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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Le travail du peintre

Yesterday’s concert in the Songmasters Series at Mazzoleni Hall featured Mireille Asselin and Brett Polegato with Peter Tiefenbach and Rachel Andrist in a program of songs more or less related to painting and painters.  The first half of the program was all French; Fauré and Debussy.  Mireille and Peter gave us two songs from Fauré’s Cinq mélodies de Venise plus three pieces from Debussy’s Fêtes galantes and Pantomime from Quatre chansons de jeunesse.  I thought the Debussy generally suited Mireille’s voice rather better than the Fauré.  The first three songs were beautifully and charmingly sung while Pantomime gave full rein to Mireille’s considerable comedic talents.  The highlight of the first half for me though was Brett’s singing of the Poulenc work that gave the concert its title.  Seven songs by Paul Eluard; each a brief portrait of a painter.  Written at the same time as Dialogues des Carmélites, these pieces have the same sort of intensity and drive (and decided non trivial piano parts!).  They were most expertly sung with fine diction and legato and a keen sense of the varied moods of each piece.

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Coming up

letravail_365sqIt’s getting a bit busier again.  This afternoon there are a couple of concerts.  At 2pm in Mazzoleni Hall you can catch Mireille Asselin and Brett Polegato with Peter Tiefenbach and Rachel Andrist in a painting themed program of lieder, artsongs and chansons called Le travail du peintre.  At 4.30pm at Metropolitan United Church Bach’s Mass in B Minor meets German film maker Bastian Clevé’s film The Sound of Eternity.  The soloists are Marjorie Maltais, Geoff Sirett, Jennifer Krabbe and Charles Sy plus the Orpheus Choir, Chorus Niagara and the Talisker Players.  I suppose it would just about be possible to do both…

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The Royal Conservatory 2015/16 season

PD32029780_Terfel__1514579cThe Royal Conservatory has now announced the 2015/16 season.  The full details plus how to subscribe, buy tickets etc is here.  It’s the usual rich mix of music in a wide range of genres.  Here are the things I will be looking out for:

April 24th 2016 in Koerner Hall at 3pm there’s a recital by Bryn Terfel with Natalia Katyukova.  This is definitely the big name vocal gig of the season.

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Calgary Opera announces 2015/16 season

calgaryCalgary once again offers three main stage performances.  The season opens with Delibes’ Lakmé.  It’s a Tom Diamond production so probably not very Regie.  Aline Kutan, seen as Queen of the Night in Toronto not so long ago, sings the title role with Andrea Hill as her sidekick Mallika.  Lakmé’s paramour, the handsome British officer Frederic, is sung by Canadian opera’s current answer to Rudolph Valentino, Cam McPhail.  Gordon Gerrard conducts.  There are three performances on November 21st, 25th and 27th.

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Moths

MonicaWhicherThe third Canadian Art Song Project annual concert was given yesterday lunchtime in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.  We were given four works; all by Canadian composers, and in a sufficient variety of musical idiom to make for a most interesting concert.  Soprano Monica Whicher and pianist Kathryn Tremills gave us Dissidence (trois poèmes de Gabriel Charpentier) by Pierre Mercure.  This 1955 work sounds rather like Ravel or perhaps early Poulenc with its symbolist poetry and rather literal musical setting.  It sits very nicely for Monica’s voice though and she sang very beautifully.  It seems not all modern composers hate sopranos.

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‘Tis the season

Opera/concert season is pretty much done in the big smoke though there is the Toronto Summer Music Festival (see below).  Attention moves to various more rural venues and to some seriously eclectic programming.  Out in Northumberland County there’s the Westben Festival with concerts in a barn ranging fro Irish trad to Richard Margison.  The highlight, for me, here would be a recital by Suzy Leblanc and Julius Drake featuring French mélodies, Strauss lieder and English songs by Christos Hatzis.  That one is on July 30.  Westben also has the UBC Opera Ensemble doing Carmen and, for those so inclined, a programme of Broadway tunes from the ever reliable Virginia Hatfield, Brett Polegato and James Levesque.  No word on whether Brett’s cat is also performing.

Stratford Summer Music has three concerts by the Vienna Boys Choir, one including Michael Schade.  There is also the Bicycle Opera Project and a celebration of R. Murray Schafer’s 80th birthday.

Meanwhile, back in the smoke there is the Toronto Summer Music Festival which kicks off on July 16th with the Trio Pennetier Pasquier Pidoux in an all French programme.  The highlights for me are the Gryphon Trio with Bob Pomakov on the 18th and Philippe Sly with Julius Drake on the 23rd.