60s Figaro from Glyndebourne

No opera says Glyndebourne like Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.  It opened the first season in 1934 and inaugurated the new theatre in 1994.  Michael Grandage’s production which opened in 2012 was, I think, Glyndebourne’s fifth.  In any event it’s a fairly traditional affair though with the setting updated to the 1960s (though still set in a palace in Seville and I’ve got a nagging feeling that late Franco era Spain didn’t have much in common with the Haight and Carnaby Street but there you go).  The updated setting does allow for some visual gags with ridiculous 1960s dance moves but otherwise it could pretty much be anywhere, anytime.  There’s no concept and Grandage’s focus is on the interactions between the characters and the way they can be expressed in a relatively intimate house.

1.austinhealey

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Soundstreams 2016/17

unsukchinSoundstreams have just announced their 2016/17 season.  There’s quite a lot there for those with an experimental taste in vocal music as well as a bunch of instrumental stuff.  Probably the biggest deal is a staging of “musical curiosities” from R. Murray Schafer’s Patria cycle. Odditorium will feature selections from The Greatest ShowRa, and others, immersing audiences in a circus-like atmosphere, complete with host carnival barker.  This one is directed by Chris Abramson and runs March 2nd to 5th, 2017 at Crow’s Theatre, a new 215 seat venue on Carlaw.  Time for my annual fix of Shafer nuttiness!

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A haunt of demons now

I suppose it’s appropriate that R Murray Shafer’s Apocalypsis should be in part based on the Revelations of St. John.  Is Revelations divinely inspired genius or the drug addled ravings of a half starved monk?  I find myself asking similar questions about Shafer’s massive stage piece.

Apocalypsis at Luminato Festival. Photo by Bruce Zinger. 31545 Continue reading

Rehearsing the Apocalypse

R. Murray Shafer’s 1980 “musical pageant”, Apocalypsis, is being restaged this year by Luminato.  It’s currently in rehearsal and yestrday I got to see part of a staging rehearsal.  It’s an unusual work requiring massive forces (500-1000 performers depending who you read) and combines spoken word, dance, singing and other things I’m not sure I have the vocabulary for.  Oh, and yes, it depicts the end of the world!  It’s big, loud, exciting and a bit mad.  Part ego trip, part acid trip perhaps?

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Heading towards May

0337b61a1abb24ac_Paschera_M3F4155medres.previewHere are a couple more upcoming events that readers may be interested in.  The Royal Conservatory has a festival of contemporary music from April 21st to May 25th.  There are eight concerts in a variety of genres.  The most interesting to me is on May 22nd when there is a concert to celebrate R. Murray Schafer’s 80th birthday.  The concert will feature four pieces; Quintet for Piano and Strings Shafer himself, played by the ARC Ensemble; a world premiere of The Questioning by Canadian composer Christos Hatzis, written for and played by the Afiara String Quartet, Faster Still, a work by the by Canadian composer Brian Current played by the ARC Ensemble; and the Canadian premiere of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s Anaïs Nin, a semi-staged work for chamber ensemble, video, and mezzo-soprano, based on the diary entries of Anaïs Nin. Singing the role of Anaïs Nin will be a favourite of mine, Wallis Giunta most recently seen in the COC’s Così fan tutte.  More details and tickets available here.

On May 1st at 1pm 96.3 FM are broadcasting Sondra Radvanovsky in recital live from the Zoomerplex.  You can catch it on the radio or at www.classical963fm.com. There’s also a draw for free tickets for the recital and the reception before.  I believe to enter you need to email name, phone number and email address to classical963fm1031@gmail.com.