Browsing: Art Song

Opera Montreal’s opera season begins with the Opéra de Montréal’s Aida on September 17. Running until the 24, the show features Kamen Chanev (Radames), Olesya Petrova (Amneris), Gregory Dahl (Amonasro), Phillipe Ens (Ramfis), Anatoli Sivko (The King of Egypt), with Russian soprano Anna Markarova in the title role. Paul Nadler conducts. The November production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni features the return of Canadian bass-baritone Gordon Bintner to the Opéra de Montréal stage as the philandering anti-hero. Includes an all-Canadian cast of Daniel Okulitch (Leporello), Emily Dorn (Donna Anna), Jean-Michel Richer (Don Ottavio), Layla Claire (Donna Elvira), as well as up-and-coming…

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His final work for strings, Schubert’s Quintet in C Major (1828) is unusual for its doubling of the cello voice rather than the viola, Mozart’s quintet model. With unmatched lyricism and finesse, Quatuor Ebène tackles this behemoth of Romantic chamber repertoire, which was only completed two months before the composer’s untimely death. Gautier Capuçon makes a fine fifth wheel, adding a dark intensity without disrupting the balance of the upper strings. This is perhaps the most evident in the exquisite second movement, Adagio, a nocturne that is so unusually slow for Schubert, and given a keenly sensitive treatment by Quatuor…

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CONCERTS: Puccini “Beyond Verismo” at Bard SummerScape 2016 OPERA: Tosca at Opera North Puccini qua, Puccini là! Arguably the most popular and successful opera composer in history has been enjoying his typical ubiquity this summer, as a single weekend’s sampling around the Northeast United States will demonstrate. Friday, August 12 saw the closing performance of the maestro’s Tosca as rendered by Opera North (Lebanon, New Hampshire) in a taut, handsome production. And at Bard College’s final weekend of SummerScape 2016 (Dutchess County, New York), three full days of programming (August 12 through 14) were dedicated to winding up an exploration of…

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It’s always a good sign when a pianist is named as the editorial force behind a lieder recital, giving the enterprise both objective distance and intellectual rigour. Graham Johnson’s Schubert cycle on Hyperion is a benchmark of this rule, each singer chosen to reflect the character of the group of songs performed. Now the vastly knowledgeable Iain Burnside has begun a similar odyssey on the exquisite Scottish label, Delphian. I must have somehow missed the first volume with soprano Ailish Tynan, but the second is a cracker. The Welsh baritone Roderick Williams, winner of this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society award,…

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+ Jazz pianist Dan Tepfer will perform the Goldberg Variations with his own variations as part of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and Festival on July 31. + The National Ballet is taking on Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale for the first time in 26 years. + The most famous Finnish composer since Sibelius, Einojuhani Rautavaara, has died at the age of 87. + 13-year old boy soprano Aksel Rykkvin has released an album of arias by Mozart, Handel and Bach, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under conductor Nigel Short. + Read a review of the first round of…

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Viennese masters, always short of cash, picked up commissions from rich British tourists for composing drawing-room settings of national heritage. Haydn and Beethoven filled their boots with Scottish and Welsh ballads for two ducats a song. Haydn wrote about 200, dressed up with piano, violin and cello accompaniments. Easy money. The first surprise in this absorbing recital by Christian Gerhaher is that he sings the Haydn ditties in German, in a 1920s translation. It’s disconcerting at first but gradually deepens with hints of the nearness of these simple sentiments to the core topics of German Lieder: springtime, love and loss.…

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On November 22, 2014, baritone Hugo Laporte received the highest honours at the prestigious OSM Standard Life Competition. Since then, his engagements have multiplied to ever-increasing critical acclaim. In this article, we encounter a young musician of exceptional promise. Originally from Quebec, Hugo Laporte was introduced to music at an early age. At four years old, he and his parents attended the youth concert series at the Orchestre symphonique de Québec. “They quickly noticed that I had a strong interest in music. So we went to the open house of the music school around the corner. I was six years…

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By Wah Keung ChanPhoto: Antoine SaitoLet’s get the suspense out of the way. South Korean soprano Hyesang Park took the Day 1 Finals of the 2015 Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC). From the first notes of her opening aria “Je veux vire dans ce reve” from Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, we knew her voice would soar above the orchestra, and it unfolded as expected, with a spontaneous final standing ovation after her last aria.Park’s programme was perfectly planned, concluding with the mad scene from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. The repertoire in between, a Mozart concert aria, Dupac’s Chanson triste and…

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Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan is an extraordinary artist, and is rapidly becoming internationally renowned. Here she is both singing and conducting the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre. Is there any other performer who could have pulled this off?Hannigan is so good it is going to be hard to decide whether she is more gifted as a soprano or as a conductor. Not to mention her remarkable talents as an actress.She has already given over 75 premieres, and just over a week ago gave the first performance of the Hans Abrahamsen song cycle Let me tell you…

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by Frank CadenheadIt was a high-risk venture that finished as a major triumph in Paris on Tuesday night (March 29, 2011). The superstar pianist Lang Lang, as part of a week’s residency, joined with the French tenor Roberto Alagna in a program of rare French arias at the historic Salle Pleyel. But the success of this “carte blanche” evening for Lang Lang was not automatically assured.The French have a history of neglecting their rich musical heritage and the arias, with one exception, have not been heard in Paris in living memory. While some of this repertory is beginning to appear…

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