Songmasters line up for next season

The line up for next season’s Songmasters series in Mazzoleni Hall has been announced.

November 22nd 2020 sees baritone Elliot Madore and pianist Rachel Andrist in a program called Troubled Times with music by Adams, Britten, Higdon and Musto.  It really is about time Mississauga boy Elliot was heard in Toronto.  he must have sung just about everywhere else by now!

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Another “live stream”

CYMERA_20200322_100712Mezzo-soprano Beste Kalender and pianist Rachel Andrist are performing on line on Tuesday evening (March 24th) at 8.30pm (Toronto time).  The recital is titled A Spring Recital: From Venice to Constantinople and will feature music by F. Santoliquido, R. Hahn, G. Faure, H. Berlioz, Komitas and various Turkish composers.  Recording will be by Ryan Harper Recordings.

The stream will be posted on Beste’s channel on YouTube at 8.30pm and should be up for a week or so for people in other time zones.

Sirens

Yesterday afternoon I attended the first concert of the year for the Mazzoleni Songmasters series with Leslie Ann Bradley, Allyson McHardy and Rachel Andrist presenting a programme entitled Sirens; structured around the Four Elements.  There was a strong slant towards women composers with the programme anchored around four duets from Elizabeth Raum’s Sirens cycle.  Unsurprisingly perhaps a lot of the material was quite unfamiliar with a sprinkling of more familiar fare from the likes of Schumann.

sirens

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Back half of January

barber-1The second half of January kicks off with the COC’s revival production f Rossini’s Barber of Seville, this time starring Emily D’Angelo as Rosina.  There are eight performances running to February 7th.

.  Sunday 26th at 2pm there’s a concert in the Mazzoleni Songmasters series.  It’s called Sirens and features Leslie Ann Bradley, Allyson McHardy and Rachel Andrist in a suitably watery and alluring program.

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An afternoon with Adrianne

There’s something very special about a song recital by a really good singer at the top of his/her game in a space conducive to song.  The stars conjoined yesterday to yield a recital by Adrianne Pieczonka with pianist Rachel Andrist in the song friendly acoustic of Mazzoleni Hall, as part of the Mazzoleni Songmasters series.

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Glenn Gould School Vocal Showcase

It’s always an interesting evening.  It’s the first chance of the year to see what the Conservatory has to offer.  The first thing I noticed was that the tenor famine seems to be over.  There were four tenors on offer to two baritones.  Just the one mezzo though and more sopranos than I could count.

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So many sopranos..

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Winter Words

Yesterday’s Mazzoleni Songmasters concert featured mezzo Lucia Cervoni, tenor Michael Colvin and pianist Rachel Andrist in a varied programme of song.  It kicked off with two songs by George MacNutt; Take Me to a Green Isle, sung by Michael, and O Love, Be Deep, sung by Lucia.  Both songs are in a quite meditative mood and served to give us a pretty good idea of what we could expect later on.  Michael sings very much in the British manner, which comes as no surprise with his extensive work at ENO and the number of Britten roles he sings.  Lucia’s dark, smokey mezzo sounded rather more operatic.

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L’invitation au voyage

Yesterday afternoon I attended the latest concert in the extremely well curated Mazzoleni Songmasters series at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  This one featured soprano Joyce El Khoury and mezzo Beste Kalender in a program of French songs influenced by orientalism with some genuine Lebanese and Turkish songs thrown in for fun.  Rachel Andrist and Robert Kortgaard were at the piano and, besides accompanying, gave us a couple of short pieces for four hands.

beste and joyce

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IRCPA Singing Stars

The concluding concert of this year’s International Centre for Performing Artists Singing Stars program for this year took place last night at 96.3FM.  For the eleven singers it was the culmination of a day working with Adrianne Pieczonka and a lot of practice and I think that came through on the night.  In the various interviews during the show (it was being broadcast live), many of the singers remarked on Adrianne’s advice to be an artist, not just a singer (or something to that effect).  Certainly I felt there was less strictly correct singing and more effort to get inside the music and words than one often hears in  competitions.

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You’re welcome, Rossini

Today’s Mazzoleni Songmasters concert featured Lucia Cesaroni and Alysson McHardy with Rachel Andrist at the piano and Iain Scott narrating in a program that wasn’t, as expected, all Rossini.  Rather it was music written by and for six of the women in Rossini’s life in a program inspired by Patricia Morehead.  So what we got was plenty of Rossini, some Bellini, some Clara Schumann and music composed by the ladies themselves.  I’m moderately familiar with the music of Pauline Viardot (younger sister of  Maria Malibran) but I had never heard anything composed by Malibran, Isabella Colbran,  Pauline Sabatier, Giuditta Pasta or Adelina Patti.  As it turns out all were perfectly competent song composers and it was good to hear some rather rare material.

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