This is a bit of a belated plug for Opera 5 and Musique Trois Femmes’ virtual conference Opera Con. It’s on this Friday/Saturday so it’s too late to catch yesterday’s events live but they are all available on demand. There are more events this afternoon and evening where you can participate in the live text chat. All the sessions are on Opera 5’s Youtube channel. It’s mostly younger artists talking about how to make opera more diverse and accessible with everything from opera for younger audiences to whale song to virtual reality. Worth a look.
Last night, at the Ernest Balmer Studio, we got to see somewhat more developed versions of the works presented earlier in the week in the RBA but this time in staged format. I’m not sure my opinions changed much as a result though I think I’m even more convinced that here we have five pieces of substance that deserve to be seen in fully realised form. So, some brief thoughts on each. Note that, except for Book of Faces we only saw extracts from pieces that are still WIP. Continue reading →
Yesterday’s concert in the RBA was a sneak preview of the material for a longer workshop/performance in the Ernest Balmer Studio on Saturday night. The five works involved and the background are covered in this post.
We got excerpts from all five works with Jennifer Szeto at the piano and various combinations of Suzanne Rigden, Kristin Hoff and Lindsay Connolly singing. There were also brief introductions to each piece from the creative teams. What struck me most was how different the pieces were but how they seemed to reflect regional differences in musical expectations across Canada. For example, the two works from Quebec both used extended/prepared piano with a bunch of extended vocal techniques in Margareta Jeric’s Suites d’une ville morte. Laurence Jobidon’s L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi was perhaps more conventionally lyrical but it wasn’t a sound world one hears much in Toronto (at least in opera).
Suzanne Rigden performing in the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre