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Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals, welcomes four new artists for the 2019/2020 season: tenor Matthew Cairns, bass-baritone Vartan Gabrielian, mezzo-soprano Jamie Groote, and Alex Soloway as a pianist and intern coach. The four will join the Ensemble Studio in August 2019 and become part of a program that has launched the careers of over 230 Canadian opera professionals. This past November, Cairns, Gabrielian, and Groote won the top prizes at the 2018 Centre Stage Ensemble Studio Competition, where young artists also vied for acceptance into the Ensemble Studio program.…

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Every musician has undoubtedly seen graphic notation written by John Cage, Morton Feldman and other masterminds of this link between music and visual arts. What is behind these mysterious scores that start with symbols on a staff and end up looking like abstract designs? Danielle Palardy Roger and Joane Hétu, co-directors at SuperMusique, have helped us discover this mystery through workshops and concerts presented for more than 20 years. “From its inception, SuperMusique was mostly made of self-taught professionals from the theatre, visual arts, and street music industries,” said Roger. “Graphic notation brought all of us around the music table.”…

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The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival in New Brunswick is the dean of Canadian festivals dedicated to this music. Since its inaugural concert in 1970, a harpsichord recital, the festival has spread its wings. In years past, it welcomed the leading names in the field, both Canadian and international. Its founder, Mathieu Duguay, was truly a man of vision. No one back then could have imagined a baroque festival lasting all these years, and so far away at land’s end of the Acadian Peninsula. The very fact of organizing an event like this in an area with so few musicians…

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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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PREVIEW: of the new opera, PermaDeath, by Cerise Lim Jacobs and Dan Visconti, which will play Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theatre for three performances, September 27, 28 and 29, 2018. The theater dims. A martial blare and glistening orchestral clamor suddenly rives the murmuring darkness, and a bewildering vista of strange, vast landscape floods the stage. Two beautiful, luminous, titanic beings – the sibling gods Apollo and Artemis – are in pitched battle with the massive, earthen Niobe and her fourteen grotesque offspring. The stuff of mythic dreams? Yes. But it’s also the planned dazzler of an opening for the new…

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New York, NY (September 14, 2018) – For the first time in the history of the Met, Sunday matinees will become part of the weekly  performance schedule, it was announced today as part of the recent agreement with the Met’s musicians and chorus that was ratified today. The Met’s management and representatives of two of its largest union groups, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 (orchestra, music staff, librarians), and the American Guild of Musical Artists (chorus, singers, dancers, stage staff, staff performers), reached this landmark agreement for a new contract after a summer of bargaining.  The agreement…

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CANIMEX Le concours de musique du Canada CANIMEX, véritable tremplin pour les jeunes générations de musiciens, fêtait en 2018 ses 60 ans. Parmi les sept grands prix cette année, on retrouve la violoniste Lynette Israilian et le CANIMEX Earlier this year, the CANIMEX Canadian Music Competition celebrated its 60th anniversary. The two grand prizes of this annual event, dedicated to the promotion of homegrown talent, were awarded to violinist Lynette Israilian, 21, and pianist Raymond Huang, 15. A native of Sainte-Dorothée, Israilian is pursuing her studies at the Montreal Conservatoire under the tutelage of Johanne Arel. On July 9, she…

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La Scena Musicale is pleased to announce that its annual Arts Resource Guide is finally here for the tenth year in a row. The resource guide, which is the only one of its kind in Quebec, is an excellent source of information for the province’s music lovers, and for arts students and their parents. This year, the guide will continue its user friendly digest format. A total of 25,000 copies will be distributed Quebec-wide. Readers will find essential information on music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts in this bilingual directory, which will include both regional and national listings. Special…

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Leonard Bernstein: Mass. Jubilant Sykes (Celebrant). Jacob Baird (Boy Soprano Soloist). Street Chorus Soloists (22 members). Bernstein100 Chorus. Bernstein100 Youth Chorus. University of Texas Butler School of Music Wind, Brass and Percussion Division. Members of Ballet Austin. Austin Symphony Orchestra/Peter Bay, conductor. Long Center for the Performing Arts Austin, Texas June 30, 2018 Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s eldest daughter, was a special guest for this Austin production of her father’s Mass, attending both performances and talking about the piece at pre-concert events. During her visit to Austin, Ms. Bernstein also made an appearance at Book People – far and away…

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ECM festival fare… Maciej Obara Quartet – Unloved ECM 2573 Entering the ECM fold is an honour for any artist, and more so for those little known to the public. Such is the case of Polish alto saxophonist Maciej Obara. In his label debut, Obara leads a quartet including two Norwegians (Ole Morton Vågan, bass, and Gard Nilssen, drums) and Dominik Wania on piano. Curiously, the leader is very reserved, at times self-effacing to the point of self-erasure. But the real ringer here is the pianist. As a soloist, he is consistently engaging, and his accompaniments are no less interesting. Seven average-length…

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