Browsing: Vocal

(b) Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in Concert at the New Classical 96.3 FM(t) Radvanovsky interviewed by broadcaster Alexa Petrenko (Photos by Soula Zisidis)Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is Canada’s – and Toronto’s – best kept secret. I say that because the internationally renowned soprano sings in all the important opera houses of the world, yet hardly ever in her adopted country of Canada. The American-born Radvanovsky is married to a Canadian, Duncan Lear, who is also her business manager. They have been living near Toronto for quite some years now. Yet the only time she has sung in Toronto was a brief appearance…

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Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky(Photo: Pavel Antonov)The big news for voice fans this week is the blockbuster concert starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky on Saturday 8 pm March 20 at Roy Thomson Hall. It is part of a concert tour the two are taking to a number of cities in North America, including Montreal and New York. This event is not to be missed! For a little preview, Radvanovsky will be giving a mini-recital live from the concert lobby at The New Classical 96.3 FM tomorrow (Tuesday 16) at 1 pm. You can tune in to your radio, or…

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by Giuseppe PennisiGenerally, Strauss-Hofmannsthal’s “tragedy for music” Elektra is normally performed in comparatively small opera houses in Germany and in a few Central European countries. Most administrators and musical directors are scared by the thought of assembling a 115-piece orchestra, five Wagnerian singers, a large number of soloists in smaller roles and keeping the audience enthralled in their seats for nearly two hours of extreme tension and emotion.Well, this season two different productions of Elektra can be seen in Italian Provincial theatres. They are quite successful and surprisingly attract also a new and younger audience, and they are likely to be revived next season.Italy…

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by Paul E. Robinson The Dallas Opera has a long and illustrious history. It was founded in 1957 and its first presentations featured the legendary Maria Callas in a Zeffirelli production of La Traviata, as well as in Medea, and Lucia di Lammermoor. Other big stars followed, including Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Joan Sutherland and Jon Vickers.Those were Dallas Opera’s Golden Years; unfortunately, the money just wasn’t there to sustain the company at this level, especially when performances had to be given in the enormous and inhospitable Music Hall at Fair Park. Today, over 50 years after its inception, with…

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Painting of Frederic Chopin by Eugene Delacroix, 1838. On Monday (March 1) two hundred years ago, the great Frederic Chopin was born. Although he died in 1849 in Paris, at the young age of 39, his impact on the piano world was indelible. This week, there will be numerous events around the world celebrating his 200th anniversary. (In fact, the celebration has already begun on Feb. 22, the date of his actual birthday based on church records) Famous pianists and Chopin interpreters the likes of Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim and Yundi Li, to name a few, are giving concerts to…

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Quebec conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Rotterdam Philharmonic at Roy Thomson HallPhoto: Marco BorggreveToronto classical music lovers rejoice – your cups truly runneth over this week! The opera and the symphony are both in full swing, plus there are a number of special events, including several eminent international artists in town for recitals and workshops. For me, the highest profile visitor this week is Quebec wunderkind Yannick Nezet-Seguin who is making a stop at Roy Thomson Hall, this time with his own band, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of their North American Tour. The single performance takes place on…

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Georgian mezzo Anita Rachvelishvili as CarmenPhoto: Teatro della Scala, MilanoThe big news for Toronto opera fans this week is the arrival of Georgian mezzo Anita Rachvelishvili to sing the last four performances of Carmen at the Canadian Opera Company (Feb. 17, 20, 23, 27). Only 25 years old, Rachvelishvili was plucked out of the La Scala young artists program by conductor Daniel Barenboim to sing the title role of Carmen that opened the La Scala season last December 7. Despite the incredible pressure, Rachvelishvili received favourable notices and a well deserved ovation from a highly critical opening night audience. While…

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Photos (t.) Rainer Mockert(b.) Brooks RileyIt may come as a surprise to many that the august art form of grand opera is a “growth industry” these days. In Toronto for example, the Canadian Opera Company reports that attendance last season was an extremely impressive 99.4% capacity. There is also a concomitant increase of operas captured live for showing in movie houses or at home on DVD. The Met in HD showing of Carmen in January set an attendance record worldwide. While classical music sales constitute an ever-shrinking segment of overall record sales, and studio recordings of operas have all but…

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Friday, March 6, 2009 This Week in Toronto (Mar. 7 – 13) Nicole Cabell’s Debut Disc on Decca. Cabell sings a recital at Roy Thomson Hall on Sunday March 8. (Photo: Decca Records) With the weather finally warming up this weekend, it’s time to come out of hibernation and sample some of the music around town. This Saturday at the Cineplex movie houses, we have a continuation of the Met in HD season with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. This production is significant in the history of the Met Opera in more ways than one. It ushered in the Peter Gelb era…

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The road to the Metropolitan Opera stage can take many twists and turns, as in the case of Canadian tenor Richard Margison. At 47, Margison has now become the Metropolitan Opera’s tenor of choice for the lirico-spinto repertoire. The key to his success has been careful progress backed by fierce determination, fine motivation for any young musician. Adopted when he was one week old into a musical family (a request of his birth mother), Margison credits Canada’s choral tradition for his early involvement in music. His father was a violist with the Victoria Symphony and his mother is a piano teacher.…

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