It’s beginning to look a lot like Hannukwanzmas

dec22wordcloudSo what’s on as we move into the holiday season?

Closing out November there’s Opera Revue at Castro’s this afternoon at 3pm and a couple of concerts on Wednesday.  At lunchtime Wirth Prize winner Elisabeth Saint-Gelais and collaborative pianist Louise Pelletier present an intriguing looking programme in the RBA then at 7.30pm at Mazzoleni Hall the RCM’s Rebanks fellows are performing.  Both are free but the Mazzoleni concert is ticketed and may be sold out.

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What a Ruckus

Ruckus at the Revival from Opera Revue lived up to the billing.  It was informal, it was fun, there was booze and the average age of the audience was about COC-30.  The usual suspects were joined by Liliane Brooks, Ryan Downey and Dylan Wright (looking FABULOUS darlings) and some dude called Mike with an electric guitar.  Plus your favourite Warner Bros characters.ruckus4

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Miscellany

Less a Toronto listings summary than a quick review of things going on in various real and virtual spaces.

  • On November 6th my good friends at Opera Revue have a “gala”; Ruckus! at the Revival.  Besides the usual suspects there are several guests and I believe it starts at 6.30pm not 7.30 like the poster says.  There’s a very short and very silly trailer here.

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August

As usual it’s pretty quiet.  Here’s a few thlaurenonthewallings I am aware of.

July 31st – Opera Revue @ Castro’s Lounge, 3:00pm-6:00pm. PWYC

Summer Opera Lyric Theatre has a short season at the Alumnae Theatre on Berkeley Street.  There are three shows: (at 8pm unless otherwise specified)

  • Menotti’s The Consul – July 29th, August 3rd (2pm), 4th and 6th.
  • Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel – July 30th, August 2nd, 6th (2pm) and 7th (2pm)
  • Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro – July 30th (2pm) and  31st (2pm), August 3rd and 8th.

August 4th to 12th in the atrium at the Royal Conservatory it’s Tapestry’s production of Brian Current’s Gould’s Wall. As of time of writing all performances are sold out.

And a bit further out Iain Scott is organising a tour to Dresden in March to see the Decker/Thielemann Ring.  Details are on his website.  Giving advance notice because apparently numbers for this need to be confirmed by August 22nd.

April shows

orevueHere’s what’s coming up that I know about in April with some adds for the end of March.

    • 26th March 5pm – 7pm.  Opera Revue at Castro’s PWYC.  Expect a completely Weill performance.
    • 27th March 2.30pm.  Voicebox are doing Timothy Sullivan’s Florence: The Lady with the Lamp in concert at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.  Lauren Pearl sings the title role.

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Recent webstreams

Here’s a quick round up of recent webstreams.  The main event is the concert streamed by the COC over the weekend featuring Jane Archibald with the COC Orchestra and Johannes Debus.  There’s about forty five minutes of music and it’s predictably classy music making though it’s emotionally taxing to look at an empty Four Seasons centre again.  The program includes Mozart. Handel, Strauss, Massenet, Gounod and Bernstein.  Arguably it’s a bit predictable but both musical and technical values are high.  It’s avaiable free until August 27th via registration at the COC website.

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Best of 2021

1.boulotte sm2021 was another year of parts.  Pretty much no live indoor performances before September then a few chances to get to the theatre and now, well who knows?  So what stood out for me in 2021?  Here’s a round up by category.

Live Shows

Not much of course but there were some good shows, though opera didn’t really figure.  The Home Project from Native Earth and Soulpepper was a thought provoking look at the the idea of “home”.  MixTape at Crow’s Theatre explored the variegated nature of relationships through the medium of the once ubiquitous mix tape.  And on a more conventional note there was a rearranged at short notice recital at Koerner hall that showcased the extremely talented Davóne Tines. Continue reading

Bits and Pieces

or1221The annus horribilis of 2021 seems to be going out with a whimper rather than a bang; at least musically in Toronto.  Much of the streamed content on offer consists of repeats which is, I suppose, a holiday tradition.  In this category we could include Against the Grain’s Messiah:Complex showing on Youtube and at TIFF and Essential Opera’s December.  There’s still some new stuff appearing.  Opera Revue have a rather good short piece about the exorbitant cost of aviaries in Toronto on Youtube.  (They also have a live show coming up this weekend at the Emmett Ray.  The COC have a show I(n Winter coming up this weekend on the COC web site featuring music by, among others, Vivaldi and Ian Cusson.  There are also a couple of very short concerts from the RBA on the COC’s Youtube channel.  Also, this year the annual Krehm memorial concert in aid of St. Mike’s ICU is on Youtube at 5.30pm on Boxing Day.  Rachel Krehm is singing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in the Schoenberg arrangement and that will be followed by a chamber reduction of Beethovens Symphony No.7.  Evan Mitchell conducts the Canzona Chamber Players.  For live, Tafelmusik have a sort of Christmas “greatest hits” concert and the TSO have a much shortened Messiah.  Apart from that the holiday season is looking like booze and booster shots.

New on the web

Here are a few things I’ve noticed on the web recently:

There’s a workshop from the Isabel Bader Centre at Queens called Echo:Memories of the World which looks at cultural memory and cultural transmission from both a Western and an Indigenous perspective.  It features Marion Newman and the Gryphon Trio among others. It’s fascinating but I found parts of it quite triggering.  I don’t know how ong this is going to be available.  For now it’s free.  Note that while the Vimeo version of the performance works the Youtube doesn’t.

echo-newman

The Domoney Artists Youtube channel has new Opera Breaks from Natalya Gennadi and Asitha Tennekoon.

Also on Youtube there’s a new piece from Opera Revue which may be even dafter than their previous efforts, which set a pretty high bar for daftness.

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Opera revue again

Back to the Emmet Ray yesterday for another show by Opera Revue.  This time Dani Friesen and Claire Harris were joined by baritone Alexander Hajek which allowed for a three set show and quite a few duets.  I was really struck by how much throwing in some duets makes the whole show seem more operatic.  So what did we get?  There was a lot of Mozart, notably duets from Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, plus solo arias from both operas.  And, of course, there was Kurt Weill from Dani.  There was at least one Neapolitan songs and several musical theatre numbers (Alex looks very fetching in cat ears) and a guest singing Schumann and probably other stuff I’ve forgotten.  All in all, a suitably varied and satisfying selection.

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