Browsing: Classical Music

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been! The Montreal Canadiens took fans in Canada and abroad on a wild ride that stopped short of their 25th Stanley Cup. Thanks to some stirring singing from tenor Marc Hervieux, the Habs won the anthem portion of the finals, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to carry the day on the ice. The other positive has been the rising numbers of double COVID vaccinations across Canada, which bode well for the reopening of the arts. According to a survey by Nanos (see p. 9), arts administrators across Canada feel that vaccination is…

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Michel Tremblay is a leading light in Quebec. For Quebecers he could perhaps even be called the leading light. Since the publication of his first collection in 1966, his stories, novels and plays have been part of our cultural landscape, whether for students who discover his novels in high school or for those who love to see (and return to) his theatrical works, which are never far from the stage in Montreal or elsewhere in the province. Since he has been a presence in the lives of Quebecers for more than half a century, we all have the impression of…

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Albertine, en cinq temps is getting a makeover. For the first time, this play by Michel Tremblay, premiered in 1984, will be adapted as an opera. A few arias have already been composed by singer-songwriter Catherine Major. These will be featured in a pair of concerts. For Nathalie Deschamps, the artistic director of Productions du 10 avril, the choice of Major was obvious. “Michel Tremblay’s words express the heart of who we are, in our Quebec roots,” Deschamps explains. “I wanted to find a woman who shares those roots, who composes music that can be hummed easily and that would…

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The Elora Festival this year unfolds mostly in places other than the picturesque town in southern Ontario that gives the annual summer choral celebration its name. “We made the decision early on to go the streaming route,” says Mark Vuorinen, artistic director of both the festival and the Elora Singers. “The kind of music that we do really requires indoor venues.” Which, alas, remain closed to audiences in Ontario. Recording is permitted, so the 24-strong Singers will be doing their thing for cameras and microphones. As will three international ensembles who would not likely be available in a traditional on-site…

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He was born in Edmonton; she, in Bas-Saint-Laurent. Cellist James Darling and his wife, the violinist Élise Lavoie, settled in Rimouski 20 years ago, after having spent much of their career in Montreal. Together they have made Les Concerts aux Îles du Bic one of the leading chamber music festivals in Quebec. Thanks to its varied programming, ranging from instrumental to vocal repertoire and from baroque to contemporary, this summer event, which operates as part of the Société des concerts Bic Saint-Fabien, is now an integral part of the region’s cultural ecosystem. “We are very lucky in Rimouski,” Darling…

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Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Or actually, leave them off and start your radios, to hear Così fan tutte, the opera that opens the 2021 Brott Music Festival on July 15 in the normally not-so-operatic outdoor setting of the Ancaster Fairgrounds west of Hamilton, Ont. Drive-in operas and concerts have become a growth industry in the wake of the pandemic but not all such events involve a happy harmony with the presentation itself. This version of Mozart’s 1790 opera buffa takes place in a 1950s drive-in diner. A vintage automobile will be part of the staging by Anna Theodosakis.…

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French opera will be in the spotlight this summer in Quebec City at the 10th Festival d’opéra de Québec, presented from July 27 to Aug. 7. The festival’s rich and varied program, presented indoors as well as outdoors, includes a major concert bringing together internationally renowned Canadian singers, a play starring Sophie Faucher, a new production of Les Pêcheurs de perles as well as pop-up concerts and the traditional Brigade lyrique. This is the first festival led by its new artistic director, baritone Jean-François Lapointe. “The flagship event will be a large concert in tribute to French opera,”…

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Ontario will be moving to Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan on July 16. That’s five days earlier than the province had originally announced, but still about a week too late to allow the National Arts Centre Orchestra to play its last concert of this strange, truncated season in front of a live indoor audience. Saturday night’s livestream from Southam Hall was also the first time the orchestra and music director Alexander Shelley had even played together since the fall, when they were able to give a few online concerts before the province locked down again. Not surprisingly, Saturday’s…

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The Ladies’ Morning Musical Club is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 season. The 130th season will begin on September 12th, 2021, presenting Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot, Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Montreal Symphony Orchestra Manulife Competition. The season will continue with the following dates and artists: October 3, 2021: Doric String Quartet October 24, 2021: Matt Haimovitz, cello November 14, 2021: Quartetto di Cremona, string quartet December 5, 2021: Stewart Goodyear, piano February 6, 2022: Lise de la Salle, piano February 27, 2022: Goldmund Quartett, string quartet March 20, 2022: Fauré Quartett, piano quartet April 10, 2022: Pavel Kolesnikov, piano…

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Name: Irina Medvedeva Voice type: Soprano From: Toronto Teacher: Christiane Riel Education: Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music Russian-Canadian soprano Irina Medvedeva is the 2018 winner of the Comic Opera Guild of Michigan Competition. A recent graduate of Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program, she sang the role of Annina in La Traviata and has covered multiple leading roles, including Violetta Valéry and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Operatic highlights include the roles of Musetta, Norina, Vixen, Zerlina, La Fée, Morgana and Florestine in the Canadian premiere of Milhaud’s La Mère Coupable. She has…

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