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Showing posts from October, 2016

All But Gone

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A contemporary musical exploration of the absurd and evocative imagery of Samuel Beckett, All But Gone follows the sold-out hit Beckett: Feck It!, hailed as "entirely engrossing" by The Globe and Mail. Renowned Canadian director Jennifer Tarver (Venus in Fur) reunites with musical director Dáirine Ní Mheadhra for an elegiac and provocative evening of theatre and song featuring performer Jonathon Young (Betroffenheit), and Canadian opera stars Shannon Mercer and Krisztina Szabó.   Courtesy of CanStage.

Last Minute Twist and Goosebumps!

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Photo by Chris Hutcheson
Norma at the COCNormaSondra Radvanovsky / Elza van den Heever*PollioneRussell Thomas   ❤AdalgisaIsabel LeonardOrovesoDimitry IvashchenkoClotildeAviva FortunataFlavioCharles SyConductor:  Stephen LordDirector:Kevin NewburySet Designer:  David KorinsCostume Designer:Jessica JahnLighting Designer: Duane SchulerChorus Master:Sandra Horst With the COC Orchestra and Chorus *We saw Elza van den Heever ~ wonderful! A Canadian Opera Company co-production with San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona)
Bellini and his operas are synonymous with the bel canto era when the beauty and virtuosity of the human voice reigned supreme. In that tradition, our production features two of the most sought-after sopranos today as Toronto’s own Sondra Radvanovsky and South African Elza van den Heever share the title role. Courtesy of COC.

Ariodante ~ These Boots are Made for Walking

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One of Handel’s most radiantly beautiful scores echoes myriad emotions in this story of love, honour, and deception. Alice Coote and Jane Archibald—two COC favourites—return to head a dream Baroque cast, under the baton of Music Director Johannes Debus. Ariodante at the COC
AriodanteAlice CooteGinevraJane ArchibaldPolinessoVarduhi AbrahamyanDalindaAmbur BraidLurcanio Owen McCauslandOdoardoAaron SheppardKing of ScotlandJohannes WeisserConductor:  Johannes DebusDirector:Richard JonesSet Designer and
Costume Designer:ULTZLighting Designer: Mimi Jordan SherinChoreographer:Lucy BurgePuppetry Director:Finn Caldwell                                       Outstanding use of puppetry!Puppetry Design:Nick Barnes & Finn CaldwellChorus Master:Sandra HorstWith the COC Orchestra and Chorus Scene from Ariodante (COC, 2016), photo: Michael Cooper. Courtesy of COC.

Only in Vaughan, You Say?

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Photo courtesy of CanStage

I saw Concord Floral at CanStage this weekend and from the moment I entered the Bluma Appel Theatre, I knew we were in for something different, even by Matthew Jocelyn's standards. Billed as "a gothic urban thriller," I don't think that does this production enough justice. This is a very thought-provoking look into young people's psyches, through the medieval looking glass of Boccaccio's The Decameron. (For some background, here's an interesting project and here's the play's teaser trailer.) Written by Jordan Tannahill and directed by Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner, the work is the result of a 2012 Festival of Ideas and Creation. Four years later, it's still fresh and oh so relevant. But it's not for the faint of heart. In other words, you need to love teenagers and understand them if you're to get past the frank talk and subjects covered.  I found some of the ensemble stronger in their acting ability than o…

CD Review: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra

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Did Bugs Bunny ruin the Barber of Seville for you? How about Merrie Melodies’ The Three Little Pigs with Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #5? I have a particular eye/earworm of The Rite of Spring: I can never unsee the gorgeous choreography of Pina Brausch when I hear this piece. The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony’s recording is bright and clear and complements the rather dark storyline of the ballet. The First Part is a vital description of nature and leads with some urgency to the undeniable corporeality of the Second Part. The backbone of the piece, however, is Track 2, although I prefer my Augurs of Spring to be a little more heavy-handed than David Bernard’s version, such as the Cleveland Orchestra/Pierre Boulez’s take on it; I think this reflects Bernard’s interpretation, though, and does not make Stravinsky an inappropriate choice for this orchestra. (The Augurs of Spring always strikes me as a misplaced climax, though.)
The Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, known as a soloistic piece, also h…