Toronto Masque Theatre 2016/17

apollodaphneToronto Masque Theatre have announced their 2016/17 season.  There are two main stage productions and three salon concerts.  First of the main stage shows is a double bill of  Handel’s dramatic cantata Apollo and Daphne with Jacqueline Woodley and Geoffrey Sirett and dancer Stéphaie Brochard, directed and choreographed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière paired with Richard Strauss’s Enoch Arden based on the epic poem by Tennyson, performed by actor Derek Boyes and pianist Angela Park.  This one is at 8:00 pm on November 17th, 18th and 19th with a pre-show event at 7:15 pm each evening at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse.

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Opera Five gala

opera5So Toronto’s weather took a weird twist pushing the Humidex into the 40s just in time for the Opera Five movie themed fundraiser at Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu last night.  And some people still managed to wear suits and ties and stuff.  Made of sterner stuff than me I tell you.  And even more props to the ladies who were sporting Rosemarie’s creations.  They looked great but some of them must have been hell in the heat.

It was an interesting format with seven singers and two pianists appearing in various combinations and guests having an opportunity to sponsor a singer to sing their “feature” aria.  It was fun and there were some fine singers on display.  Two I’ve seen and enjoyed in the past were baritone Geoffrey Sirett and coloratura soprano Teiya Kasahara.  Both were on good form with some fine Escamillo from Geoffrey and the mad scene from Lucia from Teiya in a rather good arrangement for voice, flute and piano.  The other five were new to me but I’d happily go see any of them.  Favourite moments for me would be some fine Carmen from the unpronounceable Olenka Harasymowycz (who looks disturbingly like Maria Ewing), a very cute “Poor Wandering One” from Caitlin Wood and a very fine “Ebben…” (from Catalani’s La Wally) from Calgary’s Krista de Silva.  Accompaniment was from music director Mai Nash and Jo Greenaway on piano with flautist Amelia Lyon.

So, a fun event which seemed to be raising quite a bit of much needed cash.  The first show it will be helping fund is In Pace Requiescat; a trio of one act operas based on Edgar Allen Poe stories.  There will be The Cask of Amontillado by Daniel Pinkham, La Chute de la Maison d’Usher by Claude Debussy and the world première of The Masque of the Red Death by Cecilia Livingston.  Performances will be at the Arts and letters Club on Elm Street on the 27th, 30th and 31st of October.  Tickets are available from 05inpace.eventbrite.ca and are $30 ($25 concessions).