Browsing: Classical Music

It has been a while since we last heard soprano Pauline Vaillancourt in Montreal. In fact, it was back in 2000 when she shared the stage with actor Jean Maheux in L’Enfant des glaces, an “electr’opera” that she designed and staged (music by Zack Settel, libretto by Quevedo and de Nerval). It was the ninth production of Chants Libres, the lyric creation company of which the singer is artistic director. To get a chance to hear Vaillancourt sing, you would have to go to Europe since it is there that she has been working with the Italian composer Maurizio Squillante…

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by Martha de Francisco My first encounter with Jessye Norman was at the Musikverein Hall in Vienna in 1983, as we prepared to record Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic with the Vienna State Opera Chorus for CBS Masterworks. From the onset of “O Röschen rot” in “Urlicht” the musical impact of that magical voice and the depth of her performance made a lasting impression on me as a young musician and recording professional. It marked the beginning of my lifelong appreciation of Jessye Norman’s amazing artistry and it established the basis for a…

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Performances by the Tunisian-Canadian Rihab Chaieb are characterized by their dramatic and visceral intensity. She is a graduate of McGill University, the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She is also winner of the 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation vocal competition and winner of the third prize at the 2018 Operalia Competition. In October, the fiery mezzo-soprano was in rehearsals for her debut on Nov. 10 in the title role of Carmen at the Cologne Opera in Germany. It is surprising that she hasn’t performed this role before, as she has all the…

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Download PDF (English Edition) and PDF (French Edition)“At the core, we have a young girl who is trapped in the home of some guy,” says Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo of the plight of Rosina, the closely guarded young “ward” of the rapacious Dr. Bartolo who intends to marry her for her dowry in Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. “That’s just totally not a funny thing right now. So that’s the trick for me – how can I justify being comedic when there’s something so serious going on?” D’Angelo fairly brims with such trenchant observations and ideas about the role.…

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Download PDF (English Edition) and PDF (French Edition)Frédéric Antoun is one of the most internationally recognized Canadian tenors today. He is known for his versatility and fluidity in the high range and being able to perform anything from baroque to modern opera at a high standard. He is a regular at the prestigious Opéra de Paris and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, performing roles such as Fenton (Falstaff) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte). He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2017, interpreting the role of Raúl Yebenes in the opera The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès. A notable…

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Download PDF (English Edition) and PDF (French Edition) OPERA SPECIAL Back in November 2013, our survey of new Indie opera companies found eight fledgling organizations. Most have survived and are still thriving, but their example has inspired more young singers to band together. This year’s survey lists 36. Forty is the number of years Toronto’s Tapestry Opera has championed contemporary opera, and they are fledgling and Indie no more, as Arthur Kaptainis found out. Perhaps the only new organization shedding the fledgling adjective is 10-year-old Against the Grain (AtG), which has made recent news with a national tour of their…

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Oct 21, 2019, Toronto — Canada’s oldest choir celebrated its 125th birthday with a gala concert at Koerner Hall yesterday afternoon. Interim artistic director David Fallis put together a diverse program that featured works from each of the three centuries in which the choir has performed. Among the many alumni and friends in attendance was Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. What you missed The concert opened with two acappella works of the choir’s namesake composer, which aptly showcased the choir’s agility in producing balanced, pure sounds and lush harmonies. It was one of the most memorable moments of the…

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Founded in 1894, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) is Canada’s oldest choir. It performed its first concert at the inaugural season of Massey Hall in January 1895. John McCrae, who famously penned the war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields,” was in attendance. Throughout its long history, the TMC has been served by eight artistic directors. Since 2018, David Fallis has been its interim conductor, and the choir undertakes an international search for an artistic director to take the helm in 2020-21. The choir consists of a professional core of about 20 and has its own concert series featuring a broad…

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Toronto, Canada (October 15, 2019) – Sony Classical announces ROBERTO ALAGNA’s latest album, CARUSO 1873, to be released on Friday, November 8. Caruso 1873 is Alagna’s tribute to the Neapolitan singer he considers the greatest tenor of all time. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt an almost visceral love and admiration for Enrico Caruso,” writes Alagna. He honours his legendary predecessor with a selection of repertoire drawn from Caruso’s own recording career, which stretched from 1902 to 1920. Alagna’s aim was to celebrate Caruso, while retaining his own vocal identity: “I respected the Caruso ‘style’ when making…

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The Bavarian State Opera is the largest house in Germany and among the most difficult to characterize in a few words. Vocal standards are high, orchestral standards superlative. No one has suggested that Kirill Petrenko, Kent Nagano’s successor as music director, has done anything to let the latter sag. Then there are the productions, often reflective of directorial excess at its most exasperating. But often does not mean always, as two performances over three days recently made clear. Relatively new to the lineup is Salome as staged by Krzysztof Warlikowski, the Polish director who also furnished the BSO with its “Brokeback Mountain”…

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