Golden Age of Opera

Such was the title of yesterday’s performance by the UoT Opera ‘s performance in the RBA.  Now personally I don’t subscribe to the notion of the 19th century (ugh!) as a “golden age” of anything but yesterday suggested that the UoT program, if not quite in golden age territory is going through a bit of a purple patch.  This was, I think, the best student performance overall that I have heard in the last two or three years.

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UoT Opera’s Orpheus in the Underworld

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Brittany Cann

French operetta is notoriously difficult to get right.  The genre treacherously combines a kind of humour that doesn’t always translate well in time or language, difficult music to sing and a need to be as “naughty” as the original seemed without being crass.  It’s a huge credit to Michael Patrick Albano and his student cast that they pretty much pulled off all of that last night with their new production of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.  One could nit pick details (I shall) but overall it was a well paced show with some good singing and acting and it was genuinely funny.  Unsurprisingly the audience lapped it up.  Continue reading

UoT Opera season opener

As has become the norm, UoT Opera opened their concert season with a free “preview” of their spring show in the RBA at noon today.  It was a series of Mozart scenes which were given semi-staged today but will, in the fullness of time, form a staged and costumed performance.  It’s always an interesting event because it’s so early in the academic year.  It’s the first chance to try and talent spot and see how things develop over the rest of the cycle.  As such, it’s often a bit rough but today really wasn’t.  It was a surprisingly high quality across the board effort which augurs well.  That said, it was all ensembles and nobody was asked to pull out vocal fireworks so maybe not the sternest test imaginable which makes star picking that bit trickier.

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