Like pretty much everybody else Toronto Operetta Theatre has chosen to go virtual for their latest offering. It’s a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers filmed at the Edward Jackman Centre. It’s very much a “bare bones” production. The cast is reduced to nine roles and the chorus is gone. Accompaniment is piano and accordion. The Jackman Centre is a rehearsal space and looks like one. The film appears to havebeen filmed with a single camera, in one take with minimal post processing though, despite which the audio and video quality is excellent.
Tafelmusik have a moderated panel discussion on the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of choral singing. That’s on March 18th at 7pm. It’s a ticketed event ($5). Tickets are available from tafelmusik.org
Toronto Operetta Theatre is doing Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. It will be available from March 19th at 7pm until April 5th. This one is also ticketed ($20) plus there are dinner delivery packages available for March 19th and 20th. Full cast and other details at http://torontooperetta.com/shows.html
AtG’s Youtube channel has a really interesting interview with Peter Sellars and a very nice film presentation of Celia Livingston’s Penelope (after Homer’s Odyssey)
Toronto Operetta Theatre is also on Youtube now with excerpts from various shows from the last few years. technical quAlity is very good.
And coming up, this year’s Mysterious Barricades event in support of World Suicide Prevention Week is on September 10th. It’s virtual this year, of course, but needed now more than ever. Details on their Facebook page
Toronto Operetta Theatre’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore opened last night. Director Guillermo Silva-Marin has chosen to translate the piece to a cruise ship in the 1920s which has its incongruities but they aren’t particularly disturbing (except perhaps for Sir Joseph Porter’s shoes!). In fact what we get is basically a crisp, well paced and idiomatic Pinafore which is what I want in G&S. It’s also genuinely funny, though some jokes age better than others, and occasionally even quite moving.
Toronto Operetta Theatre are doing that infernal nonsense Pinafore. It’s at the St. Lawrence Centre on March 4th, 6th and 7th at 8pm and 8th at 2.30pm. It’s a nice looking cast includingb Ryan Downey, Bradley Christensen and Holly Chaplin. Derek Bates conducts.
On the 27th the Exultate Chamber Singers are doing Brahms’ German Requiem in the four hands piano version. Pianists are Mira Jung and Elaine Choi while the soloists are baritone, Parker Clements, and soprano, Julia Frodyma, It’s at the rather lovely St. Thomas’ Anglican Church on Huron Street at 8pm.
So what do the first couple of weeks of 2020 hold. First up Toronto Operetta Theatre their traditional Mew Year run. his year it’s Johann Strauss’ The Gypsy Baron and there are five shows between December 28th and January 5th. The cast includes Michael Barrett, Meghan Lindsey and Beste Kalender. It plays at the St. Lawrence Centre.
If you can even contemplate the thought of another late night drinking Against the Grain’s Opera Pub is on at 9pm on January 2nd at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. The following night tenor Zach Rioux has a free recital of mostly Italian rep in Mazzoleni Hall at 7.30pm (ETA CANCELLED).
September 28th is shaping up as a bit daft from a scheduling point of view. I’ll be at the opening of Turandot at the COC but there are at least two other options. Confluence have a celebration of Clara Schumann at St. Thomas’ Church on Huron Street at 8pm. It features pianists Angela Park and Christopher Bagan, soprano Patricia O’Callaghan, actor Alison Beckwith, and violinist Ellie Sievers. The same day at 4pm Toronto Operetta Theatre have their season opener; Viva la Zarzuela. It’s at the St. Lawrence Centre and features tenor Rómulo Delgado. I guess one could just about do that and one of the evening shows.
March 29th and 30th Tapestry are doing the Songbook thing again. This is the show where an established singer; Jacqueline Woodley this time, works with emerging artists and a pianist (Andrea Grant) plus director Michael Mori to create a show based on Tapestry’s back catalogue. There are three shows at the Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery; Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 4pm and again at 8pm.
Ivor Novello’s Perchance to Dream opened in London in April 1945. It’s fluffy, romantic and nostalgic. It has a ridiculous plot, some great tunes (A Woman’s Heart, We’ll Gather Lilacs etc) and lots of eye candy. It’s probably exactly what people needed after nearly six years of an exceptionally weary, dreary war. It ran for a thousand performances. Approached in the right frame of mind it’s still a very enjoyable, escapist way of spending a couple of hours.