at 2pm on the 22nd.  There’s also a workshop on the 8th at 2pm at Eglinton St. George’s United Church.

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