And now, the TSO

tso-music-director-peter-oundjian-photo-credit-sian-richardsHot on the heels of the RCM, the Toronto Symphony has announced its 2017/18 season, whih will be Peter Oundjian’s last as Music Director.  There’s lots of sesquicentennial stuff of course but here’s a summary of the interesting vocal stuff (rock and roll and other children’s music omitted).

September 27,28 and 30, 2017: Brahm’s German Requiem with Erin Wall and Russell Braun.

October 19 and 20, 2017: Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Susan Platts and Michael Schade.  This is billed as a Maureen Forrester commemoration.

November 9 and 11, 2017: Jeffrey Ryan’s Afghanistan:Requiem for a Generation with Measha Brueggergosman, Alysson McHardy, Colin Ainsworth and Brett Polegato.

December 16, 19, 20, 22 and 23, 2017: Handel’s Messiah with Karina Gauvin, Kristina Szabó, Frédéric Antoun and Joshua Hopkins.

April 26 and 28, 2018: A concert performance of Bernstein’s Candide with Tracy Dahl, Judith Forst, Nicholas Phan and Richard Suart.

June 2 and 3, 2018: A concert called Water Music with Leslie Ann Bradley singing Dvorak, Schubert and Mozart.

June 28 and 29, 2018:  Peter Oundjian signs off with a Beethoven 9.  Soloists tba.

Full details here.

 

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Americans in Paris

There Toronto Summer Music Festival, inevitably Americas themed this year, opened with a concert called Americans in Paris featuring music by Copland, Gershwin and Bolcom.  It was a pretty mixed bag.  It opened with Copland’s Appalachian Spring played by 13 members of the TSMF Ensemble and conducted by Tania Miller.  It’s not a work I’m particularly fond of but here it was particularly unfocussed and soporific.

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More summer music

mbThere may not be a lot of opera per se in Hogtown during the summer but there’s a fair amount of music of interest to the likes of us.

Toronto Summer Music Festival has some interesting offerings.  The opening night concert, Americans in Paris, features Measha Brueggergosman in works by Gershwin, Bolcom and copland as well as instrumental pieces.  And pretty much closing the festival out is a Karita Mattila recital with Bryan Wagorn on piano, on August 7th in a recital that includes works by Strauss, Sibelius and Sallinen.  Details at www.torontosummermusic.com.

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Toronto Summer Music and more

For those of you who won’t be glued to the underwater cycling at the Pan-Am games there is actually music on in Toronto over the summer.  The tenth Toronto Summer Music Festival features a wide range of events in many genres.  The ones likely to be of most interest to AR readers follow.

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The Scrapheap of Capitalism

The 2010 La Fura dels Baus Madrid production of Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is much the best version of the piece I’ve seen on DVD.  The production starts and ends on a rubbish dump and the dump and its people, curiously reminiscent of the vegetarian terrorists in Delicatessen, are present pretty much all the time.  It doesn’t pull any punches and tackles Brecht’s characteristically unsubtle parody of commodity capitalism straight on and without sentimentality or apology.  Perhaps the most effective scene is the sort of “orgy by Frederick Taylor” that accompanies Second comes the loving match in Act 2 but there are lots of telling moments from the widow Begbick first appearing from a derelict fridge to the pyre of mattresses on which Jim is executed.  Curiously perhaps the piece is given in Michael Feingold’s English translation but it’s a very good translation and little or nothing is lost.

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