Browsing: Choral

This past weekend (Friday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 11), I attended four vocal music performances (three operas and one oratorio) which shows that Montreal is a vibrant city for voice lovers. Friday: Opera McGill presented a hilarious Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten. Sadly, this comic opera is not produced enough nowadays. This score is worth discovering. The highlight was the simple yet very effective stage directing by Patrick Hansen. The second cast was generally good. Unlike some previous Opera McGill productions, there were no surtitles and many of the jokes were lost as many of the words were not…

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Last Saturday, November 10, Mundia Productions presented Mozart’s Requiem and the Piano Concerto #20 in d minor k.466 performed by the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde conducted by Michel Brousseau, along with the participation of the Société philharmonique du Nouveau Monde choir and guest pianist Vasyl Kotys. What you missed If we were able to travel 1000 years forward, my guess is that Mozart’s Requiem would still be performed somewhere in a distant galaxy. This work is a masterpiece that is worth attending anytime we have the chance. The highlight was the performance from Société philarmonique du Nouveau Monde choir.…

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REVIEW: of works by composers David Lang and Gregg Kallor – The Mile-Long Opera by Lang, performed on the High Line; and sketches from The Frankenstein Suite, plus the monodrama “The Telltale Heart,” by Kallor, performed in the Catacombs of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Some uncanny musical surprises graced unusual locations both above and below New York City street-level during the early part of Halloween month. Here’s a diary retrospective. Going the Extra Mile Beginning at twilight on six consecutive evenings (October 3 through 8; viewed October 7), Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer David Lang and a host of collaborators presented a unique choral…

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Like father, like son. Both Christoph Prégardien, the father, and Julian Prégardien, his son, are noted for baroque and classical opera and oratorio as well as 19th-century Lieder. Both have made highly-regarded recordings of Bach. Julian, however, is taking a step farther than his father – and most singers this side of Barbara Hannigan – by conducting the St. John Passion while singing the role of the Evangelist on Nov. 22 for the Montreal Bach Festival at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. (There will be a repeat performance on Nov. 25 at the Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey in the…

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REVIEW: of Opera Philadelphia’s “Festival O18” (September 20-30, 2018) – a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, composed by Gaetano Donizetti with libretto by Salvadore Cammarano; the world premiere of Sky on Swings, composed by Lembit Beecher with libretto by Hannah Moscovitch; the premiere of Ne quittez pas (a “reimagined” La voix humaine of Francis Poulenc, with a new prologue featuring numerous of the composer’s art songs); the premiere of Glass Handel, an immersive concert experience featuring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo performing music by George Frideric Handel and Philip Glass; and Queens of the Night: Blythely After Hours, an opera/rock…

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Three composers are involved in this first co-production between Analekta and the Azrieli Music Prizes: Brian Current and Wlad Marhulets, winners of the 2016 Azrieli Commissioning Competition and Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music, respectively, and the American Lukas Foss. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Steven Mercurio, the choir by Miriam Nmcová. Soloists are soprano Sharon Azrieli, clarinetist David Krakauer and tenor Richard Troxell. In The Seven Heavenly Halls, Current offers his musical vision of the Zohar, the fundamental text of the Kabbalah. Tension in the orchestra, a tumult of voices, mystical flights of fancy and dense textures…

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True to tradition and confident of success, the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde will perform Mozart’s Requiem twice on Nov. 10 under the baton of its own Michel Brousseau. Presented by Mundia Productions, the concerts in Notre Dame Basilica bring together five musical organizations: the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde, its choir, the Chanteurs de Sainte-Thérèse, le Chœur Tremblant and the Ottawa Classical Choir. Brousseau has a passion for the Requiem, having conducted it many times. Mozart died while working on it, aged 35. As Brousseau explains, “It’s an unfinished work and we still don’t know for sure what was…

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Chansons d’amour d’Acadie et de France – Chœur Louisbourg, dir. Monique Richard ; Skye Consort This album offers a happy musical reflection of publications of recent decades. The Acadian folk songs are from compilations published in 1988 and 1996. Musical style range from the languor of Écrivez-moi to the light touch of Moine Simon. The Louisbourg Choir, directed by Monique Richard, lends rich tone and consistency to these songs, whose harmonies have been carefully chosen to give them a traditional sound, complemented by the instruments of the Skye Consort: recorder, chalumeau, rauschpfeife, cittern, violin, nyckelharpa and cello. Jacotin Le Bel’s songs complement a…

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PREVIEW: of a public workshop performance with orchestra of the new opera Taking Up Serpents – libretto by Jerre Dye, score by Kamala Sankaram; presented by MassOpera, Boston; Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 3 p.m.; Deane Hall at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts (527 Tremont Street, Boston); the opera is a commission of the Washington National Opera and this workshop is presented by MassOpera. In the final passages of St. Mark’s Gospel, Christ declares that a hallmark among his true believers shall be a willingness that “they shall take up serpents!” And in certain quarters…

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PROFILE/REVIEW: of the 2018 Glimmerglass Festival Season: Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim; Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček; and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Cesare Sterbini. “It’s remarkable how many important things happened in 1918,” observes Glimmerglass Festival artistic and managing director Francesca Zambello, speaking at a recent pre-show audience address in Cooperstown. “The end of World War I. The birth of Leonard Bernstein. And the premiere of this piece” – this last a reference to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which was…

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