After the usual summer hiatus the Toronto music scene starts to get back into gear in the coming week. Tonight there’s the final concert of the Fall Baroque Academy at Trinity College Chapel. It features excerpts from Handel’s Giulio Cesare. It’s at 7.30pm and it’s free.
There are two Ensemble Studio lunchtime concerts in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Tuesday is the traditional “Meet the Artists” gig where everyone gets to do an opera aria and Wednesday celebrates the Invictus Games. It’s a predictably war themed program with the expected like Butterworth (good) and Ives (the appalling He is there) and the less expected with works by Somers and Argento among others. Both concerts are at noon and free.
The Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre has now been unveiled, as has the UoT’s concert programme for 2017/18. As usual the RBA programme is a treasure trove with a great deal of interest in the vocal series and beyond. The season brochure is here. Highlights include:
- Multiple appearances by members of the Ensemble Studio
- Krisztina Szabó with the Esprit Orchestra singing the Berio Folksongs on October 3rd
- Various returning former members of the Ensemble Studio including Mr. and Mrs. Bintner with Liz Upchurch on October 19th, Claire de Sévigné with Rachel Andrist on February 14th and Owen McCausland with Stephen Hargreaves on April 17th
- Lauren Eberwein with String Quartet on October 31st
- Other singers in town for main stage shows also appearing in the RBA include Erin Wall (Oct 24th), Joshua Guerrero (Jan 23rd), Jane Archibald (Feb 20th), Meredith Arwady (Apr 19th), Sondra Radvanovsky (May 1st) and Keri Alkema (May 22nd)
- There are previews from UoT Opera’s The Golden Age of Opera (Oct 10th), Against the Grain with Bound (Dec 13th), CCOC with The Monkiest King (Mar 8th), and Opera Atelier with The Return of Ulysses (Mar 29th)
- Jeremy Dutcher with Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseet Songs) on April 10th
There’s lots more! All the concerts mentioned above are at noon and are free. Generally one needs to be there early to get a decent seat.
Opera Canada magazine, to which I’m a contributor, has a new Editorial Director. Gianmarco Segato, formerly with the COC, is taking over from Wayne Gooding who has been doing the job for an amazing 20 years. I think it’s a great choice. Anyhow, one of the goals going forward for OC is to build it’s on-line presence. That’s a long term project but there are things on social media that one can check out already. They are:
Check them out.
No, it’s not an opera about how Toronto city council and staff and their contractors managed to turn a minor realignment of a cycle path into a multi-year, multi-million dollar project. That one is still to be written. This one is a Tapestry production at Todmorden Mills. A local bandit group that strangely doesn’t include John Tory, aided by a troupe of travelling Gilbert & Sullivan players attempt to steal a mysterious object from a wealthy citizen’s home in the Don Valley. The cast is much more talented and better looking than Mr. Tory and includes Keith Klassen, Jennifer Taverner, Jacques Arsenault, Alex Dobson, Sara Schabas, and (monkey girl) Stephanie Tritchew. It plays weekends in September at various lunch to afternoonish times and tickets are free but must be booked in advance here.
If you are planning to bike to the show you can either take the city’s official lethal Lower Don bypass or the actual Lower Don Trail ignoring the “closed” signs. A friend tells me it’s perfectly feasible.
There have been a few announcements over the last week or two. First up is a fund raiser for the music and social outreach programmes at St. Andrew by the Lake. St. Andrew by the Lake is the Anglican church that serves Toronto Islands and as everyone in Toronto knows this has been a tough summer for island dwellers and, among other things it’s messed up the usual summer music program at St. Andrew. The fundraiser is at Christ Church Deer Park on Thursday 24th August at 7.30pm. The concert features the Canzona Chamber Players with Evan Mitchell conducting and Rachel Krehm as soprano soloist in performances of Mozart, Gounod, Charpentier and Brahms. More details and tickets at http://www.standrewbythelake.com
The Ukrainian Art Song Project have a couple of events coming up. There’s an opportunity to audit the Summer Institute at the Temerty Theatre at the RCM on August 9th through 11th. Advance registration is required but it’s free. The concluding concert is on Sunday 13th August at 3pm also in the Temerty. Tickets are $25 from the RCM box office or their website. The nine singers include: Taras Chmil, Tenor; Natalya Gennadi, Soprano; Laura McAlpine, Mezzo-Soprano; David McCune, Bass; Viktoriia Melynk, Soprano; Tasha Meisami-Farivar, Mezzo-Soprano; Ariane Meredith, Mezzo-Soprano, Andrew Skitko, Tenor and Oleksandra Verzole, Soprano. They will interpret the works of Ukrainian composers, including Vasyl Barvinsky, Mykola Lysenko and Yasiv Stepovyi.
Meanwhile on July 27th LooseTEA have another improv night with the second Whose Opera is it Anyway?! at the Comedy Bar at 945 Bloor West. Tickets are $12 from the Comedy Bar website. Performers include Greg Finney, Lindsay Sutherland Boal, Adanya Dunn, Jonathan MacArthur, Rachel Krehm, Amanda Cougan, Jeff Boyd, Gillian Grossman and Erin Stone.
So after a bit of a hiatus the Toronto music scene is coming back to life. The Toronto Summer Music Festival has kicked off and the main interest for followers of the vocal arts lies in the Art Song fellows project with concerts at 1pm on each of the next two Saturdays in Walter Hall (free but tickets required). Then the vocal highlight of the festival; Soile Isokoski in recital with Martin Katz at 7.30pm on the 18th at Walter Hall. The programme includes the Schumann Mary Stuart songs, the Strauss Ophelia songs plus some Wolf and, of course, Sibelius. Ms. Isokoski is also giving a public masterclass in Walter Hall on the 23rd at 2pm.