Couple of on-line events

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FAWN are streaming a version of their latest Convergence theory concert on Thursday evening.  This isn’t opera.  It’s part of FAWN’s electronic music series.  You can find out the details, order your 3D glasses and see a sample here.

On August 10th at 6.30pm EST the COC are livestreaming Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian as part of Montreal Pride.  It’s apparently been filmed in HD (unlike the archive videos the COC has been streaming for a while now).  I wonder if that means a video release at some point.  It’s free but requires advance registration at coc.ca/Hadrian.  Not familiar with the work?  Here’s a link to my review of the opening night.

I’ve mentioned this one before but don’t forget Ema Nikolovska and Steven Philcox’ recital for TSM.  That’s on July 31st at noon EST.

Exploring the Doras

2020-Dora-AwardThe Dora award nominations are in.  The most interesting thing is that the COC doesn’t dominate the Opera category this year.  In fact Tapestry has most nominations with thirteen.  In general, it was really nice to see new “committed” opera dominating the list rather than the usual stuff.  Indigenous themes did very well too which is very pleasing.  Loads of nominations for Shanawdithit, including Best Performer in a Leading Role for Marion Newman, which pleases me greatly.  Good to see FAWN’s Pandora and Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit featuring along with LooseTea’s Singing Only Softly/The Diary of Anne Frank: Operas from the Secret Annex.  There was one surprise in the list of COC nominations.  I’m actually quite shocked that Speranza Sperucci didn’t get nominated for her conducting of Barber of Seville; a really remarkable performance.  And one non-surprise; multiple nominations for Rusalka which might just be the best thing the COC have done in quite a while.

So now we can all speculate on who the eventual winners will be.

December listings

December is not just Messiah though heaven knows there are plenty of those…

On Sunday 1st Voicebox is presenting Janáček’s Katya Kabanova.  It has a strong cast including Lynn Isnar, Emilia Boteva, Michael Barrett and Cian Horrobin.  We don’t see nearly enough Janáček in Toronto.  That’s at 2.30pm at the St. Lawrence Centre.

Against the Grain’s remount of Figaro’s Wedding runs December 3rd to the 20th at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse at 8pm.  Music direction this time is by Rachael Kerr and the cast includes Bruno Roy, Miriam Khalil, Ally Smither, Phillip Addis, Lauren Eberwein, Jacques Arsenault, Maria Soulis and Greg Finney.  Review of the 2013 original.

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Pandora; an “out of the box” opera/ballet

FAWN_spring_INSTA_v003FAWN Chamber Creative and its artistic director Amanda Smith see themselves as pioneers.  They champion inter-disciplinary works that don’t fit easily into any taxonomy of music, theatre or dance styles.  Their latest venture; Pandora, an “opera/ballet” on a classical theme, might seem straight from the court of Louis XIV but Lully likely wouldn’t have scored it for drums, a piano, an electric guitar, a cello, a bassoon and electronics.  The Sun King would likely also be somewhat taken aback by Jenn Nichol’s choreography; her long association with Opera Atelier notwithstanding.

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May listings

Mayday-1So May Day greetings and hello again.  And here are some things you might care to see this month during your eight hours for “what you will”. It’s a bit belated for reasons previously announced but it’s here and I’m back.

Tonight at Lula Lounge at 7pm Tongue in Cheek productions have Democracy in Action.  Several noted singers (Krisztina Szabo, Julie Nesrallah, Natalya Gennadi, Teiya Kasahara, Asitha Tennekoon, Romulo Delgado, Alexander Hajek and Stephen Hegedus) will perform pieces based on audience voting.

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Belladonna

belladonnaFAWN Chamber Creative presented a new piece last night at Kensington Hall.  It was called Belladonna and was billed as a “queer, techno opera” to a libretto by Gareth Mattey who apparently specialises in this genre.  “”Queer, techno pastoral” might have been nearer the mark.  Basically, sheep tending person of uncertain gender/orientation meets another such.  A supernatural being of some sort intervenes.  There are hallucinogenic berries (“tripping hither, tripping thither?”).  “Exploration” ensues.  I was unclear on whether or not it had a happy ending.  I’m not sure it matters.

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Out like a lamb?

yourewelcome365pxNot much sign of spring as we move into the second half of the month but there are some things musical to enjoy while we await the return of the sun.  On March 18th at 2pm in Mazzoleni Hall there is You’re Welcome Rossini with the glamorous duo of Allyson McHardy and, the not seen often enough in Toronto, Lucia Cesaroni.  This one is officially sold out but there may be rushes.  Ten bucks says they do the Cat duet.
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Belladonna

Jonathan-event-placeholder-crop-300x176FAWN Chamber Creative have just announced their latest project, Belladonna.  It’s a queer chamber work blending techno and opera.  The libretto and dramaturgy are by UK LGBT specialist Gareth Mattey.  Music composition, arrangement and performance will feature modular synth artist Acote, mezzo-soprano Camille Rogers, tenor Jonathan MacArthur, pianist Darren Creech and composer/double-bassist Adam Scime.  Contemporary dancer Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen also features. Stage direction, musical dramaturgy and set design will be provided by Amanda Smith.

There’s one performance on March 22nd at 8:30pm at Kensington Hall, 56 Kensington Ave.  It’s a 19+ venue.  More details, tickets etc here.

Looking ahead to February

groundhog-day-usaFebruary is going to be really busy so I think I’ll take the previews in chunks.  First up though one event in January I haven’t yet had opportunity to mention.  This coming Sunday 21st Fawn Chamber Creative have a PWYC fundraiser for their in process  opera-ballet project.  It’s from 2-6pm at The Smiling Buddha.  It will be party, silent auction and some performance.  Previous ones have been fun but I’m booked Sunday.  Details at: http://www.fawnchambercreative.com/events/upcoming/. Also in January and missed off the radar, on the 28th at 3pm at Mazzoleni Hall,the Amici Ensemble have a Strauss inspired concert featuring the lovely but tiny Sasha Djihanian who is current holder of the loudness to weight record for a soprano.

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The news from FAWN

As promised, I’m passing on the news I missed at FAWN the other night.  Basically, in addition to the Anna Höstman project the news concerns the further development of the Synesthesia IV project which seeks to to find a composer to develop a ballet-lyrique with FAWN.  So following on from Synesthesia IV part 1, three composers;  David StorenJoseph Glaser and Kit Van Soden, have been selected to join FAWN for the next stage of the project: a one week improvisation workshop, during which they will work with FAWN Artistic Director and Resident Stage Director Amanda Smith, FAWN Artistic Associate Jonathan MacArthur (tenor) and dancer/choreographer Jennifer Nichols. The purpose of the workshop will be to create material through improvisation, which the composers can then use as they each write one short opera for Synesthesia IV pt. II. FAWN will present these works during their 2017/18 season.

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