To “celebrate” it taking longer to get home from the Theatre Centre on the TTC last night than the show actually lasted here’s a little number set to a possibly recognisable tune from my favourite lunatics at Opera Revue.
And don’t forget Debauchery at the Dakota at the end of the month.
Way back in 2016 I attended a concert of Dean Burry’s music in Victoria College Chapel. The highlight of that evening was a performance by Krisztina Szabó and the Talisker Players with Bill Rowson conducting, of Dean’s setting of Alfred Noyes’ poem The Highwayman. It was performed more recently at Queen’s University, again with Krisztina, backed this time by an ensemble of Queens faculty members (flutist, Sarah Moon, clarinettist, Kornel Wolak, violinist, Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak, cellist, Wolf Tormann, pianist, Younggun Kim and conductor, Darrell Christi). This time it was also accompanied by some cool shadow puppetry. It was recorded for video and audio and will eventually be released on Centrediscs. This time it was preceded by chamber music by Debussy, Berg and Beethoven. The whole thing is available now on Youtube for free.
Mizzy Mazzoli’s latest opera The Listeners is now available on the OperaVision channel on Youtube. It’s a Den Norske Opera production recorded in Oslo a couple of months ago and it’s very interesting. There are several short trailers etc on the channel that you can use to get an idea of what it’s about and what it sounds like.
Medusa’s Children is a location shot opera film recently released by Opera Q; a Toronto based collective “dedicated to amplifying queer and trans voices”. I think this is the company’s second production following the live staged Dido and Belinda in 2019. This new piece; music by Colin McMahon, text by Charlie Petch, is also on a classical theme. In fact it follows Ovid pretty closely (at least for the back story) and of course there’s a queer twist.
Here’s a quick list of new (relatively) and upcoming web content (the obvious Youtube channel unless otherwise specified):
Massey College have a “Music Salon” up. It features Ian Cusson and Rebecca Cuddy with Métis musicologistRena Roussin discussing the role of Indigenous art music in the Canadian music scene with a particular focus on the Métis. In between the talking head sequences there’s the performance of Ian’s Five Songs to Poems by Marilyn Dumont that was webbed by Soundstreams a little while back. If you are the one reader of this blog who has not yielded to my encouragement to explore these songs please get on with it!
Barbara Hannigan has a music video of Weill’s Youkali with theLudwig orchestra. (Alpha Classics channel). Cool footage of Finisterre which might not exactly evoke Youkali but it’s pretty much my land of dreams.
The third SOS – Sketch Opera Singers from Tapestry Opera is now up on Youtube. It’s quite similar to the previous episodes with inspired lunacy from KrossØver (Teiya Kasahara, Keith Klassen, Krisztina Szabó, Korin Thomas-Smith and a snail but definitely not Simone McIntosh). I think it’s a bit darker and a bit weirder than earlier episodes, even a bit surreal in places. The sketch where people are helped through break-ups by soft toys singing well known arias comes to mind. Still, it’s half an hour of (mostly) harmless fun. Definitely worth a watch.
Date with the Divas volume 2 is the latest Youtube offering from Opera Sustenida (Stephanie DeCiantis – soprano and film diva, Nicole Whitney Dubinsky -soprano, Daniella Theresia – mezzo and tech diva and Suzanne Yeo – piano). It’s the first of their shows that I’ve seen. It’s one of those films where everything is recorded in people’s homes and then patched together into a film and it’s as well done as anything in the genre that I’ve seen. The video editing is really good though some sections that were broadcast “live” during the initial streaming were a bit weird sonically. Fortunately that didn’t affect the music.
The most substantial offering I’ve seen this week is a concert from Toronto Summer Music that aired last night. It was a song recital by four of the Toronto’s better known young singers with Steven Philcox on piano. Simona Genga sang some Mahler and some interesting songs by the Basque composer Jésus Gurudi (new to me!). Clarence Frazer gave us excerpts from Die Schöne Müllerin plus three songs by Butterworth. No prizes for guessing which three but they were well done. Jamie Groote sang a set of Jake Heggie songs plus Strauss’ Beim Schlafengehen. Always excellent to hear Strauss sung well. Asitha Tennekoon rounded things off with a set from Wolff’s Mörike Lieder and songs by Holman (Fair Daffodils; obligatory CanCon), Gurney and Finzi. It’s all high class stuff and there’s about 90 minutes of singing. The platform is Vimeo and it looks and sounds good. It’s free and available here.
It seems like less on-line “opera” content is being produced as Europe prepares to return to theatres and Canada holds it breath. A few things are ongoing though and there’s fun new content from Natalya Gennadi and friends with HBD!Project April. More fine singing and stunning graphics.
There’s also Isolation Series: Wash, Dry, Reset from Opera Revue featuring the mordant wit and musical talents of Dani Friesen, Alexander Hajek and Claire Harris, plus dish detergent and popcorn. Both are on Youtube on channels Natalya Gennadi and Opera Revue respectively.
Once more the week’s Youtube offerings show that digital works best when it’s “made for digital”. Who’d a thunk it eh! Anyway there’s very watchable new content on Youtube from Alexander Hajek, Opera Revue and Domoney Artists. Best of all though is a new short film called Sempra Libera from Carsen Gilmore and the very good soprano Michelle Drever. If you like the look and feel of Morte you’ll love this. It’s really dark. It’s the grimmest take on Violetta I’ve seen; Natalie Dessay included!