ReGENERATION – July 21st part 2

So back to Walter Hall at 4pm for the last of the Regen concerts featuring song.  This time Renee Fajardo and Jinhee Park kicked things off with a very fine set starting with Herr Schumann’s sinister Die Soldat and Frau Schumann’s Die Lorelei.  This was all smoothly and elegantly sung bar a slight tendency to push high notes.  There was some very impressive pianism here too.  The set concluded with Schoenberg’s Galathea; a bold and interesting choice, where Renee managed to create an almost cabaret timbre without ever sacrificing accuracy.  Nicely done!

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ReGENERATION – July 21st part 1

The last two ReGENERATION concerts featuring song took place in Walter Hall yesterday at 1pm and 4pm.  Both featured four singers doing a set with piano, a vocal piece with chamber accompaniment and a chamber piece.  All the members of the Artsong Academy programme appeared at least once.  First up was tenor Joey Jang with Frances Armstrong at the piano with a set of Schubert and Schumann.  He sounded OK, if a bit underpowered, in Liebesbotschaft with its fairly fast rhythmic lines but technical issues showed up in the slower pieces requiring real legato.

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Artsong reGENERATION – part 2

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Danielle Vaillancourt

So it was back to Walter Hall at 7.30pm for Saturday’s second instalment.  This time the programme kicked off with the Schumann Piano Quartet in E flat Major Op. 47 before the singers.  The first singer up was mezzo Danielle Vaillancourt with pianist Jing Lee Park.  They gave us just two songs.  The first was Fauré’s Il pleure dans mon coeur followed by Duparc’s Au pays où se fait la guerre.  Vaillancourt has excellent French diction, a really interesting timbre and plenty of power.  This was pretty fine singing.  Jing Lee Park made the most of her chance to shine in the rather lovely piano part in the Duparc. Continue reading

Artsong reGENERATION – part 1

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Florence Bourget

TSMF has made some small changes to the line up this year.  Instead of the art song component recitals for the academy programme being given together as two concerts they have been spread across four concerts with the balance being made up of chamber music.  The first two of the four were yesterday in Walter Hall.

There was no printed programme for the concerts.  The singers announced themselves and their accompanists and their material.  The last was repeated in the projected surtitles (yeah!) which also provided text and translation for the non-English items (including Scots) but not for songs to English texts.  So, mad scribbling was required to get a complete listing and I may have made the odd error.

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The Monkiest King

This year’s Canadian Children’s Opera Company main stage performance is The Monkiest  King.  It’s from the team of Marjorie Chan and Alice Ping Yee Ho who collaborated most successfully to create another highly successful Western/Chinese fusion piece; The Lesson Of Da Jee.  The inspiration for this one is the antics of Sun Wukong, the mischievous and arrogant Monkey King in the Chinese classic Journey to the West.

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Thirteen songs in search of an audience

This morning I went to the COC website to see what Josh Hopkins would be singing at lunchtime.  Bottom line, he wasn’t.  His recital had been replaced by a hastily put together program of pieces to be sung by Owen McCausland, Karine Boucher and Aviva Fortunata.  Given that Liz Upchurch said it was pieces they were looking for an audience for I’d guess it’s audition/competition rep that they are working on and therefore, to some extent, work in progress.

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