April shows

butterfly-square… plus a late March addition…

March 29th and 30th Tapestry are doing the Songbook thing again.  This is the show where an established singer; Jacqueline Woodley this time, works with emerging artists and a pianist (Andrea Grant) plus director Michael Mori to create a show based on Tapestry’s back catalogue.  There are three shows at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery; Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 4pm and again at 8pm.

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Winter Words

Yesterday’s Mazzoleni Songmasters concert featured mezzo Lucia Cervoni, tenor Michael Colvin and pianist Rachel Andrist in a varied programme of song.  It kicked off with two songs by George MacNutt; Take Me to a Green Isle, sung by Michael, and O Love, Be Deep, sung by Lucia.  Both songs are in a quite meditative mood and served to give us a pretty good idea of what we could expect later on.  Michael sings very much in the British manner, which comes as no surprise with his extensive work at ENO and the number of Britten roles he sings.  Lucia’s dark, smokey mezzo sounded rather more operatic.

winterwords

 

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Looking ahead

Here’s what’s coming up of note in the next few weeks.

event_2132There are some interesting things coming up at the UoT Faculty of Music.  On January 17th at 7.30pm there’s an opera double bill in Walter Hall featuring Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven and The Maiden from the Sea (Futari Shizuka).  Kristina Szabó features in the first piece with Xin Wang in the second.  The composer conducts.  See Wallace’s comment below for more information. Then at 2.30pm on January 20th in the MacMillan there’s the Student Opera Collective show.  The libretto, as ever, is by Michael Patrick Albano.  This time it’s a black comedy whodunnit about the death of Adriana Lacouvreur.

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L’invitation au voyage

Yesterday afternoon I attended the latest concert in the extremely well curated Mazzoleni Songmasters series at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  This one featured soprano Joyce El Khoury and mezzo Beste Kalender in a program of French songs influenced by orientalism with some genuine Lebanese and Turkish songs thrown in for fun.  Rachel Andrist and Robert Kortgaard were at the piano and, besides accompanying, gave us a couple of short pieces for four hands.

beste and joyce

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You’re welcome, Rossini

Today’s Mazzoleni Songmasters concert featured Lucia Cesaroni and Alysson McHardy with Rachel Andrist at the piano and Iain Scott narrating in a program that wasn’t, as expected, all Rossini.  Rather it was music written by and for six of the women in Rossini’s life in a program inspired by Patricia Morehead.  So what we got was plenty of Rossini, some Bellini, some Clara Schumann and music composed by the ladies themselves.  I’m moderately familiar with the music of Pauline Viardot (younger sister of  Maria Malibran) but I had never heard anything composed by Malibran, Isabella Colbran,  Pauline Sabatier, Giuditta Pasta or Adelina Patti.  As it turns out all were perfectly competent song composers and it was good to hear some rather rare material.

rossini1

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Four seasons in one day

erinwallAnd that wasn’t just the weather that went from balmy to barmy round about verse five of Fauré’s Dans le forêt de Septembre as a cold front hit Mazzoleni Hall with, literally, a bang.  Meanwhile the sheltered audience was being treated to a skilfully curated program of art song on the theme of the four seasons sung by Erin Wall and Asitha Tennekoon with Rachel Andrist and Robert Kortgaard at the piano.  There were French chansons, German lieder and English songs with a decent injection of CanCon, with Derek Holman, John Greer, Jean Coulthard and Matthew Emery all represented.

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Welcome and Adieu

23_nathalie_paulinThe first concert in this season’s Mazzoleni Songmasters series featured sopranos Nathalie Paulin and Monica Whicher with pianists Peter Tiefenbach and Robert Kortgaard in an eclectic program of English and fFrench songs on the theme of coming and going.  First up was a set of Purcell songs which is always going to score brownie points with me.  I’ve never heard Sound the Trumpet or Be Welcome, Then, Great Sir sung by female voices so that was interesting.  The duet was really nice and Nathalie sang quite beautifully in the welcome ode.  Monica followed up with fine versions of Dear Pretty Youth and An Evening Hymn.   Continue reading