Lovesongs

Soundstreams’ on-line concert, Lovesongs, recorded in Koerner Hall and streamed (access codes are PWYC, min $7) features three works; two by and one “in homage” to Claude Vivier with an intro by Lawrence Cherney and David Fallis who conducts on the first and third pieces.

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Looking to November

Norway-NovemberAs the rest of the world moves to live in-person performance Toronto is still mostly stuck in Covidland.  My calendar for the month currently has two in-person shows (both courtesy of the RCM) and three streams.  So:

November 6th at 7.30pm in Mazzoleni Hall. The GGS Opera programme is presenting Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba.  It seems hard to believe that the premiere was over ten years ago!

November 27th at 8pm in Koerner Hall.  Stewart Goodyear, soloists, the Penderecki Quartet and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir present the premiere of Goodyear’s Piano Quintet plus Beethoven’s 9th symphony in piano reduction.  This one is also livestreamed.

And so to streams:

November 19th at 8pm.  Soundstreams presents Love Songs; a 45 minute programme of music by Claude Vivier and Christopher Mayo. (ticketed)

November 25th at 7.30 pm (and the following three days).  UoT Opera is performing Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. (free)

November 26th at 7.30pm.  The COC and Against the Grain are collaborating on a staged Mozart Requiem.  (free)

Soundstreams RBC Bridges Showcase

The RBC Bridges Showcase is the product of Soundstreams’ program for emerging composers who are mentored by a more experienced composer in the creation of a new choral work.  This year there are six composers and the mentor, by an odd coincidence, is Sarah Kirkland Snider.  The works are all for an eight voice ensemble and, in some cases, electronics directed by Gregory Oh.  The concert is available until October 21st on Soundstreams’ Youtube channel.

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Soundstreams 21/22 season

In what seems to becoming the pattern, Soundstreams has announced a 21/22 season which is virtual for the balance of this year with a possible return to “live” early next year.

The digital performances include a new film, Garden of Vanished Pleasures, directed by Tim Albery with music by Cecilia Livingston and Donna McKevitt inspired by Derek Jarman and his garden.  That’s in September.  Ironically I might see it before Jarman’s own film about his garden which I have had on hold at the TPL since January!

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Music for our (grim) times

In streaming news Soundstreams has added a lovely concert of Ian Cusson’s  Five Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont and Raven Chacon’s Ella Llora.  The performers are mezzo Rebecca Cuddy and pianist Gregory Oh.  I really urge people, Canadian or otherwise, to take a look at this.  The news, as it pertains to Indigenous people in Canada, has been really grim in recent weeks and I don’t know anything quite like Dumont’s verse for conveying certain aspects of the Indigenous experience.  She combines, sadness, anger and disarming humour in a way that touches me deeply and Ian’s settings intensify that.  I’ve written about these songs before but never at such a moment.

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More tubes

Here’s a round up of the latest on-line material to come my way:

  • From the Kingston Symphony, Opera 5 and all things Krehm/Mitchell plus assorted animated animals… the concluding episodes of Harmon in Space (available now) and a new project, premiering April 7th; Threepenny Submarine featuring puppets from Gazelle Automation, sopranos Rachel Krehm and Caitlin Wood and a chamber ensemble led by Evan Mitchell.
  • From Against the Grain… a continuation of the run of Messiah/Complex and a live chat “Making of” at 7pm tonight.
  • From Soundstreams… Electric Messiah is available again until April 11th.
  • From Calgary Opera… Opera Labs, a series devoted to innovation in opera. The first film is about Namwayut; a collaborative composition featuring, among others, Marion Newman, Yvette Nolan, Ian Cusson and Asitha Tennekoon.

Everything is on Youtube except the Calgary project.

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Electric Messiah 2020

The sixth iteration of Soundstreams’ Electric Messiah unsurprisingly morphed from a live show in the intimate setting of the Drake Underground to a streamed video recorded on location in various places in Toronto.  There is much that was the same as previously and some interesting differences.  The selection of arias and choruses is very similar to previous years starting with “Comfort Ye”; arranged for all four singers and finishing up with “Hallelujah”.

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This and that

Next Monday, December 21st, Essential Opera is streaming a new one act opera for three singers and string quartet by Monica Pearce called December.  Julia and Natasha are newly in a relationship and are visiting Julia’s parents for the first time for the holidays.  We are promised a light hearted piece about travel, holiday stress, family and relationships. It premieres at 8pm (Nova Scotia time I think) and it’s ticketed.  Cast, crew and ticketing information is here.

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More upcoming on-line content

confluencecreativityMy sense of time, or rather lack of one, has made these “upcoming” posts a bit irregular.  So anyway these are things I haven’t mentioned so far.

  • Tonight at 7pm on Youtube, Confluence Concerts present the Hutcheons with a talk on Creativity and Aging based on their book Four Last Songs.  I’ve read the book and had  (used to have) some of the best conversations with Doctors Linda and Michael so this should be good.  Musical excerpts from Messiaen and Leonard Cohen will be performed by Larry Beckwith, Robert Kortgaard and Patricia O’Callaghan.  Free.
  • Wednesday at 8pm on Youtube it’s Tapestry with SOS – Sketch Opera Singers episode 1.  Singing peas on a dinner plate. The inner thoughts of evil babies. An attention-starved man who bursts into dramatic song whenever he steps into a light. Check out the teaser that’s already up on Youtube.  Also free.
  • Saturday at 7pm is Opera Atelier’s Something Rich and Strange which is a baroque pasticcio.  It’s streamed via the Koerner Hall streaming site and tickets are $25.  Check out OA’s website for details.
  • December 13th at 8pm is Against the Grain’s multicultural Messiah/Complex.  Free but registration required.
  • December 17th at 8pm is Soundstreams’ Electric Messiah.. This is the latest iteration of what has become an annual event but reenvisaged for the web.  I was on a Zoom call last Monday with the director and music director.  Sounds like it should be good.  Also free but registration required.

The usual suspects (check earlier posts for recommendations) are still also mostly producing new content.