Browsing: Quebec Music

La Scena Musicale will present key moments from celebrations that take place as part of Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th anniversaries. It will illustrate the rich diversity of artistic and cultural expression, as well as the creative energy that goes into all the hard work in different fields across the country through various Montreal, Quebecois, and Canadian art scenes. Alain Trudel: Birth made especially for Canada’s 150th The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra presents conductor Alain Trudel’s latest work, Birth: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th (April 3, Southam Hall at the NAC). This piece, which commemorates Canadians of all cultures and origins, was…

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The most anticipated event of the 2016-17 season was Opéra de Montréal’s creation of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera. Ticket sales were so brisk that it was extended twice, to 10 performances, 150% more than the company’s usual four-performance production. Reviews were, however, mixed. Originally published online, my comments reflected my misgivings (reproduced in print on page 35). Publishing more critical content is one of the recommendations from our advisory committee, and we have begun to have more concert reviews on our website (mySCENA.org). When we have space in our print magazine, we will publish some…

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“The great problem of the concert hall is that the shoebox is the ideal shape for acoustics, but no architect worth their name wants to build a shoebox.” Fortunately for classical concertgoers, this ­remark from Harvard professor of architecture Rem Koolhaas was made tongue-in-cheek. This is particularly fortunate for the Orchestre symphonique de Laval (OSL), whose principal performance venue was successfully renovated in 2016. Originally opened in 1979, Salle André-Mathieu, located within walking distance of Laval’s Montmorency metro station, now boasts excellent acoustics for symphonic music. In recent years, the hall’s managers, patrons and performing organizations lobbied for an array…

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“The cynical and tender spirit, a modern and unique thought, a characteristically Quebecois music, the star of this popular concert of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Robert Charlebois.” These are the words of Roger Bouchard, television host, in 1971. It happened 46 years ago at Montreal’s Place des Arts. At just 27 years old, the young Robert Charlebois, dressed in an original and colourful shirt – typical of the 1970s – was going to live the experience of the symphony orchestra. Today, he admits that he has never refused the opportunity to play with an orchestra. Probably one of the…

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Éric Champagne is a tall, approachable fellow. Behind a gentle and jovial manner lurks a composer with an astonishing faculty of assimilation. This is made clear by listening to just a few scattered samplings of his composition catalogue (see the Canadian Music Center website). For example, the opera Miss Julie (based on Strindberg’s play) comes to mind, with its syllabic treatment consistently connected to the drama, the balance of sound effects and the wide instrumental palette. Thirty years ago, some said the “synthesis of styles” would be left to future generations. Mission accomplished: Champagne draws extensively from the repertoire, from…

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Oliver Esmonde-White’s great passion is the piano. But his love for the instrument is different from that of the pianist, whose heroes may be Bach, Beethoven or other great composers. Esmonde-White, a master piano technician, draws inspiration from the great piano builders of the past. “Pianos were glorious once upon a time,” he said, citing names like Bechstein, Mason & Hamelin and Bösendorfer. Each piano had a distinct sound, but was considered on par with Steinway. Closer to home, “We have forgotten that Heintzman, Willis, Lesage and Lindsay were made not far from here. We have done virtually no research…

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Review: Another Brick in the Wall, l’Opéra de Montréal Viewed: March 13, 2017 At first glance, an adaptation of Pink Floyd’s 1979 concept album The Wall seems an odd choice for part of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary. However, a brief reflection on the genesis of the album brings this choice into better focus. According to rock legend, the story for The Wall came to Pink Floyd bassist and songwriter Roger Waters after a performance in Montreal: after allegedly spitting on a fan at show at the Olympic Stadium in July 1977, Waters turned inward and began to reflect on the excesses…

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New York, NY (March 19, 2017) – After a months-long series of competitions at the district, regional, and national levels, a panel of expert judges named six young singers as the winners of the nation’s most prestigious vocal competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Each winner receives a $15,000 cash prize and the prestige and exposure that come with winning the competition that launched the careers of many of opera’s biggest stars. This year’s winners are Samantha Hankey, 24, mezzo-soprano (Eastern Region: Marshfield, MA); Kirsten MacKinnon, 26, soprano (Middle Atlantic Region: Vancouver, BC, Canada); Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, 23, countertenor…

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On Saturday, the reputable Boston Symphony Orchestra played at the Maison Symphonique. The last time the orchestra visited Montreal was in 1984, more than 30 years ago. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Interview with the conductor, the young 38-year-old Andris Nelsons. [La Presse]  Boston Symphony Orchestra: Concert review by [La Presse] Some tough criticism of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Maison Symphonique. [Le Devoir] CANADA : The OSM has unveiled a new video on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OSMconcerts/status/838396186407145472 Review of the all-Schubert concert by pianist András Schiff on Friday at the Maison Symphonique. [Le Devoir] The exposition Carnets naturalistes by Denise Blackburn runs until April…

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Here are your daily headlines in classical music and the arts ! Hard to believe, but it’s true: “Classical music concerts in Germany are officially more popular than football matches,” even though they have one of the best football teams in the world. [The Strad] [ClassicFM] CANADA OSM POP: Review of Arianne Moffatt’s concert with the OSM at the Maison Symphonique. [La Presse] [Le Devoir] Twittosphère : Yesterday at the McCord museum, guest speaker Monique Savoir said that Montreal should be more adventurous in its architectural projects. The former artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and former director of the Conservatoire…

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