Browsing: La Scena Online

It is a grim fact of musical life that, when a composer dies, his music goes into limbo for at least ten years. In that time, music directors and programmers shove the complete oeuvre into a drawer and wait, they say, for the reputation to settle. For a few lucky composers, a decade passes and there is a revival. For the others, just silence. The French composer Henri Dutilleux died in May 2013 at the age of 97. All his life Dutilleux struggled to make himself heard against the all-controlling modernism of Pierre Boulez on one hand and the ornithological…

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I am about to break another rule. When I confined myself to reviewing just one album of the week around 15 years ago, I declared there would be no three-star reviews. Three is a cop-out. If it’s a great or good record it deserves four or five. Anything else I will only write about if, weak as it is, there is something instructive about its failure. So this week we have a three-star: why? Because it’s Zemlinsky and he’s caught between two stools. Like others of his generation, Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871-1942) was torn between late-romanticism and atonality, so he…

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Joliette, June 29, 2020 – Festival de Lanaudière will be a completely connected event this summer as it delves into the first virtual edition in its history: fifteen timeless concerts from the Festival’s and Société Radio-Canada’s video archives will be broadcast and accessible free of charge on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, on lanaudiere.org and via social networks, from July 10 to August 9. “Circumstances currently prevent us from welcoming members of the public into our concert venues. We have, therefore, decided to reach out to them this summer with the help of technology. In Lanaudière’s star-studded history, the concerts in this virtual edition…

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Let me take you into the process by which new releases get selected for review – at least by me who for years has reviewed just one album a week. The process is not scientific, but I’ll describe it as best I can. Monday morning I face two towering piles of CDs. First, I reject the known knowns – famous artists recording familiar repertoire, and probably not for the first time. They won’t have much to say that changes the state of my world. Then it’s the turn of the unknown unknowns, where both the composer and artist are extremely…

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It was one of the unkinder cuts of the season. The Magic Flute, a fixture on the international top-five opera hit list, in an eye-catching staging from Berlin with elements of silent film and vaudeville, was booked for the latter half of May. But down it went, along with just about every other arts presentation in Montreal. “It was a costly production, and because it got shut down so late, that was costly too,” said Opéra de Montréal general director Patrick Corrigan. The five performances of Mozart’s Singspiel in Salle Wilfrid Pelletier were expected to account for almost 40% of 2019-20 box…

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Fall mainstage operas postponed Montreal, June 21, 2020—Opéra de Montréal general director Patrick Corrigan today announced changes to the company’s 2020–2021 season. La Traviata and Jenůfa, which were to be presented September and November in Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, will be rescheduled in 2021–2022. “Following the release of CNESST guidelines for health standards in the performing arts, we are compelled to consider productions of large-scale operatic works such as La Traviata and Jenůfa, each involving over 200 artists and other professionals, as causing insurmountable health risks for the performers, technicians and staff involved,” Corrigan said. “Given the scale of these productions, it…

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Meet Naomi Rogers, mezzo-soprano (UK), singer for Corona Serenades Naomi Rogers holds bachelor and master degrees from the Royal Northern College of Music. A student of Louise Winter, she is a participant in the Opera North Mentorship Scheme, an associate artist for SoundUp Opera and a bursary recipient of the Opera Awards Foundation. Recent performances at the RNCM include Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (Soeur Martha), Vaughan Williams’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (Madam Bubble), Puccini’s Suor Angelica (Maestra della Novizie), Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne (Clara), Kurt Weill’s Street Scene (cameo role) and Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Peaseblossom). Naomi has worked for the Buxton…

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Determined as I was to review only modern works until this plague desists, I hit a brick wall this week with a pair of mid-20th century piano concertos on a respected label that were so sluggishly conducted it was all I could do to stop screaming profanities at the heavens. Could this be a sign that someone up there wants me to give up reviewing the modern stuff? If so, I got the message, thanks. Just no more bad conductors, please. Happily (and believe me I’m happy now), close at hand was a work I haven’t heard live since I…

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You’d probably meet Morton Feldman if you hung out long enough in the Village in the early 70s. He was one of those guys with an idea in his head that was going to save the world if only you gave him enough time to explain it – like an hour, a day, the rest of your life. You might think that never in human history did time pass slower than it did in the Village in the 1970s until you hear the stuff Feldman was writing in which the passage of time ceases to have any meaning at all.…

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Live concerts begin on Sept. 26 Reduced capacity and distancing measures in effect TORONTO – Dr. Peter Simon, CEO of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Mervon Mehta, executive director of performing arts, and James Anagnoson, dean of the Glenn Gould School, today revealed details of the diverse concerts that will make up the 12th concert season at the Royal Conservatory of Music. “Music has been uniting us through these unprecedented times and, should the government directives on social distancing be lifted, we eagerly anticipate when we can gather once again to enjoy music collectively,” says Dr. Peter Simon. “The celebrated…

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