Browsing: Vocal

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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Thanks to amplification – yes, the Ballet has no qualms about using microphones to enhance choristers and soloists – the musical experience was satisfying, no, rewarding in normally dungeonous Wilfrid-Pelletier.Twenty years ago, ballet seemed to be third place behind the OSM and the Opéra de Montréal. No longer. This season’s opening production of Carmina Burana is fast selling out for its 9 performance run at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier’s 2552 seat configuration (the Balcon is closed off). That’s 22,968 seats versus 11,984 in Opéra de Montréal’s four performance productions (recently Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin) in SWP’s 2996-seat capacity, and 6,300 in the OSM’s…

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Italian media Siricusa News (Syracuse News in Sicily, Italy) reports the death of Italian tenor Marcello Giordani suddenly this afternoon at 56 years old due to a heart attack. Giordani felt bad at his home in Augusta, Sicily. “The attempts to revive him for more than an hour by the doctors of an ambulance were also futile,” explains this media. Just a month ago, Giordani played the role of Calaf, from the Puccini’s opera Turandot, directed by Enrico Stinchelli in the theater of Taormina and in the Greek theater of Syracuse. Turandot the last of a series of successes in…

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The Canadian Opera Company has opened its season in Toronto with the North American premiere of Robert Wilson’s production of Turandot – and the world premiere appearances in this Puccini opera of Jim, Bob and Bill. Opera fans who do not recognize these roles might be more familiar with Ping, Pang and Pong, the court bureaucrats who add comic relief to the tale of love and death in ancient Beijing. Their names were judged potentially hurtful by the COC’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee, and particularly committee member Richard Lee, who is named in the credits as a production consultant. “This act…

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Soprano Kripa Nageshwar, pianist Ruta Vaivade and clarinetist Michael Westwood always had an individual passion for chamber music. The same passion drew them together and binds them today. Their adventure as the Trio Dell’Aria took off at Toronto’s Westwood Concert Series in 2014, where they gave their first public performance. They went on exploring Baroque to contemporary music, as well as jazz, folksong and chanson. “With Ruta, we finally found our match, Kripa and I,” Michael says. “It’s now the perfect trio.” Ruta adds: “Plus, now that we get more and more chances to perform, I think there are new…

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Jessye Norman, one of the world’s most admired vocalists, died in New York on Sept. 30 at the age of 74. According to a statement issued by her family, the cause was septic shock and multi-organ failure resulting from complications of a spinal cord injury the American soprano sustained in 2015. “We are so proud of Jessye’s musical achievements and the inspiration that she provided to audiences around the world that will continue to be a source of joy,” the statement reads. “We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors addressing matters such as hunger, homelessness, youth development, and arts…

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This was one of the best-cast and least-tampered-with Opéra de Montréal presentations in recent memory.Opera’s newest power couple – so Etienne Dupuis and Nicole Car have been called, and so they sounded Saturday night in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. But as impressive as they were in the principal roles, the Montreal-born baritone and his Australian soprano better half did not constitute the sum of show. This was one of the best-cast and least-tampered-with Opéra de Montréal presentations in recent memory. What you missed Fans of mezzo-sopranos had an array of firm sonorities to choose from in Christianne Bélanger as Larina, Stefania Toczyska…

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Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) hires Robin Whiffen as the company’s first Executive Director. TORONTO — An arts administrator and performer from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Robin Whiffen spent the past three seasons with Opera on the Avalon, most recently in the role of General Manager. Inspired by a lifelong love of music, Ms. Whiffen is passionate about creating meaningful collaborative partnerships within the arts community, allowing audiences to see their full potential reflected through the power of opera. Ms. Whiffen is a Master of Business Administration candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland and holds a Bachelor of Music in voice…

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