Less a Toronto listings summary than a quick review of things going on in various real and virtual spaces.
On November 6th my good friends at Opera Revue have a “gala”; Ruckus! at the Revival. Besides the usual suspects there are several guests and I believe it starts at 6.30pm not 7.30 like the poster says. There’s a very short and very silly trailer here.
The annus horribilis of 2021 seems to be going out with a whimper rather than a bang; at least musically in Toronto. Much of the streamed content on offer consists of repeats which is, I suppose, a holiday tradition. In this category we could include Against the Grain’s Messiah:Complex showing on Youtube and at TIFF and Essential Opera’s December. There’s still some new stuff appearing. Opera Revue have a rather good short piece about the exorbitant cost of aviaries in Toronto on Youtube. (They also have a live show coming up this weekend at the Emmett Ray. The COC have a show I(n Winter coming up this weekend on the COC web site featuring music by, among others, Vivaldi and Ian Cusson. There are also a couple of very short concerts from the RBA on the COC’s Youtube channel. Also, this year the annual Krehm memorial concert in aid of St. Mike’s ICU is on Youtube at 5.30pm on Boxing Day. Rachel Krehm is singing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in the Schoenberg arrangement and that will be followed by a chamber reduction of Beethovens Symphony No.7. Evan Mitchell conducts the Canzona Chamber Players. For live, Tafelmusik have a sort of Christmas “greatest hits” concert and the TSO have a much shortened Messiah. Apart from that the holiday season is looking like booze and booster shots.
The COC/AtG film of Mozart’s Requiem is now available for viewing. It’s free but requires either registration with AtG or a (free) COC digital membership. Directed by Joel Ivany, it’s essentially cast as a reflection on what we lost during the pandemic and as a statement of hope as, maybe, we reach the end.
As 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)
Against the Grain Theatre have released a location shot film of Holst’s Sāvitri on Youtube. It’s a very beautiful film with some fine music making but I really wonder why anyone would choose to lavish their talents on this particular opera.
Here’s a round up of the latest on-line material to come my way:
From the Kingston Symphony, Opera 5 and all things Krehm/Mitchell plus assorted animated animals… the concluding episodes of Harmon in Space (available now) and a new project, premiering April 7th; Threepenny Submarine featuring puppets from Gazelle Automation, sopranos Rachel Krehm and Caitlin Wood and a chamber ensemble led by Evan Mitchell.
From Against the Grain… a continuation of the run of Messiah/Complex and a live chat “Making of” at 7pm tonight.
From Soundstreams… Electric Messiah is available again until April 11th.
From Calgary Opera… Opera Labs, a series devoted to innovation in opera. The first film is about Namwayut; a collaborative composition featuring, among others, Marion Newman, Yvette Nolan, Ian Cusson and Asitha Tennekoon.
Everything is on Youtube except the Calgary project.
This will be a bit of an “odds and sods” round up. First off, check out Natalya Gennadi and Catherine Carew’s latest offering on Natalya’s Youtube channel. The music is very good but the animated effects are amazing. Over at Against the Grain you can see Joel Ivany interviewing HE Adrienne Clarkson who is always interesting to talk to.
There are three new Youtube videos that aren’t performances but may be of interest. On the Confluence Concerts channel there’s the John Beckwith Songbook Lecture. I was expecting the usual sort of pre-show thing ahead of this weekend’s concert but it wasn’t that at all. What we get is Bradley Christensen explaining his doctoral thesis research on developing an interpretive and pedagogical guide to Beckwith’s songs. One might expect this to be rather dry and in a way it is but dry like a certain kind of British (or I guess Kiwi) humour. It’s a sort of “Note the sheep do not so much fly as plummet” performance. No sheep though. One would have thought a Kiwi could have fixed that. I shouldn’t joke really. It’s a perfectly serious and valuable project but the deadpan delivery is curiously compelling.
This Saturday the new recording of Rocking Horse Winner will be broadcast on Ben Heppner’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera following the live broadcast from the Met. That’s on CBC of course.
And on December 29th Margaret Atwood will be talking about AtG’s Messiah/Complex when she guest hosts BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme. Unfortunately, as I understand it, that show runs from 0600-0900 GMT so it’s strictly for the nocturnal types in Canada.