It’s September and the long, slow awakening after the annual aestivation begins. There’s not a lot on yet but what there is is interesting. The middle of the month sees Native Earth’s production of I Call myself Princess at the Aki Studio; previews from 9th to 12th September with official opening on the 13th and then shows until the end of the month. My interview with playwright Jani Lauzon is here. Also opening on the 13th is Tapestry Briefs at the Ernest Balmer Studio. Hear the product of the LibLab, hear Stephanie Tritchew, Teiya Kasahara, Peter McGillivray and Keith Klassen and eat tapas. It runs until the 16th.
Sunday, November 2nd at 3:00 p.m. in Koerner Hall, bass-baritone Pavlo Hunka launches the world premiere of Galicians I: The Art Songs, the latest recording in the Ukrainian Art Song Project (UASP). Hunka will be joined in performance by renowned Canadian opera singers Russell Braun, Krisztina Szabó, and Monica Whicher. They will be accompanied by pianist Albert Krywolt and featured artist, violinist Marie Bérard. The concert will feature the world premiere performance of selected art songs by four of Ukraine’s Galician composers.
Today’s recital in the RBA was given by Russell Braun. Carolyn Maule and members of the COC orchestra. The programme, Journeys of the Soul, divided into two quite distinct halves. In the first, Russell was joined by Marie Bedard and Dominique Laplants (violins), Keith Hamm (viola) and Paul Widner (cello) in a performance of Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach; a setting of a text by Matthew Arnold. It’s a very dark text and rather an extraordinary choice for a twenty year old. The music is equally dark and brooding. It’s a great work for Russell though and plays well to the colours of his voice and his keen attention to text. It was a pleasure to hear in the very intimate atmosphere of the RBA.
This review first appeared in the print edition of Opera Canada.
O Gladsome Lightis a collection of sacred songs, hymns and meditations by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst and his pupil Edmund Rubbra. They are performed by various permutations of Lawrence Wiliford, tenor, Stephen Philcox, piano and Marie Bérard and Keith Hamm, respectively Concertmaster and Principal Violist of the COC Orchestra.