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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Cozy enough

The Toronto production of Against the Grain’s A Little Too Cozy opened last night at Studio 42 at the CBC Centre.  It’s the third and final instalment in the series of Ivany/Mokzrewski adaptations of the Mozart/da Ponte operas, following on from Figaro’s Wedding and #UncleJohn.  Like the earlier pieces it’s updated, site specific and makes a lot of references to social media.  The schtick here is that it’s a reality TV dating show.  Dora and Felicity are yet to meet Elmo and Fernando in the flesh though they have become engaged via social media and through the prior episodes of the show.  Tonight is the season finale and there is one big test left.  Can they be tempted by two strange men?  Show host Donald L. Fonzo and girl handler Despina will make sure they are maximally tempted.  The rest you can work out.


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Adieu to Adrian Kramer

The final “Les Adieux” recital, by departing members of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, of the season was a performance by baritone Adrian Kramer of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, in its entirety, with Topher Mokrzewski at the piano.  It was an ambitious choice and made for a somewhat longer performance than usual.

I’ve heard Die Schöne Müllerin often enough on record but this was the first time I had heard it live, in full.  It really makes one realise that not only is it a very fine piece it’s also a far from easy sing encompassing a wide range of moods.  Adrian is a fine singing actor and brought out the various moods with good German diction, careful attention to the text and good range of tone colour.  He sounded best in the more lyrical numbers with some very sweet singing but was maybe having to push a little in the more dramatic sections. Continue reading