There’s quite a lot for the vocal music fan in this year’s Toronto Summer Music Festival though the only operatic opening is getting a bit Twilight Zone. How often does an opera like Britten’s Rape of Lucretia get done in Toronto? Well for now the answer is twice in quick succession because besides the MYOpera production later this month we are also getting a “semi-staged” version on July 22nd at 7.30pm at the Winter Garden Theatre. It is a transplant from Banff originally created by Joel Ivany and Topher Mokrzewski but to be directed here by Anna Theodosakis. The cast includes Emma Char (Lucretia), Peter Rolfe Dauz (Junius), Beste Kalender (Bianca), Jasper Leever (Collatinus), Iain MacNeil (Tarquinius), Ellen McAteer (Lucia), Owen McAusland (Male Chorus), and Chelsea Rus (Female Chorus). That’s a pretty good cast but it does seem an odd choice. Is the King Street streetcar contagious?
Other vocal highlights in this English themed season include Art Song reGENERATION. This one is also on July 22nd at 12:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. at Walter Hall. It will showcase young singers and pianists from the Toronto Summer Music’s 2016 Academy Art of Song Program. There’s also Sonnets, Scenes and Songs: A Shakespeare Serenade on July 27th at 7:30 p.m. at Walter Hall. In this concert, an ensemble of 16 singers from Canada’s leading opera training programs explore Shakespeare’s sonnets, scenes and songs set to the music of Tippett, Finzi, Gounod, Barber, Verdi, and Britten.
The big Koerner Hall recital this year is American mezzo Jamie Barton. That’s July 25th at 7.30pm. And finally there are two shows that are so British that I may just have to get my Union Flag underpants out. On July 26th in Walter Hall at 7.30pm, Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music will create the music from the coronation of George II. Walter Hall isn’t Westminster Abbey but still, this is the one Handel wrote Zadok the Priest for. And lastly there’s, cough, The Last Night of the Proms with all the usual stuff (which traditionally includes braying drunk Young Conservatives). Allyson McHardy gets to wear the big dress and silly hat. That one is August 4th at 7.30pm at Koerner Hall. Not sure Koerner isn’t really too formal a venue for this.
Featuring a photograph of Sarah Connolly to celebrate the Toronto tradition of using pictures of Sarah to promote shows she is not in.