Orphans for the Czar

How far will people go in the effort to survive?  How can they preserve some sense of self respect and dignity in that survival?  I think these are the questions underlying George F. Walker’s play Orphans for the Czar which had its world premier last night at Crow’s Theatre in a production directed by Tanja Jacobs.

01_CROWSOrphansfortheCzar-Shayla Brown & Paolo Santalucia_photoDahliaKatz

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…let me explain

letmeexplain…let me explain is a new CD of Canadian art song (mostly) from soprano Christina Raphaëlle Haldane.  The first set consists of three arrangements of Acadian folk songs by by Carl Philippe Gionet.  The three are quite different.  L’Escaouette is fast, high, rhythmic and very high energy.  Tout Passe is much more elegiacal while Wing Tra La is very playful.  They are sung quite beautifully with piano accompaniment from the arranger.  Ahania’s Lament is a longish piece in which Blake’s text is set by Samy Mousa.  It’s a tough sing with a lot of high exposed passages against a minimal accompaniment.  It’s a piece that it’s easy to get drawn into.  It’s a good vehicle for Haldane’s crystalline upper register.  Piano accompaniment by M.Gionet again.

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