March 3rd and 5th, Opera York are presenting Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Details are here. Also on the 5th at 1pm Opera Revue are playing a new venue; The Aviary in the Canary District. (They are playing another new venue, Granite Brewery, on the 12th. Opera Revue your source for craft beer!) And the following night at 7.30pm it’s AtG’s Opera Pub at the Drake at 7.30pm.
From the 9th to the 12th it’s UoT Opera’s spring offering at the MacMillan Theatre. This year it’s Arthur (not George) Benjamin’s A Tale of Two Cities. Benjamin is probably the only opera composer to be shot down by Hermann Göring. I’m not sure what, if anything, that says about his music.
The 21C Afterhours concert in Temerty Theatre last night featured a candle lit performance by a varied ensemble of conservatory students conducted by Brian Current. Brian did a great job of introducing the music; contextualizing it and suggesting what the audience might listen for. That could maybe be done more often with complex contemporary music.
The first piece was Bekah Simms’ Foreverdark. It’s a ten minute concertino for amplified cello, ensemble and electronics playing homage to heavy metal. It’s scored for a quite a large group including strings, brass, woodwinds and lots of percussion including a drum kit. It starts out very abrasively then becomes somewhat more lyrical and the then the texture lightens up but it’s still pretty complex. David Liam Roberts was the soloist and did an excellent job.
Yesterday’s free concert in the RBA featured the vocalist Rebanks fellows from the Glenn Gould School. There was some very classy and very powerful singing. We heard Hannah Crawford, fresh off her second place at Centre Stage, sing a couple of arias; “Pleurez, plearez mes yeux” from Masenet’s Le Cid and “Come Scoglio” from Cosí. There was some very considerable power on display here as well as accuracy and emotion. Definitely one to watch.
The Royal Conservatory of Music did a partial reveal of their classical and jazz programming for Koerner Hall in the 2022/3 season. It’s a pretty typical mx; heavy on piano, strings and chamber music, but there are a few interesting classical vocal concerts. Here are the highlights:
There’s not exactly a flood of events in my calendar for march yet but there are a few. Running March 1st to 20th at Crow’s Theatre is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ satirical play Gloria about a Manhattan magazine staff seeking fame and glory as the internet turns the industry upside down. It’s not an opera but it’s directed by the very talented André Sills which is reason enough for me.
Here’s a quick list of new (relatively) and upcoming web content (the obvious Youtube channel unless otherwise specified):
Massey College have a “Music Salon” up. It features Ian Cusson and Rebecca Cuddy with Métis musicologistRena Roussin discussing the role of Indigenous art music in the Canadian music scene with a particular focus on the Métis. In between the talking head sequences there’s the performance of Ian’s Five Songs to Poems by Marilyn Dumont that was webbed by Soundstreams a little while back. If you are the one reader of this blog who has not yielded to my encouragement to explore these songs please get on with it!
Barbara Hannigan has a music video of Weill’s Youkali with theLudwig orchestra. (Alpha Classics channel). Cool footage of Finisterre which might not exactly evoke Youkali but it’s pretty much my land of dreams.
The Glenn Gould School released their spring opera performance on the new Koerner livestream platform on Thursday night. It’s a concert performance of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. This is a piece I find hugely problematic but since I went into considerable detail about why in a review of an MYOpera production that I wrote exactly five years ago I won’t repeat myself. Let’s just look at what the GGS did with it.
The “postponed from the fall” double bill from the Glenn Gould School finally streamed on the Koerner Hall channel last night. The first piece was likely familiar to most viewers; Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins given in piano score in a production by Amanda Smith. The concept here is that Anna 2, rather than being a dancer, is some kind of on-line celebrity exploiting dating sites to bring her fame and fortune. The production had originally been designed for an audience and used moveable plexi-glass shields to ensure social distancing. It also made extensive use of projected conversation bubbles, emojis and other social media effects. This seems to have been ramped up in post production to add picture-in-picture effects and maybe to make the lighting; already a sort of rave inspired blend of blues and pinks with touches of rather lurid green, even more dramatic. With on screen subtitles it was arresting but maybe just a little too busy to fully process!