February 2023

february2023Here’s what I’m looking forward to in February plus a few gigs I can’t make:

  • February 1st and 2nd the Chicago Symphony and Riccardo Muti are performing at Koerner Hall.  It’s a rare opportunity to hear a top orchestra in the wonderful Koerner acoustic but it’s probably sold out already.
  • On February 3rd the COC opens a run of Richard Strauss’ Salome with Ambur Braid in the title role and a stellar supporting cast.  Hard core Braid fans (and that includes me) know that this is a role she was born to sing.  It’s an Atom Egoyan production and he’ll likely tweak it but here’s a link to my review of the 2013 run.
  • February 6th sees the return of the Quilico Awards; a competition for the singers of the Ensemble Studio.  That’s at 5.30pm in the RBA and it’s free.

Continue reading

All’s well that ends well

VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert presented Mozart’s early opera Lucio Silla yesterday at the St. Lawrence Centre.  Inevitably it was in a much reduced version (the original is insanely long) coming in at around two hours and organised into two acts.  Tis left the principals with maybe three arias each plus a few ensemble numbers.  It was presented off book but with a very minimalist production; piano at the centre of an otherwise empty stage, some atmospheric projections, basic blocking and some sort of hybrid of costume and concert wear.  It actually worked rather well.  This is very much a “tell” rather than “show” opera and fancy scenic effects weren’t really required.

luciosilla_oic

Continue reading

Balance of April and into May

rurThere’s a fair number of shows appearing at fairly short notice as people scramble to adapt to relaxing regulations so this post will contain events for April not previously noted plus a look forward to May.

  • April 26th at 7.30 pm Likht Ensemble have a free Holocaust Remembrance Day concert at Mazzoleni Hall.
  • April 28th at 8pm at St. Andrews on King St. Soundstreams are reprising the Vivier Lovesongs concert that was done as a stream last fall.
  • April 29th at 7.30pm at 918 Bathurst The Happenstancers have a concert featuring music by Julia Wolfe, Nahre Sol, Kaija Saariaho, Gyorgy Kurtag, Oliver Knussen, and WA Mozart.

Continue reading

The nightingale flies from its gilded cage

nightingale1Florence: The Lady with the Lamp, music by Timothy Sullivan, libretto by Anne Mcpherson, premiered at the Elora Festival in 1992 and n 1995 was the first Canadian work performed by VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert.  Yesterday afternoon they presented it again at the St. Lawrence Centre; staged and with orchestra.

It’s an interesting piece.  Some of it I liked a lot and some not so much.  The orchestral writing is excellent; colourful and atmospheric with some jazz influences.  I quite often found myself drifting off into listening to the orchestra when perhaps I should have paid more attention to the words, especially as there were no surtitles.  The vocal writing is less interesting but it had its moments especially in some of the ensembles.  It’s the old dilemma of whether or not to prioritise the comprehensibility of the words over strictly musical values. Continue reading

April shows

orevueHere’s what’s coming up that I know about in April with some adds for the end of March.

    • 26th March 5pm – 7pm.  Opera Revue at Castro’s PWYC.  Expect a completely Weill performance.
    • 27th March 2.30pm.  Voicebox are doing Timothy Sullivan’s Florence: The Lady with the Lamp in concert at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.  Lauren Pearl sings the title role.

Continue reading

Adriana Lecouvreur upcoming

225px-Adrienne_LecouvreurVOICEBOX:Opera in Concert have a streamed version of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur premiering on Friday.  It’s a film made at the Edward Jackman Centre that reimagines the opera as a game of chess.  Natalya Gennadi sings the title role with Julie Nesrallah as the Princess de Bouillon.  The cast also includes Holly Chaplin and Evan Korbut.  Tickets are $20 from www.operainconcert.com and the stream will be available until July 2nd.

Streams and things

A quick reminder that tonight, tomorrow and Saturday see new streams from AtG (A Little Too Cozy prequel), The GGS Fall Opera (Seven Deadly Sins and Lucrezia) and Confluence (Purcell).  There’s also new content on the appropriate Youtube channels from Domoney Artists and Alex Hajek.

hajekdichterliebe

Continue reading

December listings

December is not just Messiah though heaven knows there are plenty of those…

On Sunday 1st Voicebox is presenting Janáček’s Katya Kabanova.  It has a strong cast including Lynn Isnar, Emilia Boteva, Michael Barrett and Cian Horrobin.  We don’t see nearly enough Janáček in Toronto.  That’s at 2.30pm at the St. Lawrence Centre.

Against the Grain’s remount of Figaro’s Wedding runs December 3rd to the 20th at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse at 8pm.  Music direction this time is by Rachael Kerr and the cast includes Bruno Roy, Miriam Khalil, Ally Smither, Phillip Addis, Lauren Eberwein, Jacques Arsenault, Maria Soulis and Greg Finney.  Review of the 2013 original.

zu-qbeat88

Continue reading