Browsing: Classical Music

The Opéra de Montréal promised great singers for the 2019-20 season. They delivered in Eugene Onegin (with a cast led by Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis, read review) and now also in Lucia di Lammermoor, notwithstanding some opening night jitters and cast changes before rehearsals started. What you missed? No opening night jitters for Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl in the role of Enrico, controlling nasty brother to Lucia, replacing the originally cast of American baritone Lucas Meachem, who ditched the OdM to replace Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakhov in six performances of Don Giovanni at Chicago Lyric Opera. Dahl showed off…

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Founder of the St. Lawrence Choir, the FACE Senior Treble Choir, Concerto Della Donna, the Canadian chamber choir and the Choeur des Enfants de Montreal, Iwan Edwards is one of the premier choral conductors in Canada as well as an international figure by virtue of his years as chorus master of the OSM. La Scena Musicale has asked Edwards to reflect on his long career, starting in his native Wales and involving, surprisingly, expertise on the violin. by Iwan Edwards It was my good fortune to grow up in Wales, where music played such an important part in everyday life.…

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La Chapelle de Québec isn’t performing its first Messiah by Handel – far from it. On this side of the Atlantic, tradition has it that this oratorio is sung during the Christmas season. Each performance seems to bring its share of new experiences. This year, the ensemble will be joined on stage by soloists of international renown, including British countertenor Tim Mead. “Collaborating with such talented artists opens up new interpretive possibilities, such as the choice of arias I can do,” said Bernard Labadie. For the founder and music director of La Chapelle de Québec, it’s essential to keep the…

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Denis Mastromonaco, 45, had just finished a rehearsal of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances with the MSO, the resident orchestra of the sixth-largest city in Canada. “We are typically about 95, 98 members,” he explained. “It’s a healthy-sized orchestra.” The conductor was speaking about the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble that concluded its 2018-19 season with Mahler’s Second Symphony (“Resurrection”) and is looking forward to presenting a fully-staged production of Verdi’s La Traviata on Jan. 25 and 28. Other works Mastromonaco has led during his seven years as music director are Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bruckner’s Fourth, Nielsen’s Fourth (“Inextinguishable”) and Vaughan Williams’s…

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The 10-year-old Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) company is flying high, breaking down walls in the world of opera one offbeat performance at a time. In addition to being company-in-residence at the COC, and the appointment of co-founder Joel Ivany as artistic director of opera at the Banff Centre, AtG has reached several milestones in the last two months: they hired their first Executive Director, Robin Whiffen; they embarked on their first cross Canada tour with La Bohème thanks to a Canada Council grant; and became the first opera company to be live-streamed on CBC Gem. The last part may…

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Led by conductor and founder Lisette Canton, the Ottawa Bach Choir presents A Bach Christmas in Toronto on Nov. 30 and in Ottawa on Dec. 1. Now in its 18th year, the ensemble will perform three Bach cantatas for Epiphany: Meinem Jesus lass ich nicht BWV 124, Ach Gott, vie manches Herzeleid BWV 3, and Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit BWV 111. “In 1725, these cantatas would have been sung during Epiphany Sundays,” said Canton. “Bachfest Leipzig requested these cantatas. We wanted our Canadian public to discover them.” The choir will perform them as part of the prestigious…

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Flash mobs in workplaces, shopping malls and other everyday environments, with singers in jeans: these are among the innovations favoured by Tempêtes et Passions, a Quebec City non-profit organization founded in 2007. This producer and broadcaster seeks to demystify opera and to make the lyrical art known and familiar to the general public. Storms and Passions is distinguished also by its programming, which gives pride of place to the little-known works of the Romantic period. “We also have a mentoring component for the promotion of young talent in support of young singers in their transition to professional life,” says Guy…

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Opera attendance is declining.” That was the worrying finding that motivated soprano Nadia Neiazy to establish the creation of Alma Viva Productions in 2009. In 2014, this non-profit organization launched the Opera in the Park project at the rate of one production each summer presented free of charge and outdoors in a festive and family atmosphere. “We gave ourselves the mission to democratize and decompartmentalize opera,” the company’s director says. “And to approach the public in a public square, in the most frequented places.” Over the years, the process has paid off. Opera in the Park is among the projects…

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The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC), in collaboration with the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), will present the Frenergy Tour from Nov.12 to 17. This historical association, made possible by the European Union Delegation to Canada, brings together 76 young musicians of exceptional ability. The tour takes them to Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Ottawa. Led by the Austrian conductor Sascha Goetzel, the concerts will feature as soloist the fast-rising young violinist Blake Pouliot. Formerly a member of the NYOC, Pouliot is effusive about the organization. “I played with the orchestra in 2012 and 2103, an extraordinary experience that I…

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As part of its first tour outside Europe, the Virtuosos ensemble will perform in Canada for the first time. There will be concerts in Montreal on Nov. 15, Ottawa on Nov. 16 and Toronto on Nov. 18. The Hungarian Embassy is supporting the tour. Virtuosos comprise 10 young Hungarians who have taken their native land by storm. These musicians were recruited after their performance in a televised contest. Their mission is to promote classical music and make it accessible to the public, all the while supporting education for young, talented, passionate musicians. “Our goal was to provide a televised and…

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