The schedule for the Royal Conservatory’s 2022 21C festival has been announced. As usual it’s heavy on premieres and this year showcases the Kronos Quartet. The three things that are likely of most interest to OR readers are:
The premiere of Gould’s Wall by Brian Current co-presented with Tapestry Opera. It’s a re-imagining of the life of Glenn Gould and features singers climbing along the wall of The Royal Conservatory’s atrium. It opens on January 12th and runs until the 16th.
Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler gets a single performance on January 15th at 8pm in Koerner Hall. It tells the story of a singer and her husband coming to terms with Alzheimer’s.
A recital by Gerald Finley and Julius Drake at 3pm on January 23rd in Koerner Hall. This features the premiere of a new song cycle by Marc-Anthony Turnage plus lots of other goodies.
The latest set of “guidelines” from the Government of Ontario will no doubt be interpreted in various ways but one thing is clear they are affecting some organisations production schedules and there have been cancellations and postponements notably from the Royal Conservatory and Tapestry Opera. Frankly the situation is too muddy and too fluid for me to bother with updates to schedules right now. All I can suggest is that if you are planning to watch any Toronto produced streams keep checking the company websites for news on what is and isn’t happening.
There are schedule changes to the RCM’s line-up of webstreams. The key ones are that last weekend’s recital with Elliot Madore and Rachel Andrist that went ahead without an audience will be streamed at 8pm tomorrow and it’s free.
The December 3rd concert with Adrianne Pieczonka, assorted vanishing tenors, Johannes Debus and the COC Orchestra will go ahead sans tenors. That one is ticketed ($50 I think) and streams live at 8pm.
Unsurprisingly the programme at the RCM is in a state of flux as they try to cope with the gyrations of the provincial government so do check anything and everything close to the expected date.
Tonight Essential Opera have a short livestream of a new creation. It’s a fifteen minute piece on the theme of Snow White called Mirror, Mirror. Words and music are by Anna Pidgorna. It’s being screened on Youtube and Facebook at 7pm EST.
Tapestry Opera is offering a full-time, paid, multi-year professional opportunity to female-identifying and non-binary music directors and conductors in partnership with Pacific Opera Victoria and leading orchestral partner the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with over 10 other Canadian opera companies and orchestras for national placements. All the details on the programme and the application process are here.
The Royal Conservatory of Music have announced a metric shedload of cancellations, alterations and postponements relative to their 2020/21 season. All the details are here. In any event, if you were planning on seeing anything live or via webstream from the RCM I’d double check!
Suzie Leblanc has a new website. You can check it out here.
The Royal Conservatory’s 2020/21 concert season has been announced.. It’s the usual eclectic mix of all kinds of classical music plus jazz and world music spread across the Conservatory’s three performance venues. It looks like the provisional planning is for some kind of social distancing. When that will be possible and how long it might go on is, of course, anybody’s guess but the planning assumes some kind of performances will be possible from October.
The COC is posting complete performance videos from the archive here. These are “technical” videos designed to inform a future revival rather than material intended for broadcast. They feature a single camera angle (full stage) and the video quality is so-so but it’s quite interesting. There will be one available at a time and the current one is Strauss’ Arabella from a couple of seasons ago.
Yesterday I received seven assorted emails about cancellations in Toronto plus news from the Metropolitan Opera. Essentially all the major orchestras and music theatre organisations in Toronto are shuttered until at least the end of the month. Events are also being called off elsewhere so check your location situation. Here’s a quick run down:
The Four Seasons Centre is closed until the end of the first week of April. So, the ballet is off, as is the free concert series. The COC is still planning to run its spring season but we’ll see.
Tafelmusik and the TSO have cancelled performances until the end of the month.
After tomorrow the UoT and the Conservatory are cancelling public events until the end of the month.
Tapestry Songbook on March 21st is sort of cancelled. There will be no live audience but the show will be live streamed at 8pm and the performers are being paid. Go Tapestry!
Amici Chamber Ensemble’s show on the 29th is off.
The Metropolitan Opera is closed so no Live in HD but they are doing free nightly web casts of the HD back catalogue. Details here.
Last night’s Canadian Art Song Project, part of the Conservatory’s 21C festival, was sold out. Yep, a sold out concert of contemporary Canadian art song not featuring an A-list singer. Clearly Mercury is in retrograde or something. Anyway, the first half of the concert featured baritone Iain MacNeil with one of my favourite collaborative pianists Mélisande Sinsoulier. They gave us Lloyd Burritt’s The Moth Poem to texts by Robin Blaser. This is a basically tonal work with a piano part that I found more interesting than the vocal writing (common enough in contemporary art song). There was some nice delicate singing from Ian and complete mastery of the intricate piano part by Mélisande. Andrew Staniland’s setting of Wallace Stevens’ Peter Quince at the Clavier followed. This is a more ambitious work with quite a complex soundscape and a piano part that requires a range of technique as much of it is written to sound “mechanical” as a nod to the title of the poem. Oddly, despite the title, the text is a rich but highly allusive rendering of the story of Susanna and the Elders and a reminder of how much a really interesting text can enhance a song. I’d like to hear this again.
Having been tipped off that yesterday’s RBA noon concert was to be a vocal recital rather than, as previously billed, a chamber concert I made the trip through the snow to catch it. Three of the Royal Conservatory’s Rebanks fellows were singing with Helen Becqué at the piano and assorted staff and alumni added for the final number. Attendance was a bit sparse perhaps unsurprisingly given the weather and the evident confusion. That was a shame because it was an interesting, varied and well presented concert combining well known works with some much less well known fare.