Browsing: Vocal

Did you know Handel wrote a St John’s Passion? Me, neither, and I’m still not convinced. This score was discovered in the Berlin Royal Library in the mid-19th century by the authoritative Friedrich Chrysander and included in the even more authoritative Halle Handel Edition. But there have always been doubts about dates and style. The credited librettist, Christian Heinrich Postel, died of consumption in Hamburg in 1705, when Handel was 20. Handel knew Postel’s work and may have asked for a text, but Postel worked mostly for Telemann and if he found time at all for Handel it would have…

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Leonard Bernstein: Mass. Jubilant Sykes (Celebrant). Jacob Baird (Boy Soprano Soloist). Street Chorus Soloists (22 members). Bernstein100 Chorus. Bernstein100 Youth Chorus. University of Texas Butler School of Music Wind, Brass and Percussion Division. Members of Ballet Austin. Austin Symphony Orchestra/Peter Bay, conductor. Long Center for the Performing Arts Austin, Texas June 30, 2018 Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s eldest daughter, was a special guest for this Austin production of her father’s Mass, attending both performances and talking about the piece at pre-concert events. During her visit to Austin, Ms. Bernstein also made an appearance at Book People – far and away…

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What are we to make of songs that were written for people to sing and play at home, when nobody plays at home any more? The great canon of so-called ‘art song’ (horrible term) has shifted from the drawing room to the public stage and, in doing so, has lost something of its intended intimacy and improvisation. It seems to be that English song suffers more in this transition than French or German. All too often, in a concert setting, the singer feels obliged to pop a peach in his/her mouth for declamatory purpose. The English mezzo Dame Sarah Connolly…

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The National Academy Orchestra is celebrating its 30th year. This mentor-led training school founded by Boris Brott prepares emerging musicians by “bridging the gap between theoretical excellence and practical employment in professional careers.” That means following an innovative curriculum under the guidance of a highly accomplished and professional staff. Participants are chosen through auditions at universities, conservatories and academies across the country. The program, which has been recognized by all three levels of government, has played host to mentors like the violinist, violist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman; cellist Rachel Mercer; and Toronto Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jonathan Crow. Other mentors include…

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Sleeping Rough: in urban vernacular, it’s code for homelessness; and it’s now the apt title of composer Roddy Ellias’s first opera, which will premiere this summer at Ottawa’s 2018 Music and Beyond Festival (July 10, 11 and 12). “When I was a student in downtown Ottawa,” recalls Ellias, “I was across the street from the men’s mission. I got to talk to those guys every day. I’d see them slowly, day by day, degenerate.” It’s an experience that haunted Ellias, burrowing deep, only to emerge decades later, compelling him toward operatic form. “The palette it gives you as a composer…

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THE WINNERS OF THE 2018 VOICE EDITION: A SPECTACULAR EVENING AT THE CONCOURS MUSICAL INTERNATIONAL DE MONTRÉAL John Brancy wins in the Art Song division and Mario Bahg in the Aria division. Canadian Emily D’Angelo wins Second Prize in the Aria division   Montreal, Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Earlier this evening, it was full house at Maison symphonique as the audience and international jury of the 2018 Voice edition witnessed the Aria Grand Finale of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). After this final round sponsored by Power Corporation of Canada, the jury members gathered to deliberate and determine the…

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Over the years, the Festival d’opéra de Québec has gained an enviable reputation earned several honours, including the 2012 Opus Awards in three categories. This year, the main production will be The Magic Flute by Mozart as directed by Robert Lepage. One of Mozart’s later masterpieces, composed in 1791 and staged only a few months before his death, this initiatory opera is one of the most popular works in the world. It will showcase the originality of Robert Lepage, who is particularly known in the world of opera for his Metropolitan Opera production of Wagner’s Ring. “Robert Lepage proposed himself…

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“I go directly towards what touches my heart”Giorgia Fumanti is a unique artist with a unique story. Born in Tuscany, the diva was not predestined to build a career as a singer. She was timid and introverted. But at age 16, she discovered her voice – and the joy of sharing it with the public – while singing with the choir of her local church. Three months later, she was soloist at the Christmas concert. “I was a very shy little girl who did not want to be at the front,” Fumanti remembers. “It was a little weird.” Then, to secure…

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Yesterday evening the Arian Semi-finals of the CMIM 2018 came to a conclusion. Mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, tenor Konstantin Lee, tenor Mario Bahg, baritone John Brancy and bass Mikhail Golovushkin and tenor Petr Nekoranec competed for one of the six spots in the finals in the Aria division of the CMIM 2018 competition. At the end, La Scena’s tweeted our predictions: * Wah Keung Chan: Emily D’Angelo, Andrew Haji, John Brancy, Rihab Chaieb, Mario Bahg, Mikhail Golovushkin. Sorry Konstantin Lee. * Justin Bernard: D’Angelo, Hadji, Nekroranec, Chaieb, Bahg et Glovushkin. Hésitation entre Brancy et Chaieb. * Myself: Emily D’Angelo, Mario Bahg,…

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Montreal, Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – Last night, the names of the Aria finalists of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) were announced following two evenings of semi-final rounds at the Maison symphonique. Since May 29, 38 competitors from 20 countries have had the pleasure of performing in the CMIM’s 2018 Voice edition. While the final round for the Art Song division (voice and piano) took place on Sunday, June 3, it will be following the Aria Finals Gala (voice and orchestra)—tomorrow, Thursday, June 7—that we will learn the names of the prizewinners in both divisions, in the presence…

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