Browsing: La Scena Online

(top) Meghan Lindsay (Cendrillon) and Michael Ciufo (Prince Charming)(bottom) Joelle Tan (Fairy Godmother)Photos by Nicola BettsOne of the pleasures of springtime in Toronto is the opera production from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. This year, it is particularly momentous because for the first time, it is taking place in the spanking new Koerner Hall. Opened since last September, this venue boasts excellent sight lines and superb acoustics. Having heard a number of concerts there already, most recently the Canadian Chopin Competition Winners’ Concert, I was eager to hear (and see) an opera production. This year,…

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Soprano Karina Gauvin (Photo: Michael Slobodian)There are a number of very interesting concerts on offer this week. For one thing, English Canada’s favourite Quebec singer, soprano Karina Gauvin is in town. She is appearing with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in selections from Handel’s Alcina. Gauvin has had a big success in this piece, so it is a great chance to hear her live singing these arias. It is part of a program called Enchantress – the character of Alcina is a sorceress afterall. In addition to Alcina, we also get to hear the Vivaldi Motet In furore justissimae irae. The…

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By L.H. Tiffany HsiehThere was a bear on stage at Roy Thomson Hall Wednesday night, and he consumed the black Steinway concert grand like a toy piano.OK, the Siberian-born pianist Denis Matsuev isn’t a bear, but the 34-year-old with all his Russian roar was bear-like in his performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 — lovable and cuddly on the outside, powerful on the inside, and prone to be violent in extreme situations.Backed by conductor Valery Gergiev and the touring Mariinsky Orchestra (formerly the Kirov Orchestra), the Rach 3 was the centrepiece of an all-Russian program that marked the end…

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By Hannah Rahimi and Kali HalapuaThe 86 year-old Menahem Pressler appeared last night at Pollack Hall before a packed house of appreciative musicians and music lovers. A generous performer, Pressler smiled throughout the evening, possessed with a twinkling energy that fueled his playing and spread throughout the audience. Well-programmed, the concert consisted of Dvorak’s Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, performed with the Cecilia String Quartet, McGill’s graduate quartet in residence, followed by Schubert’s beloved “Trout” quintet, performed with McGill faculty members, Jonathan Crow (violin), Douglas McNabney (viola), Matt Haimovitz (cello) and Ali Yazdanfar (double bass).The young Cecilia Quartet presented…

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(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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This week, the big new for vocal fans in Toronto is the appearance of Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky in a concert at Roy Thomson Hall. They will perform with the Orchestre de la Francophonie, under the baton of Constantine Orbelian, a frequent collaborator of baritone. They have recorded many CDs on the Delos label. Jean-Philippe Tremblay, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct orchestral selections from operas by Verdi, Puccini and Mascagni. Hvorostovsky and Radvanovsky had previously performed together in Russia. The Toronto concert marks the start of a North American tour that takes the artists to Montreal’s Place des Arts March…

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Musique / MusicThe prodigious German violinist Christian Tetzlaff makes his debut with the OSM on March 15 and 16 in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. This concert will feature the renowned conducting skills of Sir Andrew Davis, who will also lead the orchestra in performances of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Elgar’s first symphony. (www.osm.ca, 514-842-2112) – Hannah RahimiThe Molinari Quartet celebrates the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke with a series of lectures and performances at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. On March 17, 18, and 19, audiences can attend free lectures at 5 p.m. Each evening…

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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 L.H. Tiffany HsiehThe Hugo Wolf Quartett made its Toronto debut with Music Toronto at the Jane Mallett Theatre on March 11.And this string quartet from Germany can play.Made up of violinists Sebastian Gürtler, Régis Bringolf, violist Gertrud Weinmeister, and cellist Florian Berner, the quartet, founded at the Vienna Conservatory in 1993, opened the concert with Mozart’s String Quartet No. 21 in D major, K. 575, Prussian No. 1. Their articulation was clear and their sound pure and simple, with little or no vibrato. Gürtler’s phrasing was expressive without excess, and he was matched with an impeccable blend from the…

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by Paul E. RobinsonLast week, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony presented an all-Russian program: Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, followed by the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3, and closing with the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, the Russian composer’s most popular symphony.As always, Maestro Bay had prepared well and interpreted the music with assurance and without exaggeration of any kind. In the opening piece, Vocalise, Bay went for a nuanced, understated beauty that suited this slight work very well. Personally, I would like to hear more expansive phrasing in some sections, but then I may…

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