The next couple of weeks

boelijah

Yes, I know that’s not Marjorie…

I’m out of town for the first week of November or so so this week’s preview will actually cover two weeks.  Lots of endings coming up with the last OA Dido and Aeneas this afternoon and the COC’s fall season closing with Ariodante on Thursday and Norma on Friday.  There’s also Centre Stage on Wednesday.  I shall be curious to see what people think.

On to next weekend and there are a couple of items of interest.  Saturday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 3pm at Grace Church on the Hill Bicycle Opera Project are collaborating with Pax Christi Chorale in performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Here’s the blurb:

In this unique presentation of a classic oratorio, Bicycle Opera’s singers will shed formal concert format in favour of a dramatic exploration of Elijah, while staying true to our intimate and accessible style.

Soloists are Geoff Sirett, Chris Enns, Marjorie Maltais and Larissa Koniuk.

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Elizabeth Krehm memorial

bogdanowiczLast night was the third memorial concert for Elizabeth Krehm in support of the ICU at St. Mike’s.  This year the piece was Mahler’s Symphony No.2 appropriately enough.  It’s a piece I’ve lived with for a very long time and it never fails to move.  It’s a curious contrast with the Fourth which we heard at the symphony last week.  If 4 gives a naive and optimistic view of the afterlife, 2 is much darker, more troubled and less certain.  Even the very beautiful Urlicht is not without its sense of angst and the final movement is majestic, powerful and has the deepest possible sense of yearning.

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Sing unto the Lord a new song

Judith_Beheading_Holofernes_by_CaravaggioHubert Parry’s 1888 work Judith got its North American premiere yesterday in a performance by Pax Christi Chorale at Koerner Hall.  It’s a typical English high Victorian oratorio, commissioned by the Leeds Choral Society Birmingham Festival (Wikipedia strikes again).  It’s got some very grand choruses and some tuneful solos (one was later used for the hymn tune Repton setting the words “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”).  If one like’s that sort of thing, and Peter Simple’s Alderman Footbotham of the Bradford Tramways and Fine Arts Committee would certainly have approved, it’s very enjoyable.  And if that’s not enough, there’s human sacrifice, seduction and murder to keep one’s interest.

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