Yesterday I received seven assorted emails about cancellations in Toronto plus news from the Metropolitan Opera. Essentially all the major orchestras and music theatre organisations in Toronto are shuttered until at least the end of the month. Events are also being called off elsewhere so check your location situation. Here’s a quick run down:
The Four Seasons Centre is closed until the end of the first week of April. So, the ballet is off, as is the free concert series. The COC is still planning to run its spring season but we’ll see.
Tafelmusik and the TSO have cancelled performances until the end of the month.
After tomorrow the UoT and the Conservatory are cancelling public events until the end of the month.
Tapestry Songbook on March 21st is sort of cancelled. There will be no live audience but the show will be live streamed at 8pm and the performers are being paid. Go Tapestry!
Amici Chamber Ensemble’s show on the 29th is off.
The Metropolitan Opera is closed so no Live in HD but they are doing free nightly web casts of the HD back catalogue. Details here.
I was at the second Digital Symposium hosted by the COC and the National Ballet this morning. I was at the first round back in September which was basically an environmental scan that didn’t really evoke much of a reaction beyond noting that there were a lot of shiny technologies and they were expensive so I didn’t write about it. Today was different. In both the plenary session, in which KerrSmith presented their “Horizon Scan”, and the break out groups I was involved in some really deep conversations. I want to try and share some of that with you along with some thoughts of my own. I should stress that anything I’m writing here is personal and provisional and certainly doesn’t represent the views of the COC, the National Ballet or KerrSmith.
My predictions were rubbish but we’ll come back to that. There are two new productions in the upcoming season; Parsifal, which had already been announced and Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová in a David Alden production with Amanda Majeski in the title role. This is great. It’s been far too long since Janáček featured at the COC.
Yesterday’s lunchtime concert in the RBA consisted of four pieces for voice, tuned percussion and assorted other instruments by percussionist and composer Bob Becker. Apparently the tonal palette for all four was taken from the North Indian rag; Rag Chandrakosh. This is the sort of information I wouldn’t even be able to process without the help of the Wunderlemur.
The COC unveils its 2020/2021 season next Monday so, as in previous years I took a go at predicting what it might look like. This year operaramblings has abandoned traditional predictive methods such as animal sacrifice and hallucinogenic drugs in favour of handing all the data over to Cambridge Analytica. That didn’t work too well as they predicted a new opera based on Brexit and Putin being elected President of the USA. So it was back to the methodology we data scientists call “small data” where basically we make stuff up based on far too few data points. Here’s what emerged.
The main purpose of yesterday’s RBA concert was to showcase the prodigious talents of the five members of the COC’s Orchestra Academy; Isabel Lago and Ah Young Kim (violins), John Sellick (viola), Mansur Kadirov (cello) and Peter Eratostene (bass). The first half of the programme was the Allegro from Dvorák’s String Quintet No. 2 in G Major. This was very nicely done and served as a satisfying prelude to the main event.