A version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters opened last night in a collaboration between Hart House Theatre and the Howland Company. It’s described as “Adapted and directed by Paolo Santalucia after Chekhov” . What this means is that is given a contemporary Canadian setting with changed character names and so forth. The structural purpose of each scene, pretty much each speech, remains the same but the words are not a literal translation. And, Alex Vershinin is a woman lieutenant colonel in the RCAF which gives a very different spin to her “affair” with Masha.
I got hold of the recent Chandos recording of Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ largely because I wanted to take a look at the Super Audio CD format. On that subject my thoughts are here. But it was also a chance to listen to a piece I was entirely unfamiliar with. I’m glad I did. It’s quite beautiful music; lyrical rather than dramatic, except perhaps in the early sections where Herod is having a hissy fit. I can see why it’s not done very often though. It calls for seven soloists plus chorus and a big orchestra.
Last night, at Roy Thomson Hall, the TSO presented a two part Mozart program. The first half consisted of pieces from two abandoned opera projects; the buffa Lo sposo deluso and the Singspiel Zaide. The second half consisted of the better known, but incomplete, Mass in C Minor.
L to R: Guilmette, Fortier-Lazure, Bintner, Tessier. Photo – Malcolm Cook