Browsing: Classical Music

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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by Andréanne Venne & Justin Bernard NOVA SCOTIA Maritime Concert Opera Founded in 2003 by Nina Scott-Stoddart, the Maritime Concert Opera Society aims to present works in concert (without staging, sets and costumes) and in original versions, to offer affordable tickets, to promote passion for opera, operetta and musicals as well as supporting culture and artists in Nova Scotia and the Maritimes. www.maritimeconcertopera.com QUÉBEC Maison d’Opéra et de Concerts Since 2014 Sherbrooke’s Maison d’Opéra et de Concerts has been offering high-calibre programming with talented artists with a thriving career in Quebec and abroad, often from the Eastern Townships, but rarely…

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Premiered a little under a century and a half ago, Jacques Offenbach’s operetta La fille du tambour-major was the last in a series of stage works that packed Parisian houses for 20 some years. Simon Fournier, artistic director of the Opéra bouffe du Québec, shared a few of his insights on this work, with which he chose to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. “Staging Offenbach is no piece of cake,” Fournier states at the outset. “Tempos shift all the time. And being a man of theatre, his ­instructions and suggestions have to be ­accounted for in any…

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Since 1976 and its foundation by Alain Nonat, Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 has been helping young Canadian opera artists pursue their careers. It took time, energy and a lot of travel to build trust between different directors of opera companies and actors. In 1994, a program specifically dedicated to the professional integration of young emerging Canadian singers was set up. This is the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques (JAL), whose goal is also to build bridges with partners from around the world. This is a great source of pride to Alain Nonat. The general and artistic director of Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 was just…

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Russia and her neighbours remain a rich source of musicality in many categories. Opera fans can confidently add the name of Hibla Gerzmava to the international inventory of A-list sopranos based on what was heard Sunday evening in Koerner Hall. Not that this native of Abkhazia is an unknown quantity. In 1994 she became the first vocalist to win the grand prize of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, and made her Royal Opera House debut more than a decade ago. Next season Gerzmava takes the title role in a new Metropolitan Opera production of Aida. Yet her second Toronto appearance under…

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Tapestry Opera is turning 40 and is celebrating in part by trying out something rare for this inventive Toronto-based company: a revival. “Some people have chatted with me about bringing it back so soon,” Tapestry artistic director Michael Mori said of Rocking Horse Winner, an opera with words by Anna Chatterton and music by Gareth Williams that returns for six performances from April 23 to May 2. “But this is a special thing. It’s a strategic opportunity.” Based on the eponymous short story by D.H. Lawrence, Rocking Horse Winner got good reviews in 2016, plenty of social-media buzz and impressive formal endorsement in…

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