Pyramus and Thisbe – Beyond time and space

Back last night for a second look at Pyramus and Thisbe at the COC.  I’ve been involved in a huge amount of discussion, mostly with Katja, about this show since we saw it on Tuesday and there were many things about the Monk Feldman piece and its staging that I wanted to think about again.  Lots of thoughts and, perhaps, a slightly different perspective since I was watching from two levels higher in the house this time.

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Pyramus and Thisbe – a world premiere

The new COC creation Pyramus and Thisbe with music by Monteverdi and Barbara Monk Feldman opened last night at the Four Seasons Centre.  I was expecting abstract and cerebral, which it is, but I was rather expecting that I might admire it more than enjoy it.  As it turned out it was a remarkably satisfying show on many levels.

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Coming up

pandtThere are a couple of opera openings next week.  Pyramus and Thisbe; the Barbara Monk Feldman, Monteverdi, Chris Alden creation, opens at the COC on Tuesday 20th for a run of seven shows and Opera Atelier are opening a run of six shows of Lully’s Armide at the Elgin starting on Thursday evening.  Both shows are very much a case of Canadian talent on display with no big international names.  La Traviata continues at the COC in tandem with Pyramus and Thisbe.

darknetThere’s one interesting new announcement for the following week.  Amanda Smith and Alaina Viau are collaborating on a show called Toronto Darknet Market.  It’s inspired by those parts of the internet that even I don’t know about and will run as a sequence of three performances on the 29th starting at 8pm.  It’s at 8-11 which is at 233 Spadina (south of Dundas).  It’s a PWYC fundraiser for a chamber production of Médée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier next year.  Toronto needs more staged baroque opera that’s not Opera Atelier so this initiative deserves support.  There will be good young singers on display with music by Purcell, Berg and Cage among others.

Array Ensemble in the RBA

Yesterday was slightly bizarre in that I was at two concerts of contemporary, or at least very modern, music.  The first was at lunchtime in The RBA where the Array Ensemble presented two works by female Canadian composers; Linda Catlin Smith’s Hieroglyphs and Barbara Monk Feldman’s Love Shards of Sappho, both for soprano and chamber ensemble. Continue reading

Pyramus and Thisbe

The COC’s first main stage production of a contemporary Canadian work in over fifteen years; Barbara Monk Feldman’s Pyramus and Thisbe, is now in the early stages of rehearsal and, yesterday, some of us got a bit of a preview by way of a working rehearsal.  What seems to be happening here is that the COC is creating a show of a kind that has not previously been seen on the Four Seasons stage and will shake up a lot of preconceptions of what a company like COC can offer.

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This week

MLebel Color Portrait1I think it’s about time I started doing a weekly preview of upcoming Toronto events.  I’m going to try and make this in a regular slot, probably Sunday, so this is a bit late.  The main event this week is the opening of Tafelmusik’s season with a concert featuring mezzo Mireille Lebel.  It’s a pretty mixed line up.  Lebel will perform arias from Vivaldi’s Il Farnace, and Handel’s Alcina, Ariodante, and Rinaldo. Dominic Teresi performs Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto in F Major, RV 485, and Rodolfo Richter performs his own violin transcription of Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052.  The opening bash is tomorrow night at 7pm with repeats at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and a matinée on Sunday.  Trinity St. Paul’s of course.

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September approaches

Rachel-66-pinwheel2It’s almost September which means there may even be stuff to write about soon.  Here’s what’s in my calendar so far.

August 31st at 12.15 pm there’s a concert in the Music on Mondays series featuring soprano Rachel Krehm and an orchestra conducted by Evan Mitchell performing Dove sono by Mozart, selections from Strauss Op 27 and Dvorak’s 8th Symphony.  It’s at Holy Trinity Church near the Eaton Centre. PWYC suggested $5.

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A new program from the COC

MAO_0790aThis just in from frequent Operaramblings commenter and COC Adult Education Programs Manager Gianmarco Segato.  The COC is launching Opera Insights, a series of free adult education events linked to the productions of the 2015/16 season.  It’s a pretty broad range of programming ranging from scholarly discussions on reconstructing the score of Maometto II and the history of the ball gown to Traviata singalongs and Carmen themed dance lessons.  Participants include composers Barbara Monk-Feldman and Norbert Palej, conductors Johannes Debus, Harry Bicket and Sandra Horst and singers like Christine Goerke plus, inevitably, lots of academics (we love them really we do).  Looks like a lot of fun.  The events are all free but are ticketed.  Full details can be found here.

Canadian Opera Company announces rather more than just the 2015/16 season

Last night was the “event” at which the COC brass and guests, with a bit of help from Brent Bambury, announced the upcoming season to a packed house of subscribers and friends.  What struck me was how much news was packed in.  It was far more than the usual schedule presentation with announcements of several major new projects.  But first the season.   Continue reading