SCHMOPERA | The Opera Posse Phenomenon
Opera singers are masters of multi-tasking: they juggle an important list of technical elements in order to sing a performance, and they have to do it in foreign languages, while following a conductor and negotiating weird costumes/lighting/staging. Singers' to-do lists don't get simpler as they gain experience. Once there's a decent consensus amongst the opera industry that a singer is established, there's a weird phenomenon that occurs. The singer begins to pick up followers, hangers-on of a parasitic sort. These new companions are usually people who aren’t opera singers, but are really into opera for one reason or another. Voice teachers, coaches, audition consultants, agents, and even donors like to latch onto a successful singer (even better if they’re a young up-and-comer). They’re like really swanky groupies. So why do they cling to opera singers? Simply put: they want to vicariously live the perceived glam life.
LINES OF ENQUIRY | To Hell and Back: Canadian Premiere of Piano-Four-Hands Arrangement of Liszt's Dante Symphony Timely, Poignant
Suffice to say, it has been a long and tumultuous week in Ottawa. For some here in the nation's capital, it was recently capped off with a remarkably timely and well-executed rendition of Liszt's Lenore and the Dante Symphony.
WHO'S WHO | Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy
By Member on October 29, 2014
An international classical music festival and academy that is entering it’s tenth season, Toronto Summer Music Festival brings world-renowned performing artists to Toronto for an unparalleled combination of concerts, guest lectures and Masterclasses.
“Toronto Summer Music has become one of the city’s most eagerly awaited summer cultural events, and I am thrilled to welcome audiences to our festival and academy where we create and foster connections between great artists and great music.” says Douglas McNabney.
THE SCOOP | Canadian Opera Company announces worst deficit in recent history
I’ll give it to the Canadian Opera Company, they put on a brave face.
The Canadian Opera Company released its 2014 annual report on Monday afternoon, and after four years of declining attendance and ticket revenues, besides a few upsides to report, there is little to be optimistic about.
What the COC described as “impressive endowment growth, growing attendance and subscription figures,” is really negligible growth in attendance and major financial losses. After three years of serious declines, they continue to deteriorate with the worst numbers they have ever reported...
CRITIC’S PICKS | 8 Musical Outings You Absolutely Must Do This Week
Our weekly Critic’s Picks are a fully curated list of some of the best concerts happening now through the end of the week. Of course this is not to say we are the provocateurs of taste, but simply seek to provide a good weekly summary. For a look at the full breadth of what’s available in and around Toronto, check out the comprehensive concert listings from our friends at Wholenote Magazine.
DVD/BLU RAY REVIEW | Richard Strauss: Capriccio
Capriccio was described by its creators – Richard Strauss and Clemens Krauss – as “a conversation piece for music in one act.” In fact, it was Strauss’ fifteenth and last opera, premiered in wartime Munich in 1942.
As the work of a 78-year-old composer it is remarkable. Yet it will probably always be a work for connoisseurs rather than the general public. For a one-act opera at about two and a half hours it is excessively long, and the musical style is almost continuous recitative. And the subject matter is, depending on your point of view, either rarified art or pretentious chit-chat. Some critics have even suggested it is little more than a make-work project for an aging composer.
REVIEW | Opera Atelier presents a racy Handel’s Alcina
This is 1735, and the plot is slightly drunken, (Handel, after all). The Elgin Theatre’s gilded balconies shimmer as the patrons wander in from the un-seasonably warm October evening, hinting of unease for good Opera.
Other than an errant spring in the Theatre’s 100-year-old aging seats, this was Opera Ateliers night to shine. In a city that adores all things early music, (even the Canadian Opera Company has jumped on that bandwagon), it was a sure fire hit – or was it?
COFFEE BREAK | Stephen Fry on the history of the Glenn Gould Prize
In this short video, discover the legendary Glenn Gould and the vision for this "Nobel Prize of the Arts" given in his name. Narrated by past Juror, Stephen Fry. This years nominations are open until Nov 15, 2014...
THE SCOOP | National Arts Centre Orchestra venerates victim of Ottawa shooting rampage
While Canada begins to come to terms with the shooting rampage that left one soldier lifeless at the foot of the National War Memorial, and a gunman shot dead in the Parliament buildings, members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra have been had to do so from afar.
Q&A | 11 Questions for Anne-Sophie Mutter
German-born, Anne-Sophie Mutter is one of the greatest violin virtuosos of our time. At the age of 13 she performed as a soloist at the renowned Salzburg Festival, under conductor Herbert von Karajan. Two years later, she made her recording debut with Karajan, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Besides being an interpreter of traditional classical repertoire, she is a avid supporter of contemporary music. She has premiered works by Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn and Wolfgang Rihm. After going on to win four Grammy Awards and countless prizes, she founded The Mutter Virtuosi -- a group made up of some of the best alumni of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.
WHO'S WHO | The Toronto Consort
By Member on October 22, 2014
Since its founding in 1972, the Toronto Consort has become internationally recognized for its excellence in the performance of medieval, renaissance and early baroque music. Some of Canada’s leading early music specialists have come together to form The Toronto Consort, under the leadership of Artistic Director, David Fallis. The company’s nine members include both singers and instrumentalists (lute, recorder, guitar, flute, early keyboards and percussion)...