If anybody in Canada is interested in seeing the HD broadcast of the Met production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess I may be able to help. I can’t do anything about this upcoming weekend’s live broadcast but I do have, courtesy of Touchwood PR, a couple of tickets to give away for the encore presentations. It’s a Canada only deal and you could pick any showing between Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, April 5th at the movie theatre of your choice. This link should serve to figure out when it’s on where. Comment with an email address and I’ll sort out logistics with the lucky winner. First come first served.
Back in the days when all British regiments had bands it was common for the band to entertain the locals with outdoor concerts in park or seaside bandstands. As well as the usual martial and patriotic fare, such concerts often featured suites drawn from operettas or operas; both old and new. Shortly before the First World War the more than averagely enterprising bandmaster of the Grenadier Guards made such a suite from Richard Strauss’ Elektra (premiered 1909). Rather pleased with it, he decided to insert it into one of those rather dull pauses that happen during Trooping the Colour. The bandsmen were also rather pleased with themselves for executing such advanced music. Unfortunately they were soon to be deflated as a liveried flunkie emerged from the palace with a message for the bandmaster… “The King does not know what the music the band just played was but it is never to be played again”. Sic transit gloria mundi. Mozart apparently is OK though as the Coldstream’s slow march to this day is Non più andrai.
I wanted to listen to Robert Fleming’s song cycle The Confession Stone today but I didn’t appear to have a recording in my strangely eclectic collection of physical and digital recordings. There’s nothing either on any of the umpty ump labels distributed by Naxos USA (lucky me has pretty much unlimited access tot heir digital catalogue) so off I went to YouTube. And I found a lovely recording by the talented duo of Wallis Giunta and Steven Philcox. Enjoy.
Explore the score is an initiative from the TSO. It’s a session where we, the audience, get to see Gary Kulesha rehearsing the orchestra in four new short pieces selected for the occasion. Each piece gets about half an hour of work with an opportunity for the composer to have his/her input.
Eight drinkers singing. Or vice versa. I forget. Anyway, last night’s extravaganza from Tongue in Cheek Productions and Opera5 at Gallery 345 was a blast. The schtick was that eight people got to choose a cocktail and a related song set while the audience could purchase their choice(s) of the said beverages. There was a lot of clowning around and some very good singing all backed up by a very serious looking Trevor Chartrand at the piano. Continue reading
Couldn’t make it to the Tranzac? Too busy to watch the livestream on Sunday? No problem.
Mysterious Barricades is a coast to coast series of concerts live streamed throughout the day in aid of Suicide Awareness and Prevention. I don’t know if there is anyone who has not been affected by someone taking their own life or has been close to it themselves. I do know that if such a person exists it’s not me. So attending a concert such as yesterday’s is hard and certainly not conducive to thinking in the way necessary to write a review. Let’s just say that the programme curated by Monica Whicher was appropriate; from the land acknowledgement by Don McLean that reminded us that suicide amongst Indigenous People is an even bigger problem than in the settler community to the finale chorale. Comforting too to think that I had friends taking part as far away as Halifax and Kelowna. But, for all that, a tough day at the office.