Browsing: Classical Music

PREVIEW: of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at 100, at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Monday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.; and INTERVIEW: with pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son of Nobel Prize-winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the heroic anti-Soviet dissident whose vital and uncompromising documentation of the horrors of the Stalinist police state won the 1970 Nobel Prize for literature and provided indispensable impetus to the forces that brought the communist regime’s late 20th-century downfall, would have turned 100 this December 11. In what promises to be an especially rich, personal and heartfelt early celebration of that centenary, New York City’s 92nd…

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November 17, 2018 (Calgary, Alberta) – Following their announcement in August that current General Director and CEO Keith Cerny will be leaving the company, Calgary Opera announced today that the board of directors has selected two Canadians as its new leaders. Grammy® and Juno award-winning conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey will become the company’s Artistic Director, and veteran international arts executive Heather Kitchen will become the company’s administrative leader as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, beginning in January 2019. Tovey is no stranger to Canadian opera and classical music fans. From 2000 to 2018 he was the highly esteemed…

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Toronto, November 13, 2018 … David Kilburn, Chair of the Board of Directors of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, is pleased to announce the appointment of Carol Kehoe to the position of Executive Director. Ms. Kehoe is an accomplished leader with more than 25 years of management experience at senior levels, most recently as the Executive Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, where she led the organization through an impressive financial turnaround. Carol came to Tafelmusik in August as Interim Executive Director and will transition to her permanent role immediately. “We are delighted to have Carol join Tafelmusik as…

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21C Music Festival – five days of newly-minted music during which audiences have an opportunity to experience fresh new sounds and ideas from the greatest musical minds of today – moves from May to January with the sixth edition of the festival. From January 16 to 20, this edition will celebrate the American minimalist composer Terry Riley, with his music being performed in three of the concerts, including one that he will headline, titled Terry Riley: Live at 85! Additionally, more than a half of the works presented during the festival will be receiving premieres – 6 world, 1 North American, 10 Canadian, 4 Ontario, and 1 Toronto, by 10 Canadian composers. Other highlights include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s…

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November 13, 2018 – TORONTO – Iconic American singer, opera star and activist Jessye Norman will be awarded the Twelfth Glenn Gould Prize at a celebratory award ceremony and concert in her honour on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., presented by The Glenn Gould Foundation and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The Glenn Gould Prize Celebrates Jessye Norman features the COC Orchestra led by COC Music Director Johannes Debus and the Toronto debuts of esteemed Swedish dramatic soprano Nina Stemme, South African lyric soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, tenor Rodrick Dixon,…

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This past weekend (Friday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 11), I attended four vocal music performances (three operas and one oratorio) which shows that Montreal is a vibrant city for voice lovers. Friday: Opera McGill presented a hilarious Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten. Sadly, this comic opera is not produced enough nowadays. This score is worth discovering. The highlight was the simple yet very effective stage directing by Patrick Hansen. The second cast was generally good. Unlike some previous Opera McGill productions, there were no surtitles and many of the jokes were lost as many of the words were not…

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Last Saturday, November 10, Opéra de Montréal premiered Der Rheingold, the first instalment from Wagner’s tetralogy Der Ring des Nibellungen. It marked the first time that this work is staged in the history of the opera company. What you missed The highlight of the show was the performance by Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg. The native from Saskatchewan struck gold with his dramatic stage presence and his steely voice. He incarnated Alberich in body and voice, colouring every sound to match the meaning of the words he was singing. A good example was the contrast in his vocal and physical attitude…

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Last Saturday, November 10, Mundia Productions presented Mozart’s Requiem and the Piano Concerto #20 in d minor k.466 performed by the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde conducted by Michel Brousseau, along with the participation of the Société philharmonique du Nouveau Monde choir and guest pianist Vasyl Kotys. What you missed If we were able to travel 1000 years forward, my guess is that Mozart’s Requiem would still be performed somewhere in a distant galaxy. This work is a masterpiece that is worth attending anytime we have the chance. The highlight was the performance from Société philarmonique du Nouveau Monde choir.…

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What you missed The first time Wagner’s Das Rheingold is staged in Montreal is a success. As a whole, this is Opéra de Montréal’s best production in the last two and a half years, riveting from beginning to the end. The production from Minnesota Opera worked quite well, mixing multimedia projections with placement of the orchestra on stage, an elevated bridge for the gods and using the pit for the Rhein and the underworld. The singing was excellent with some reservation. Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg’s commanding portrayal of Alberich along with an imposing voice is worth the price of admission…

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SOPRANO SARA SCHABAS GOES TO NEW YORK  RECEIVES IRCPA’S “CAREER BLUEPRINT” AFTER NEW SINGING STARS PERFORMANCE AT ZOOMER HALL Soprano Sara Schabas of Toronto has been named recipient of a valuable “Career Blueprint”.  The announcement was made Monday night at Zoomer Hall in Toronto after the concert New Singing Stars, featuring 11 young professional singers, presented by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (http://ircpa.net), and broadcast live on The New Classical FM with host Jean Stilwell. As a result of receiving the Career Blueprint, Ms. Schabas, 28 (www.saraschabas.com), will spend three days at the National Opera Center in New…

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