Season announcements

Toronto Operetta Theatre has announced its 2014-15 season line up and both Stratford Summer Music and the Westben Festival have announced their programmes.

Toronto Operetta Theatre
The 2014/15 season features three productions.  The season opens with Federico Chueca’s zarzuela La Gran Via on November 2nd.  The Christmas season (December 27th to January 4th) will see six performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.  (And I hope Rob Ford is on “the list” though hopefully by then he’ll be well on the way to being forgotten)  Finally, and perhaps most interesting, the season closes with Victor Davies’ 2008 piece Earnest, the Importance of Being which is probably the only Canadian work that can properly be called an operetta.  There’s no further information at this time but doubtless it will eventually make its way to http://www.torontooperetta.com/.

Stratford Summer Music Festival
As usual, Stratford is offering a wide ranging programme of classical, jazz and world music.  For opera/vocal music lovers the highlights would appear to be the return of The Bicycle Opera Project who will perform a collection of short contemporary operas and opera excerpts at Revel Caffè (July 25–27).  There’s also Tafelmusik with their annual series of Bach cantatas.  Soloists this year will be soprano Nathalie Paulin, baritone >Phillip Addis and tenor Zacharie Fogal and the works will be the Coffee and Wedding Cantatas (August 22 & 23).  The most intriguing gigs look to be performances of Bizet’s Carmen with three performances woven around dinners and a brunch at The Church Restaurant (August 8, 9, 10).  This intriguing idea has been created by, and will feature, mezzo-soprano and CBC Radio Two host Julie Nesrallah with seven other Canadian and American opera singers performing the opera while diners enjoy Spanish-themed cuisine from menus specially prepared by the restaurant’s senior chef Frank Hubert.  August 8th is my birthday; just saying.  Details of the whole festival including repertoire, dates, locations and ticket prices are now online at www.stratfordsummermusic.ca.  Tickets can be purchased at the website or call the Box Office at 519-271-2101.

Westben Concerts at the Barn
Westben Concerts at The Barn’s 15th season features a variety of musical genres performed by Canadian and international artists.  The most interesting items seem to be the festival debut of Ben Heppner (retired?),  Purcell’s  Dido and Aeneas,  The Choir  of  Trinity  College Cambridge and Step aside Three Tenors! The 3-Divas in which sopranos Virginia Hatfield and Joni Henson, and mezzo-soprano Megan Latham will perform an afternoon of favourites from opera and music theatre (scary stuff!).  The performances will take place  at The Barn, 6898 Country Road 30, Campbellford, Ontario.  Details and tickets at www.westben.ca .

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