Little did I suspect on March 12th 2020, as I attended UoT Opera’s Mansfield Park, that I would not review another live concert until July 14th 2021 but that’s how the COVID crumbled. Today I made it to one of Tapestry’s Box Concerts at CAMH on Queen Street. It was much more fun than my last visit which was for a meeting on infection control in the basement of the dreary old building, now demolished.
A bit of a change of pace last night. I went to see Rebecca Caine and Robert Kortgaard perform in the Shaftesbury Salon series. Rebecca is one of the original crossover artists; flipping back and forth between opera and musical theatre with a bit of cabaret thrown in. Last night’s show was definitely firmly in musical theatre territory. There wasn’t a programme so I don’t have a full listing of numbers. The first half of the evening was a selection, in essentially chronological order, of works from British musical comedy and reviews of the first half of the last century; each associated with a particular star of the period. This is music that has pretty much disappeared off the face of the planet. It’s “light” but rooted in classical singing style/technique unlike the more jazz/pop influenced show music that came after. It’s also not much like American music of the period; a difference made obvious when Ms. Caine threw in a Kurt Weill number. Some of it, though by no means all, is fairly undemanding vocally, being written for performers who were perhaps more noted for assets other than their singing technique. Ms. Caine though has both. We got these musically rather variable numbers very well sung interspersed with a compact and witty commentary from the very vivacious Ms. Caine.