Browsing: Classical

Par Julie Berardino Le très attendu Festival Opéra de Québec se déroulera cet été (du 25 juillet au 6 août) à Québec avec une version modeste du Rossignol et autres fables de Stravinsky et de la Flûte enchantée de Mozart. Tel que prévu, Robert Lepage, originaire de Québec, sera à l’honneur dans la production qu’offre sa compagnie Ex Machina de l’opéra de Stravinsky, qui fut créée par le Canadian Opera Company et a récemment complété une tournée à New York. La production amène chanteurs et marionnettiste à évoluer dans un grand bassin d’eau sur scène (salle Louis-Fréchette du Grand Théâtre de Québec)…

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by Paul E. RobinsonThe Beethoven Ninth Symphony is one of the most overplayed pieces in orchestral literature, but it sells tickets by the bushel and managers seldom go wrong, even when programming it season after season. To call it “overplayed” is not to say that it isn’t a great work or that it doesn’t bring out the best in conductors and orchestras; indeed it is and indeed it does. These facts took me back to Dallas recently to hear Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony (DSO) engage with the Ninth in the Meyerson Symphony Center.Van Zweden recorded all the…

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Beethoven: Gods, Heroes, and MenThe Creatures of Prometheus/Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”Orchestre symphonique de Montréal/Kent NaganoAnalekta AN2 9838 (73 min 51 s)****It is a sign of the times that the MSO has no major label willing to produce its CDs. Many fine orchestras are in the same situation and several of them – San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, etc. – have taken to producing their own recordings. Fortunately, the Canadian record company Analekta, with the help of the Department of Canadian Heritage, has been putting together several MSO projects. The latest venture, like the first…

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Composer John AdamsThis week marks the opening of the annual New Creations Festival at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. There will be three concerts from March 2 to 10 at the TSO featuring works by Gary Kulesha, Vincent Ho, Mason Bates, Jennifer Higdon, R. Murray Schafer and John Adams. Kicking off the festival this Wednesday are two works by John Adams, the first of which is Harmonielehre, or German for “study in harmony.” It is also the title of a book by Arnold Schoenberg. As the title suggests, this piece is an intricate interplay of Adams’ minimalism with Schoenberg’s atonality. Unlike…

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Top: Papageno and PapagenaLeft: Tamino and Three LadiesLower Left: Tamino and PaminaBottom: Queen of the Night and Pamina(Photo Credit: Michael Cooper)Mozart: The Magic FluteFebruary 17, 2011 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing ArtsBy Joseph K. SoThe Magic Flute is an opera for young audiences and young singers. It was particularly true tonight in the special performance featuring artists from COC Ensemble Studio. The popular pricing also meant the house had a larger number of young people than usual. There was a special energy and a sense of occasion that made the evening an exciting one. The whimsical, light-hearted…

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By L.H. Tiffany HsiehAs most fairy tales, the Canadian Opera Company’s newest production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute starts well and ends well. It’s one of the prettiest productions I’ve seen on stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Alas, it’s too bad the performance on Feb. 3 felt a little short on magic in general.Directed by Diane Paulus of the Tony-winning revival of Hair and with Myung Hee Cho’s set and costume designs, this Flute production will make an excellent first impression on just about anybody, especially children. It is predominantly held together by a lush…

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Top: Tamino and AnimalsLeft: Aline Kutan (Queen) and Michael Schade (Tamino)below left: Rodion Pogossov (Papageno)Bottom: Isabel Bayrakdarian (Pamina) and Michael Schade (Tamino) All photos by Michael CooperThe COC winter season opened on Saturday with a new production of The Magic Flute. After a controversial Aida and a thematically depressing Death In Venice, it was good to have something like The Magic Flute to lift the spirits of winter-weary Torontonians. For once, it’s good to have a Flute that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’ve seen more than my share of this opera, and sometimes the designers and stage directors take…

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By L.H Tiffany HsiehThere was an unusual stillness inside Roy Thomson Hall on Jan. 19, when Canadian violinist James Ehnes performed Mozart’s violin concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 3 with a pared down Toronto Symphony Orchestra.The sweet and tender music kicked off TSO’s [email protected] Festival with just the right amount of youthfulness from Ehnes, who shares Mozart’s birthday of Jan. 27 and who was in total control as soloist and leader.While Mozart composed his first violin concerto in either 1773 or 1775, he most certainly wrote the last four of his five violin concertos between April and December of 1775,…

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Left: Adrian Kramer (Papageno) and Simone Osborne (Pamina) with Christopher Enns (Tamino) looking on.Top Photo: Ambur Braid as Queen of the Night, Neil Craighead (Speaker) seated. Bottom photo: foreground (l. to r.) Christopher Enns (Tamino), Wallis Giunta (Second Lady), Rihab Chaieb (Third Lady), Ileana Montalbetti (First Lady); background (l. to r.) Michael Uloth (Sarastro), Neil Craighead (Speaker), Simone Osborne (Pamina)All photos: Chris Hutcheson http://chrishutcheson.com/Highlights from The Magic FluteArtists of the COC Ensemble StudioTamino, Christopher Enns, tenorThree Ladies, Ileana Montalbetti, sop., Wallis Giunta, mezzo, Rihab Chaieb, mezzoPapageno, Adrian Kramer, baritonePapagena, Jacqueline Woodley, sopranoQueen of the Night, Ambur Braid, sopranoPamina, Simone Osborne,…

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German violinist Christian Tetzlaff plays Tchaikovsky at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra this week (Photo: Alexandra Vosding)The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a surefire program this week – a winning combination of Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff! Back in town is the terrific Christian Tetzlaff playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major Op. 35 Also on the program is the Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 3 in A Minor Op. 44 and Wagner’s Prelude to Parsifal. British conductor Mark Wigglesworth is at the helm. The energetic Mr. Tetzlaff has great musicality and technique to burn, so this is my choice of exciting event this…

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