Browsing: La Scena Spotlight

Amongst the line-up the CBC has released for the country’s sesquicentennial celebrations, Anne, its first Anne of Green Gables adaptation in over 30 years, is the biggest standout so far this year. Produced in collaboration with Netflix (where it is broadcast online internationally as Anne With an E), Anne is a TV series made for the modern viewer, a fact that becomes apparent as Anne begins to tell Matthew about herself. By the end of the 90-minute premier, the show has made its first major departure from the book: Marilla punishes Anne by coldly sending her back to the orphanage…

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Based on previous experience, the live jazz scene really shifts into overdrive early in October. Not so this year. In fact, it’s off and running just after Labour Day. On September 6, Upstairs Jazz Bar presents a season-opening concert and record launch pairing Israeli saxophonist Tevet Sela and John Roney (see opposite page for album details). At the same venue, French native and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, now firmly ensconced in town since his move here two years ago, holds his monthly trio gig, with dates on Sept. 18, Oct. 27 and Nov. 18. Now in its fifth season, the Orchestre…

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With an impressive roster of seasoned performers and many more in training, opera is a major component of classical music in Canada. Our homegrown talent is gaining recognition abroad, and many of our singers appear regularly in the world’s great opera houses. Here’s a look at some of their diaries for 2017–2018. Soprano Layla Claire, whose Donna Elvira was warmly received by audiences at Opéra de Montréal last November, recently made a debut solo album with ATMA Classique, entitled Songbird. High point of the year for this British Columbian will be her title role in Alcina at the Bolshoi Theatre…

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Pop-superstar Adele was recently forced to cancel the remainder of her tour due to voice damage for the second time in five years. Her latest voice setback has prompted a vigorous debate on social media about vocal health. Voice doctors, teachers and gurus are trying to explain why so many stars are currently having voice problems. The list of voice to do’s and don’ts is extensive: from famed Soprano Shirley Verret becoming a loner on show days to preserve silence, to stories of legendary tenor Franco Corelli having his wife hold a cross to his larynx in order to obtain…

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“One day, as I was playing a very simple tune, (…) my teacher wanted to make me feel the fluctuation of tempos, so he began playing the drums behind my back. To my surprise, I naturally followed the rhythm. I played and was being played. Just then, a group of musicians arrived (…) and played a constellation of contrapuntal rhythms. It was one of the most intense musical experiences of my life. I became almost weightless, lifted by so much beauty and also by the human communication that’s beyond speech. Being a musician among other musicians.” — Gilles Tremblay, travel…

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On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it is fitting to pay tribute to the great artists Canada has promoted throughout history. This text will focus on some of Canada’s greatest tenors. We should remember that their talents and distinguished careers, and those of other Canadian artists, have been overshadowed by major entities such as CBC/Radio-Canada. Programming dedicated to promoting Canadian talent has been constantly downsized, and this problem must be solved. Raoul Jobin, Léopold Simoneau, Jon Vickers, and Ben Heppner have been selected for this article. I chose these four tenors because each has left their mark on classical music…

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PREVIEW: Opera Saratoga’s new, full-out production of Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 musical masterpiece, The Cradle Will Rock; and INTERVIEWS: with director Lawrence Edelson and musical director John Mauceri. Though it’s remembered as a work of social protest and impassioned ideals, “nobody has experienced The Cradle Will Rock the way it was intended,” says celebrated musical director, educator and historian John Mauceri of composer/librettist Marc Blitzstein’s landmark 1937 opera. “It’s a piece that everybody knows, but nobody’s ever heard!” Point well taken. Ever since its famously unorthodox premiere, when an extraordinary concatenation of adversities forced a last-minute decision to present the work…

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On Saturday, July 10 at 8:30 pm, the Centre des Arts Actuels Skol and Pronto Musica Chamber Orchestra will present the free concert Ideas of North. The multidisciplinary event brings together artists and researchers in a collaboration that celebrates the North and questions Canadian attitudes towards climate adaptation. With the arctic warming, what will the Canadian North look like in the coming years? How does our perspective of this issue change, when viewed from the lens of an Inuit, ecological, or Southern Canadian viewpoint? Ideas of North will use music to engage audience members on these questions. Vancouver-based environmental change…

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With its roster of some 20 member events, Jazz Festival Canada is an umbrella organization that enables national and international artists to coordinate tours from coast to coast in the early summer. Canadian jazz festivals showcase a veritable cornucopia of styles for just about every taste. Here then are a few picks from the pack of shows scheduled during the upcoming festival blitz. Donny McCaslin – Now Beyond A year ago, saxophonist Kamasi Washington was pretty well the toast of the international jazz festival circuit. This time it’s Donny McCaslin’s turn to make the rounds. His appearance on David Bowie’s…

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Festival de musique de chambre de Montréal Until June 18 The Festival de musique de chambre de Montréal continues its Beethoven quartet “marathon” in June with four concerts by Dover Quartet (June 2, 4, 9, and 11 at Pollack Hall, McGill University). A discussion by musicologist Richard Turp before the concert will encourage the public to explore new format features. On June 3, saxophonist Rémi Bolduc will pay tribute to George Shearing, a great pianist and conductor, at Bourgie Hall. The French-Canadian premiere of a Rolston String Quartet and Dover Quartet collaboration is not to be missed. Both ensembles were…

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