The Csárdás Princess

Toronto Operetta Theatre’s latest offering is a webstream of Emmerich Kálmán’s 1915 operetta The Csárdás Princess (Die Csárdásfürstin) presented here in English with the usual minor tweaks to the dialogue including obligatory Rob Ford jokes, which have become something of a TOT tradition.  The plot turns on the fact that an Austro-Hungarian aristo, let alone a second cousin of the Emperor, can’t marry someone with fewer than 64 quarterings on their coat of arms, let alone a cabaret singer.  Implausible impersonations etc abound and love triumphs in the end.  It’s all entirely harmless for heaven forfend that anything satirical might have made it past the Vienna censorship, especially in wartime.  And there’s no sex because this isn’t France.  The humour mostly turns on Hungarian antipathy for their Austrian masters.  It’s light hearted and very tuneful fun.

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TOT’s streamed The Csardas Princess

lmargisonToronto Operetta Theatre are offering a streamed performance of Emmerich Kálmán’s The Csardas Princess.  It’s another film made in the Edward Jackman Studio and with TOT’s usual team in charge.  The cast includes Lauren Margison in the title role with Michael Barrett as Prince Edwin.  The cast also includes TOT regulars Caitlin Wood as Countess Stasi, Ryan Downey as Boni and Gregory Finney as Feri, Rosalind McArthur and Sean Curran appear as Edwin’s  parents Anhilte and Leopold Maria.

The stream will be available from July 9th to 23rd and an access code is $20 plus fees and can be purchased here.

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Mandala

Mandala – the Beauty of Impermanence is the latest on-line offering from Confluence Concerts.  It’s curated by Suba Sankaran and should have seen the light as a live show last May.  The programme is as eclectic as one has come to expect from Confluence and lots of fun.  In the spirit of impermanence it will be available on the Confluence channel on Youtube only until February 10th.

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Pinafore at TOT

Toronto Operetta Theatre’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore opened last night.  Director Guillermo Silva-Marin has chosen to translate the piece to a cruise ship in the 1920s which has its incongruities but they aren’t particularly disturbing (except perhaps for Sir Joseph Porter’s shoes!).  In fact what we get is basically a crisp, well paced and idiomatic Pinafore which is what I want in G&S.  It’s also genuinely funny, though some jokes age better than others, and occasionally even quite moving.

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Eight singers drinking

michaelEight drinkers singing.  Or vice versa.  I forget.  Anyway, last night’s extravaganza from Tongue in Cheek Productions and Opera5 at Gallery 345 was a blast.  The schtick was that eight people got to choose a cocktail and a related song set while the audience could purchase their choice(s) of the said beverages.  There was a lot of clowning around and some very good singing all backed up by a very serious looking Trevor Chartrand at the piano. Continue reading

Songbook IX

Jacquenline-Woodley-600x218The ninth edition of Tapestry’s celebration of their back catalogue happened last night in the Ernest Balmer Studio.  This year’s mentors are Jacqueline Woodley and Andrea Grant.  The emerging artists are Elisabeth Boudreault, Lindsay Connolly, Brianna DeSantis, Ryan Downey, Gabrielle French, Rebecca Gray, Lauren Halász, Rachel Krehm, Brittany Rae, Anne-Marie Ramos and Jennifer Routier with pianists Qiao Yi Miao Mu and Ryoko Hou.

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Our saucy ship’s a beauty

hms_pinaforeAnd so is Michael Albano’s new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore which opened last night at the MacMillan Theatre.  It’s been a long time since the UoT Opera Division did G&S but it was worth the wait.  Fred Perruzza’s straight forward unit set was really brought to life by a fast paced and lively production.  From the very beginning of the overture we had members of the crew cavorting and dancing (Choreographer Anna Theodosakis) in a  manner perhaps owing more to Broadway than D’Oyly Carte and the better for it!  The set, a quarter deck with a gallery, provided cabin doors and traps in the deck for characters to come and go (including conductor Sandra Horst appearing from “below” to take her bow).  And of coming and going and dancing there was plenty.  There were some more than decent dancers in the chorus too.

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