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CRITIC’S PICKS | Eleven Musical Outings You Absolutely Must Do This Week

By Michael Vincent on January 20, 2015

Musical Toronto’s 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...
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SCHMOPERA | The Regietheater Debate: How Far is Too Far?

By Jenna Douglas on January 20, 2015

This past weekend, I attended The Opera Exchange, an event presented semi-regularly by the Canadian Opera Company to discuss relevant opera topics, structured around the COC's current season. With Dmitri Tcherniakov's production of Don Giovanni set to open on January 24th at the Four Seasons Centre, it was a good opportunity to chat about that polarizing topic, Regietheater, or director's theatre...
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COMMENTARY | Sokolović, Monk Feldman Oddly Perfect for Canadian Opera Company Commission

By Tyler Versluis on January 19, 2015

Last week the Canadian Opera Company revealed a surprising series of commissions from Canadian composers: Barbara Monk Feldman’s Pyramus and Thisbe paired with Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento de Tancredi e Clorinda and Lamento d’Arianna in October and November 2015, Harry Somers’ monumental opera Louis Riel for the 2017-2018 season, and finally a new opera by Serbian-Canadian composer Ana Sokolović for the 2019-20 season...
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COFFEE BREAK | The Soprano's Surprise (Video)

By Michael Vincent on January 19, 2015

(via) Sometimes opera in concert can get a little dry, but after watching this video of Finnish soprano Sirkka Lampimäki, performing with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra we were left speechless. The surprise starts at about 50 seconds in. Though her tone suffers for it - the audience explodes with applause...
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CONCERT REVIEW | TSO Offers Full Mozart Meal Deal

By Michael Vincent on January 17, 2015

There may have been no birthday cake served for Mozart’s party on Thursday night, but patrons at Roy Thomson Hall were treated to fulsome cuisine, complete with one serenade, one piano concerto, one sonata and, for dessert (flambéed, of course), a symphony...
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THE VOICE | Canadian Opera Company Unveils a 2015/16 Season Full of Firsts

By Neil Crory on January 16, 2015

On Wednesday evening the Canadian Opera Company announced its 2015-2016 season in Grand Opera style. No exclusive little cocktail party for a handful of press here ­– instead General Director, Alexander Neef went straight to his public and pulled out all the stops. Over a 90 minute programme he offered the crowd of over 1700 an 'event' overflowing with informal chat, Q & As, video segments, interviews, live music, surprise guest singers, a full orchestra conducted by COC Music Director, Johannes Debus - and the complete Act II finale of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Brent Bambury, the affable CBC Radio One host, functioned as moderator and kept the various elements moving along in a quick and orderly fashion. With the massive set for Richard Wagner's Die Walküre in the background, all that was missing was the chorus...
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CD/DVD REVIEWS | A New Look at Brahms from Chailly and Thielemann

By Paul E. Robinson on January 15, 2015

Most music-lovers and performers too take it for granted that they know pretty much what Brahms should sound like. No need for the historically informed folks to get involved. In fact, however, there are still issues to be considered and we do need to look at period performance practice. Neither of these new sets claims to be “historically informed” but one in particular – the Chailly with the Gewandhausorchestra – shows that a lot of thinking and research has gone into the preparation and rehearsal process...
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Breaking | Canadian Opera Company Announces World Premiere of a New Canadian Opera for 2015/2016 Season

By Michael Vincent on January 14, 2015

Tonight marks the Canadian Opera Company’s Season Launch Event ushering in a new season, and a number of exciting new initiatives for Canada's premiere opera company. Musical Toronto’s opera expert, Neil Crory will be on hand to cover the event, and also discuss the news with COC General Director, Alexander Neef. Until then, here is a brief overview as well as the entire press release reprinted below...
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WHO'S WHO | Toronto Summer Music Festival & Academy Introduces 3 Programs for Adult Amateur Musicians

By Member on January 14, 2015

Are you an advanced amateur musician looking for an opportunity to connect with other musicians who share your passion? The TSM Community Academy invites you to play and sing for pleasure and push your abilities to a new level, while spending a week with artists of the Toronto Summer Music Festival. The Community Academy offers advanced amateur musicians a unique opportunity to hone their skills and take part in Toronto’s premier summer classical music festival. Participants will enjoy access to all mainstage TSM Festival Concerts, lectures, and events (Aug 2-9) and the program includes the possibility of a performance onstage at Walter Hall...
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CRITIC’S PICKS | Nine Musical Outings You Absolutely Must Do This Week

By Michael Vincent on January 13, 2015

Musical Toronto’s 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...
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COFFEE BREAK | The Queen of the Night Aria, For Whistler

By Michael Vincent on January 13, 2015

This is footage was shot at a private party at Joshua Bell’s home in NYC (seen snickering in the background) in 2011. Performing is professional whistler Michael Barimo – who hits the deadly high F in Mozart’s Queen of the Night Aria with ease.  For more, check out a New York Times profile about him here.
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THE VOICE | Angela Hewitt and Anne Sofie von Otter: 'Medium' is the Message

By Neil Crory on January 11, 2015

The generous programme for this sold out event consisted of songs and solo piano pieces by German masters on the first half (Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms) and French maîtres (Hahn, Fauré, Chabrier, Debussy and Chaminade) on the second half. And while the ingredients for success were all there, the evening proved to be a mixed, occasionally wanting, affair.
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