Good heavens it’s March already! There’s lots coming up in the Toronto vocal music scene. This Saturday sees George Benjamin’s Written on Skin in concert performance with the TSO at Roy Thomson Hall. Chris Purves and Barbara Hannigan from the original cast are singing with Bernhard Landauer coming in for Bejun Mehta as the Boy. The composer conducts.
The following day the Recitals at Rosedale series continues with Serenades… Forgotten and Found. Gillian Keith, Michele Bogdanowicz and Charles Sy perform works including Debussy’s Vasnier Songbook and a premiere of a work by Elizabeth Raum. It’s at 2.30pm at Rosedale Presbyterian Church.
The following week sees a Talisker Players show called On A Darkling Plain. It’s at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre at 8pm on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th. Iliana Zarankin and Joel Allison will perform works by works by Samuel Barber, Walford Davies, Juliet Hess, Dmitri Shostakovich and John Tavener.
The 12th at 7.30pm sees the opening night of the first of the spring student productions; the UoT Opera’s production of Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. It’s playing at the MacMillan Theatre and can also be seen on the 13th and 14th (7.30pm) and the 15th (2.30pm). The Washington Post advised audiences to “Imagine the characters from an Agatha Christie novel entangled in an Ionesco play”. Sounds like fun! Michael Cavanagh directs and Leslie Dala conducts. It’s double cast and there’s a chance to see some of my favourite student singers like Charles Sy, Karine White and Ryan Downey.
The following week is the Royal Conservatory’s Turn with a Joel Ivany directed production of Offenbach’s La belle Hélène at Koerner Hall. It’s playing on the 18th and 20th at 7.30pm and Uri Mayer conucts. There’s also a bit of a bonus by way of choreography by Jenn Nicholls.
Sandwiched in there too is a zarzuela show from Essential Opera at Heliconian Hall at 7.30pm on the 13th. The main event is Bohemios; a 1904 Spanish take on “la vie Bohème” by Amadeo Vives. It will be coupled with a selection of highlights from the Spanish zarzuela repertoire, exploring themes of romance, intrigue, and comedy. It’s a concert performance with refreshments available.
On the 19th at noon the COC is doing its annual March break Opera Interactive featuring opera comedienne Kyra Millan backed up by Iain MacNeil, baritone and Tina Faye, piano. It’s a kids oriented singalong thing. I’ve been a couple of times and it’s quite fun for grown ups and really good for kids. Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre of course.
The 20th and 21st at 8pm in the Ernest Balmer Studio sees Tapestry’s annual “experimental” show (i.e. even more experimental than other Tapestry shows!), Tap-Ex:Tables Turned. Karla Huhtanen will team up with Montreal-based composer, turn table artist, and electronics specialist, Nicole Lizée. She is a musical scientist creating new music from an eclectic mix of influences including early MTV videos, Hitchcock and Kubrick films, 1960s psychedelia and modernism, and rave culture. I really can’t imagine but I’m looking forward to finding out more!
If you are still feeling opera starved the Bloor Cinema is showing the ROH production of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman at noon on the 22nd. Senta herself, or at least Adrienne Pieczonka, will introduce the show.
On the 24th at 7.30pm UoT Early Music present Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Trinity College Chapel. It’s a revival of choreographer Bill Coleman’s returns vision of Purcell’s first opera supported by soloists and instrumentalists from the Theatre of Early Music directed by Daniel Taylor. The cast is headed by sopranos Agnes Zsigovics and Ellen McAteer
Then, on the 26th at noon in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Charlotte Burrage and Clarence Frazer will present a program called Nights and Dreams with art songs and duets by Schubert, Brahms, Mahler and Gounod.
Finally on the 29th at 2.30pm Voicebox: Opera in Concert close out their season with Charpentier’s Louise. It’s at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and stars soprano Leslie Ann Bradley in the title role. Also featured are mezzo soprano Michele Bodganowicz and baritone Dion Mazerolle. Completing the cast is baritone turned tenor Adrian Kramer singing the role of the poet Julien.
Quite a month!