March 3rd and 5th, Opera York are presenting Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Details are here. Also on the 5th at 1pm Opera Revue are playing a new venue; The Aviary in the Canary District. (They are playing another new venue, Granite Brewery, on the 12th. Opera Revue your source for craft beer!) And the following night at 7.30pm it’s AtG’s Opera Pub at the Drake at 7.30pm.
From the 9th to the 12th it’s UoT Opera’s spring offering at the MacMillan Theatre. This year it’s Arthur (not George) Benjamin’s A Tale of Two Cities. Benjamin is probably the only opera composer to be shot down by Hermann Göring. I’m not sure what, if anything, that says about his music.
Cherubini’s Médée is a French opéra comique (i.e. with spoken dialogue) which premiered in March 1797. It’s based on Euripides by way of Corneille whose Médée of 1635 was written, as one might expect, in alexandrines. So its roots, and the work itself, are very much in the French classical tradition. The complication is that the work is much better known in its Italian version with sung recitatives (not authorised by Cherubini) and has developed as a “show off” vehicle for star sopranos; notably Maria Callas and, more recently, Sondra Radvanovsky. Along the way it’s lost a lot of its classicism and become almost verismo like. So I was intrigued to see how much Guillermo Silva-Marin, in presenting the work “in concert” at the St. Lawrence Centre, would try, and how much he would succeed, in reclaiming the Cherubini of a Paris tipping from revolution to Bonaparte.
On February 2nd Voicebox: Opera in Concert will be performing Rameau’s rarely performed Hippolyte et Aricie at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. The cast will be led by mezzo Alyson McHardy as Phèdre with tenor Colin Ainsworth as Hippolyte, soprano Meredith Hall as Aricie and veteran bass Alain Coulombe as Thesée. Accompaniment will be by the Aradia Ensemble conducted by Kevin Mallon. Tickets are available from www.stlc.com
It seems like some of the most interesting repertoire choices this year are being presented in concert rather than fully staged. At least this one has more than piano accompaniment.
Announcements for the upcoming season in Toronto are starting to come in. Voicebox: Opera in Concert have announced a thee show season at the St. Lawrence Centre for the arts. The season opens on Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 2:30 PM with Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana. This isn’t a work one gets to see very often so even a piano accompanied concert version is very welcome. Musical Director and Pianist will be Peter Tiefenbach. Soprano Betty Waynne Allison will sing Elizabeth I with tenor Adam Luther as Essex. The cast also includes Jennifer Sullivan, Jesse Clark and Mark Petracchi.