2021 was another year of parts. Pretty much no live indoor performances before September then a few chances to get to the theatre and now, well who knows? So what stood out for me in 2021? Here’s a round up by category.
Not much of course but there were some good shows, though opera didn’t really figure. The Home Project from Native Earth and Soulpepper was a thought provoking look at the the idea of “home”. MixTape at Crow’s Theatre explored the variegated nature of relationships through the medium of the once ubiquitous mix tape. And on a more conventional note there was a rearranged at short notice recital at Koerner hall that showcased the extremely talented Davóne Tines. Continue reading →
Still not a whole lot going on and much of what is, is at short notice so it misses posts like this. But, here’s what’s in my diary for October so far.
September 30th to October 17th. Mistatim; a streamed version of the Rsd Sky/TSO collaboration for young people presented by Crow’s Theatre. Streaming codes are $20 from the Crow’s box office.
October 14th 8pm. Soundstreams presents RBC Bridges Showcase; six short choral works by young composers. It’s on-line and free and available for a month. Register here.
October 15th, 7.30pm. The annual IRCPA Encounter concert with ten young singers and Rachel Andrist at the piano. It’s being broadcast from Zoomer Hall, presumably w/o a live audience. It’s free at Classical 96.3 FM, and at http://classicalfm.ca.
October 24th at 3pm. The Dover Quartet at Koerner Hall in a programme that includes Barber’s Dover Beach. There are in-person tickets and live stream codes available. The pricing structure is complex so check out rcmusic.ca for details.
October 29th (subscriber/donors) and 30th (plebs) at 7.30pm. The COC is streaming Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi from the Four Seasons Centre. The stream will be “on-demand” for at least a month and is free.
Claude Vivier’s Musik für das Ende had to wait until 35 years after the composer’s death for its first fully staged performance. That happened last night at Crow’s Theatre under the auspices of Soundstreams. It forms the main and concluding part of a really interesting show directed by Chris Abraham.
The first part of the program is a monologue, Il faisait nuit, of Vivier returning to his Paris apartment and describing his life and his final composition. Written by Zack Russell and brilliantly played by Alex Ivanovici it’s a French/English piece based on extensive discussions with people who knew Vivier and is said to capture his verbal and physical mannerisms with uncanny accuracy. It also introduces us to key design elements of the evening. We, the audience, are lining the walls of a “black box”. The set is created by lighting effects and there is an electronic sound track. It’s a very immersive experience. Continue reading →
Century Song is a 50 minute show combining music, movement and video projections as it takes us on an aesthetic journey through the last hundred years. At the heart of the show is soprano Neema Bickersteth who does the singing and dancing. The singing consists of vocalises by Rachmaninoff, Messiaen, Cage, Aperghis and finally, a piece composed for the show by Reza Jacobs. The songs are accompanied Gregory Oh on piano and Ben Grossman on percussion and computer. The musical interludes are structured improvisations originally devised by Reza Jacobs, Gregory Oh and Debashis Sinha. The dance elements are choreographed by Kate Alton and use a very wide kinetic vocabulary. Bickersteth’s constantly changing costumes further illustrate the time travel element of the narrative.
There are a few things I didn’t mention in my back half of April post. Century Song opened a couple of nights ago at Crow’s Theatre. It’s a live performance hybrid, inspired in part by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens, Soprano Neema Bickersteth melds classical song (music by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Oliver Messiaen, John Cage, Georges Aperghis and Reza Jacobs) and movement to inhabit a century of women whose identities are contained within a single performer. Details here.