La Scena Musicale

Monday, 26 January 2015

This Week in Montreal: January 26 to February 2


Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Marie-Nicole Lemieux in Samson et Dalila at the Opéra de Montréal
“Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” has been central to the repertoire of Marie-Nicole Lemieux as a competition piece since her student days. “It’s musically a magical moment,” says Lemieux. When she sings it in her first production at the Montreal Opera, “It will be the first time I sing it with a tenor,” Lemieux says. It’s rare for a role to have three great arias in an opera, and Lemieux is looking forward to those highlights. However, for her, the challenge is to approach the role as a whole. “Dalila is on the dark side of the moon,” says Lemieux. “When I go on stage, I try to find a human side because no one is completely black or white. At the beginning, despite the objections of her people, she genuinely likes Samson. But he leaves her three times to fight against her people. She is wounded by that, and she fights to make amends. She is not evil.” Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, January 24, 27, 29, and 31, www.operademontreal.com
- Wah Keung Chan

Spotlight on Beethoven with The New Orford String QuartetKnown for their virtuosity, the members of the New Orford String Quartet are soloists with orchestras of Montreal and Toronto: violinist Andrew Wan and cellist Brian Marker at the OSM, violinist Jonathan Crow and violist Eric Nowlin at TSO. In Arte Musica's fall series on Beethoven, they chose the No. 4 quartets of Opus 18, No. 11, opus 95 and No. 15, opus 132. Bourgie Hall, January 28 7:30pm. www.sallebourgie.ca- Renée Banville
 
ECM+ Presents BOP
ECM+ director Véronique Lacroix invites you to discover this young company, which excels in presenting theatrical music. Directed by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, BOP (which stands for Ballet Opera Pantomime) offers two works devoted to figures of Sappho: Orpheus on Sappho's Shore by Luna Pearl Woolf, created by ECM+ in 2004, and the Canadian premiere of Five Images After Sappho by the Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen. Featuring Kyle Bielfield, tenor, and Jana Miller, soprano. Conservatoire's Concert Hall, January 29 and 30, 7:30pm. www.ecm.qc.ca
- Renée Banville

McGill Opera Presents The Marriage of Figaro
McGill University's opera workshop, directed by Patrick Hansen, presents its second production this season, The Marriage of Figaro, featuring students of the voice program. Gordon Gerrard will lead the McGill Symphony Orchestra; staging by Nicola Bowie. Pollack Hall, January 29, 30, 31 at 7:30pm and February 1 at 2pm. www.mcgill.ca/music
- Justin Bernard

Mount Royal Baroque Company Recital
In January, the Mount Royal Baroque Company presents a recital entitled Amour, tyran des coeurs, featuring soprano Kristi Bryson and tenor David Menzies, who is also the artistic director. They are accompanied by Susan Toman on harpsichord and Kyle Irving Moroz on cello. The program includes arias and duets of the great baroque repertoire as well as lesser known works. Salon Vieux-Montréal, January 31, 7:30pm. www.cbmroyal.com
- Justin Bernard

Pro Musica - World Premiere of a Work by John Adams
Founded in 1989 and currently in residence at Stanford University, the St. Lawrence String Quartet has quickly established its reputation as a world-class chamber music ensemble. Pianist Serhiy Salov joins the group for a quintet by Brahms and the world premiere of a work by American composer John Adams. Maison Symphonique, January 31, 8pm. www.promusica.qc.ca
- Renée Banville

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Cette semaine à Montréal : le 26 janvier au 2 février

Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Marie-Nicole Lemieux dans Samson et Dalila à l’Opéra de Montréal
« Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix » est au centre du répertoire de Marie-Nicole Lemieux comme pièce de concours depuis ses années d'étudiante. « C'est un moment magique, musicalement », dit-elle. Quand elle le chantera dans sa première production à l'Opéra de Montréal, « ce sera la première fois que je le chante avec un ténor », dit-elle. Il est rare pour un rôle d'avoir trois grands airs dans un opéra, et Lemieux a hâte de chanter ces trois grands airs. Toutefois, pour elle, le défi est d'aborder le rôle dans son ensemble. « Dalila est sur le côté sombre de la lune. Quand j'entre en scène, j'essaie de lui trouver un côté humain parce que personne n'est complètement noir ou blanc. Au début, malgré les objections de son peuple, elle aime véritablement Samson. Mais il la laisse à trois reprises pour lutter contre son peuple, ce qui la blesse, et elle se bat pour faire amende honorable. Elle n'est pas mauvaise. » Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, les 24, 27, 29, et 31 janvier. www.operademontreal.com
- Wah Keung Chan

Pleins feux sur Beethoven avec le Nouveau Quatuor à cordes Orford
Reconnus pour leur virtuosité, les membres du Nouveau Quatuor à cordes Orford sont des musiciens solistes des orchestres de Montréal et de Toronto : le violoniste Andrew Wan et le violoncelliste Brian Marker à l'OSM, le violoniste Jonathan Crow et l'altiste Eric Nowlin au TSO. Dans la série sur Beethoven que présente cet automne Arte Musica, ils ont choisi les quatuors no 4 de l'opus 18, no 11, opus 95 et no 15, opus 132. Salle Bourgie, 28 janvier, 19 h 30. www.sallebourgie.ca
- Renée Banville

ECM+ présente l'ensemble instrumental BOP
Véronique Lacroix, directrice de l'ECM+, vous invite à découvrir cette jeune compagnie qui excelle dans la présentation de musiques scéniques. Dirigé par Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, BOP propose deux œuvres consacrées aux figures de Sappho : Orpheus on Sappho's Shore de Luna Peal Woolf, créé par l'ECM+ en 2004 et, en première canadienne, Five Images After Sappho, du compositeur finlandais Esa-Pekka Salonen. Avec Kyle Bielfield, ténor et Jana Miller, soprano. Salle de concert du Conservatoire, 29 et 30 janvier, 19 h 30. www.ecm.qc.ca
- Renée Banville

Opera McGill présente Les Noces de Figaro
L’atelier d’opéra de l’Université McGill, dirigé par Patrick Hansen, présente sa deuxième production de la saison en janvier et en février prochains. Il s’agit des Noces de Figaro de Mozart, mettant en vedette les étudiants du programme d’interprétation vocale. Gordon Gerrard dirigera l’Orchestre symphonique de McGill. Mise en scène : Nicola Bowie. Salle Pollack, Faculté de musique de l’Université McGill – 29, 30, 31 janvier (19 h 30) et 1er février (14 h). www.mcgill.ca/music
- Justin Bernard

Récital à la Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal
En janvier, la compagnie baroque Mont-Royal présente un récital intitulé Amour, tyran des cœurs. Celui-ci met à l’affiche la soprano Kristi Bryson et le ténor David Menzies, également directeur artistique. Ils sont accompagnés au clavecin par Susan Toman et au violoncelle par Kyle Irving-Moroz. Au programme, des airs et des duos du grand répertoire baroque ainsi que des œuvres moins connues. Lieu à déterminer – 31 janvier 2015, 19 h 30. www.cbmroyal.com
- Justin Bernard

Pro Musica - une oeuvre de John Adams en première mondiale
Établi depuis 1989 et présentement en résidence à l’Université Stanford, le Quatuor St. Lawrence a rapidement établi sa notoriété comme un ensemble de musique de chambre de classe mondiale. Le pianiste Serhiy Salov se joint au groupe pour l'interprétation d'un quintette de Brahms et, en première mondiale, d'une œuvre du compositeur américain John Adams. Maison symphonique, 31 janvier, 20 h. www.promusica.qc.ca
- Renée Banville

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

This Week in Toronto (Jan. 26 - Feb. 1)

My Toronto Concert Picks for the Week of Jan. 26 to Feb. 1

Joseph So


Die Walkure, the second production of the Canadian Opera Company's winter season opens this week.  It was the blockbuster show - Canada's first staged Ring Cycle - that opened the Four Seasons Centre way back in August of 2006.  Sadly there won't be a Rheingold this time around, and it's spread over three seasons. On the plus side, we have American soprano Christine Goerke in her first Brunnhilde, even before she sings it for Houston this coming May and at the Met next year - I mean, how cool is that! I first heard Goerke way back in the summer of 1998 in Glimmerglass, in the title role of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride.  At the time, I would not have guessed in a million years that she would be singing Brunnhilde 16 and a half years later!  The COC cast is terrific, with German baritone Johan Reuter as Wotan. Saw him in Munich a couple of years ago and then again as Barak at the Met and I was looking forward to his Sachs at the Met last December, but it was not to be. It's great we'll get to hear his Wotan here. American Clifton Forbis returns to reprise his Siegmund, and American soprano Heidi Melton is Sieglinde in her COC debut. This is an absolute must-see for Wagner fans. For anyone new to Wagner, Die Walkure is one of the most melodic and accessible of his operas. Opening night is Saturday Jan. 31 7 pm at the Four Seasons Centre. Six more performances to follow until Feb. 22. 
Soprano Christine Goerke (Photo: Arielle Doneson)

Meanwhile, Don Giovanni opened last Saturday. I was in the audience and it was a grand night of singing, with Russell Braun a totally committed Don Giovanni. Soprano Jane Archibald had a triumph in her first ever Donna Anna - her coloratura in Non mi dir was perfect. I was very impressed with Kyle Ketelson's Leporello, his signature role. Michael Schade, who has sung the heavier Tito and Idomeneo, returns to the more lyrical Ottavio, his head voice was heard to advantage in Dalla sua pace. Jennifer Holloway's high mezzo I heard years ago in Santa Fe as the Prince in Cendrillon, early in her career at the time. Her Elvira was poignant and intense. And it was good to hear bass-baritone Zachary Nelson again after his terrific Escamillo in Semperoper Dresden last November. The production by Dmitri Tcherniakov is not to everyone's taste, but do go and decide for yourself. Performances this week on Jan. 27, 30 and Feb. 1. http://www.coc.ca/Home.aspx

COC Don Giovanni (l. to r.) Jennifer Holloway, Michael Schade, Zachary Nelson, Russell Braun, Jane Archibald, Sasha Djihanian, Kyle Ketelson (Photo: Michael Cooper)

One other interesting event at the opera house is the noon hour concert of a Celebration of Canadian Songs on Jan. 27, featuring the works of Clermont Pepin, Godfrey Rideout, Andre Prevost, and Marjan Mozetich, sung by sopranos Nathalie Paulin and Joni Henson, and mezzo Allyson McHardy. Pianists are Adam Sherkin and Robert Kortgaard. This is part of the Canadian Art Song Project spearheaded by tenor Lawrence Wiliford and pianist Steven Philcox.  Recital at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre of the Four Seasons Centre. Be sure to show up an hour ahead to secure a spot.  Program details at http://files.coc.ca/pdfs/concert150127.pdf

Soprano Nathalie Paulin


The Amici Chamber Ensemble is presenting Bohemian Contrasts, an afternoon of music of Brahms, Schulhoff, Liszt and Janacek. Clarinetist Joaquin Valdepenas, cellist David Hetherington and pianist Serouj Kradjian will be joined by violist Teng Li. February 1st 3 pm at the Mazzoleni Hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music. http://amiciensemble.com/event/new-orford-string-quartet-bohemian-contrasts/

Amici Chamber Ensemble

As the name suggests, Opera In Concert, also known as Voicebox, specializes in presenting operas in concert or occasionally semi-staged form. Perhaps more importantly is its focus on rarities that audiences are unlikely to see on our opera stages. On Feb. 1 2:30 pm at the Jane Mallett Theatre, Opera In Concert is presenting Kurt Weill's Street Scene. A work from his American period, it makes for compelling drama and rewarding vocally for the principals.  I've only seen this staged once, I think in the 90's with Catherine Malfitano as Anna Maurrant. Memory is fuzzy now but I think it was at the Chicago Lyric. Perhaps Street Scene isn't Weill at his very best but it's still a lovely work, with a large cast, well worth seeing with the right singers. OIC has a fine cast with sopranos Monica Whicher and Jennifer Taverner, and tenor Colin Ainsworth.     http://www.operainconcert.com/Street_syn.html


Tenor Colin Ainsworth



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Monday, 19 January 2015

This Week in Montreal: January 19 to 25


The NEM

A New Take on The Rite of Spring by NEM
To celebrate Expressionism in Germany and France from 1900 to 1914, which is the subject of the concurrent exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, the NEM will present three major works from this important period of the 20th century. Arnold Schoenberg's Drei Stücke, op. 11 and Anton Webern's Konzert, op. 24 will contrast with the historical Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, re-orchestrated by François Vallières, violist of the NEM. Bourgie Hall, January 21, 7:30pm. www.lenem.ca
- Renée Banville

Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire in the Musical Canvases Series
Composed in 1912, Schoenberg's iconic work is surprising for its unique instrumentation and its singspeak (sprechgesang). The fantastic and desperate world of Pierrot will be performed by four musicians of the OSM (Andrew Wan, Brian Manker, André Moisan, Timothy Hutchins) and pianist Louise Bessette. It will be sung by soprano Ingrid Schmithüsen and narrated by actor Paul Savoie. Bourgie Hall, January 23, 6:30pm. www.bourgiehall.ca
- Renée Banville

Marie-Nicole Lemieux in Samson et Dalila at the Opéra de Montréal
“Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” has been central to the repertoire of Marie-Nicole Lemieux as a competition piece since her student days. “It’s musically a magical moment,” says Lemieux. When she sings it in her first production at the Montreal Opera, “It will be the first time I sing it with a tenor,” Lemieux says. It’s rare for a role to have three great arias in an opera, and Lemieux is looking forward to those highlights. However, for her, the challenge is to approach the role as a whole. “Dalila is on the dark side of the moon,” says Lemieux. “When I go on stage, I try to find a human side because no one is completely black or white. At the beginning, despite the objections of her people, she genuinely likes Samson. But he leaves her three times to fight against her people. She is wounded by that, and she fights to make amends. She is not evil.” Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, January 24, 27, 29, and 31, www.operademontreal.com
- Wah Keung Chan

The Arte Musica Foundation Welcomes Les Violons du Roy
Conductor Matthieu Lussier and Les Violons du Roy are also participating in the unabridged series of Bach cantatas. The ensemble performs Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren, BWV 154; Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht, BWV 124; Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32; and Herr, wie du willst, so schicks mit mir, BWV 73—four Epiphany cantatas. Soprano Shannon Mercer, mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel, tenor Thomas Cooley and baritone Tyler Duncan round out the show. Bourgie Concert Hall, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, January 25, 2:00pm. www.bourgiehall.ca
- Justin Bernard

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Cette semaine à Montréal : le 19 au 25 janvier


Le NEM

Une relecture du Sacre du printemps Par Le NEM
Pour célébrer l'expressionisme en Allemagne et en France, de 1900 à 1914, sujet de l'exposition en cours au Musée des beaux-arts, le NEM offrira une représentation de trois œuvres marquantes de cette période phare du début du 20e siècle. Drei Stücke, op. 11 d’Arnold Schoenberg et Konzert, op. 24 d’Anton Webern, viendront contraster avec l'historique Sacre du printemps de Stravinski, réorchestré par François Vallières, altiste du NEM. Salle Bourgie, 21 janvier, 19 h 30. www.lenem.ca
- Renée Banville

Le Pierrot Lunaire de Schoenberg dans la série Tableau en musique
Composée en 1912, l'œuvre emblématique de Schoenberg surprend par son instrumentation singulière et son parlé-chanté (sprechgesang). Le monde fantastique et désespéré de Pierrot sera joué par quatre musiciens de l'OSM (Andrew Wan, Brian Manker, André Moisan, Timothy Hutchins) et la pianiste Louise Bessette. Il sera chanté par la soprano Ingrid Schmithüsen et parlé par le comédien Paul Savoie. Salle Bourgie, 23 janvier, 18 h 30. www.sallebourgie.ca
- Renée Banville

Marie-Nicole Lemieux dans Samson et Dalila à l’Opéra de Montréal
« Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix » est au centre du répertoire de Marie-Nicole Lemieux comme pièce de concours depuis ses années d'étudiante. « C'est un moment magique, musicalement », dit-elle. Quand elle le chantera dans sa première production à l'Opéra de Montréal, « ce sera la première fois que je le chante avec un ténor », dit-elle. Il est rare pour un rôle d'avoir trois grands airs dans un opéra, et Lemieux a hâte de chanter ces trois grands airs. Toutefois, pour elle, le défi est d'aborder le rôle dans son ensemble. « Dalila est sur le côté sombre de la lune. Quand j'entre en scène, j'essaie de lui trouver un côté humain parce que personne n'est complètement noir ou blanc. Au début, malgré les objections de son peuple, elle aime véritablement Samson. Mais il la laisse à trois reprises pour lutter contre son peuple, ce qui la blesse, et elle se bat pour faire amende honorable. Elle n'est pas mauvaise. » Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, les 24, 27, 29, et 31 janvier. www.operademontreal.com
- Wah Keung Chan

La Fondation Arte Musica reçoit Les Violons du Roy
Dirigés par Matthieu Lussier, les Violons du Roy prennent part à la série de concerts de l’intégrale des cantates de Bach. Après la période de Noël, l’orchestre de chambre interprète quatre cantates de l’Épiphanie : Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren, BWV 154, Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht, BWV 124, Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32, et Herr, wie du willst, so schicks mit mir, BWV 73. Quatre solistes complètent la distribution : la soprano Shannon Mercer, la mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel, le ténor Thomas Cooley et le baryton Tyler Duncan. Salle Bourgie, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal – 25 janvier, 14 h www.sallebourgie.ca
- Justin Bernard

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

This Week in Toronto (Jan. 19 - 25)

My Toronto Concert Picks for the Week of Jan. 19 to 25

Joseph So

The much anticipated winter season of the Canadian Opera Company is finally upon us this week, with the opening of Don Giovanni. This is a COC co-production with Teatro Real Madrid, Aix-en-Provence and the Bolshoi Theatre, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov.  It stars Canadian baritone Russell Braun in the title role. He sang his first Don Giovanni 13 years ago for Opera de Quebec. Then he put aside the role until a couple of years ago when he sang in this production in Madrid. The Tcherniakov production is light years away from a traditional take on the piece. Rather than a suave, charming and inherently dangerous womanizer as Don Giovanni is often portrayed, this character as conceptualized by Tcherniakov is broken down, decrepit, self-doubting, gravely ill, vulnerable, and as unattractive as can be. You can get a preview in the commercially available dvd from the Aix-en-Provence performances.  The Toronto performances feature a strong ensemble case - soprano Jane Archibald (Anna), soprano Jennifer Holloway (Elvira), Kyle Ketelson (Leporello), tenor Michael Schade (Ottavio), Sasha Djihanian (Zerlina), Zachary Nelson (Masetto), and Andrea Silvestrelli (Commendatore). German conductor Michael Hofstetter makes his COC debut. For the DG cognoscenti, this production will be very different, so come with an open mind. It starts Saturday Jan. 24 at 4:30 pm at the Four Seasons Centre.   http://www.coc.ca/Home.aspx

Russell Braun as Don Giovanni from Teatro Real Madrid (Photo: www.coc.ca)

On Thursday Jan. 22 noon hour, there's a free concert by members of the COC Ensemble at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.  The theme is Songs of Love and War. Participating are tenors Andrew Haji and Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure, and baritones Iain MacNeil and Clarence Frazer, singing works of Britten, Poulenc, Korngold, Hans Eisler, and Ives. Jennifer Szeto is the pianist. Be sure to line up an hour early for a seat. Program details at http://files.coc.ca/pdfs/concert150122.pdf  

Another major news this week is the appearance of Conductor Kent Nagano with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, in four performances of Beethoven's Symphony no. 5. I believe this is Nagano's first appearance with the Tafelmusik forces and in a work that normally falls outside the typical Tafelmusik repertoire. There's also a fine quartet of soloists, with soprano Nathalie Paulin, mezzo Laura Pudwell, tenor Lawrence Wiliford, and baritone Sumner Thompson. I used to hear Kent Nagano conduct every summer at the Munich Opera Festival, as well as when I visited the MSO. His leaving Munich really left a musical void in that city, to take nothing away from his replacement, Kirill Petrenko. And Nagano's visits to Toronto are comparatively rare, so this is an occasion not to be missed. Performances on Jan. 22, 23, 24, 25 at Koerner Hall.   https://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/tafelmusik-presents-beethoven-symphony-no-5

Conductor Kent Nagano (Photo: Wilfried Hosl)

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Mozart birthday bash - this year its Mozart @256 - with a blockbuster, the Great Mass in C Minor K427.  It's only an hour but what an impressive hour it is!  Am particularly fond of the soprano aria "Laudamus te" with its gorgeously florid vocal writing, here to be sung by a mezzo.  The terrific soloists are soprano Helene Guilmette, mezzo Julie Boulianne, tenors John Tessier and Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure, and bass-baritone Gordon Bintner. I saw Guilmette with her lovely high soprano as a fabulous Soeur Constance (Dialogues of the Carmelites) in Munich several years ago and she subsequently sang it here with the COC.  British conductor Paul Goodwin is a specialist in this repertoire, and joining him and the soloists are the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers. To flesh out the concert, arias from Lo sposo deluso and Zaide are added onto the program.  Performances Jan. 22, 24 and 25 at Roy Thomson Hall. http://tso.ca/en-ca/concerts-and-tickets/2014-2015-Season/EventDetails/Mozart-Mass-in-C-Minor.aspx


Soprano Helene Guilmette (Photo: Julien Faugere)

Violinist Gidon Kremer and pianist Daniil Trifonov (www.rcmusic.ca)

Two great musicians, violinist Gidon Kremer and pianist Daniil Trifonov join forces to give a recital on Tuesday Jan. 20 at Koerner Hall. On the program are works by Mozart, Schubert, Miecyzslaw Weinberg and Rachmaninoff. The concert is already advertised as soldout!  But you can also try for returns. https://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/kremer_trifonov


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Monday, 12 January 2015

This Week in Montreal: January 12 to 18


Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

Pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's First Recital in Montréal
Named 2012 "Artist of the Year" by International Classical Music Awards, French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet gives his first solo recital in Montréal, the day after he performs within a trio and quartet, as part of Fondation Arte Musica's Spotlight on Beethoven series. Bourgie Hall, January 14-15, 7:30pm. www.bourgiehall.ca
- Renée Banville

A New Experience to Celebrate Ensemble Caprice's 25th Anniversary
Continuing their cycle of Beethoven's symphonies on period instruments, Ensemble Caprice present their 25th anniversary concert with panache by combining choreography by Dave St-Pierre to Symphony No. 2. The famous choreographer has marked the dance world with his bold and evocative works. Here we will have his disturbing creations fused with Beethoven's musical storm. Salle Pierre-Mercure, January 17, 8pm. www.ensemblecaprice.com
- Renée Banville

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Cette semaine à Montréal : le 12 au 18 janvier


Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Le pianiste Jean-Efflam Bavouzet – premier récital à Montréal
Nommé « Artiste de l'année » par International Classical Music Awards 2012, le pianiste français Jean-Efflam Bavouzet donnera son premier récital à Montréal à la salle Bourgie. On l'entendra dans la même salle le soir précédent en trio et en quatuor dans le cadre de la série Pleins feux sur Beethoven de la Fondation Arte Musica. 14 et 15 janvier, 19 h 30. www.sallebourgie.ca
- Renée Banville

Ensemble Caprice – nouvelle expérience pour célébrer le 25e anniversaire
Poursuivant son cycle des symphonies de Beethoven sur instruments d'époque, l'Ensemble Caprice présente avec panache son concert du 25e anniversaire, en intégrant à la Symphonie no 2 des chorégraphies de Dave St-Pierre. Le célèbre chorégraphe marque le monde de la danse avec ses œuvres audacieuses et évocatrices. Voici ses créations troublantes fusionnées avec la tempête musicale de Beethoven. Salle Pierre-Mercure, 17 janvier, 20 h. www.ensemblecaprice.com
- Renée Banville

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Sunday, 11 January 2015

This Week in Toronto (Jan. 12 - 18)

My Toronto Concert Picks for the week of Jan. 12 to 18

Joseph So

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)


The Toronto Symphony Orchestra kicks off the new year with its Mozart Birthday Celebrations - Mozart @259. It started with a celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth and now it's an annual affair, and why not - what better way to lift the spirit from the depth of winter than some Mozart?  On Jan. 15, the TSO is presenting Mozart Paris Symphony, a mixed program of Serenade No. 8 K239, Piano Concerto No. 23, Sonata No. 15 for Organ and Strings, and Symphony No. 31.  (On Jan. 14, as part of its truncated Afterworks Series, the sonata and serenade are omitted)  TSO concertmaster Jonathan Crow, Italian pianist Benedetto Lupo and organist Patricia Krueger are the soloists. For details, go to    http://www.tso.ca/en-ca/concerts-and-tickets/Calendar.aspx

Pianist Benedetto Lupo


On Jan. 17 and 18 are two performances billed as Mozart Family Ties, featuring works by Amadeus Mozart and his father Leopold, plus Haydn and Peter Schickele (aka PDQ Bach).  British conductor Matthew Halls returns to the TSO for all four performances.  These are relatively light programs perfect to introduce young people and those new to the joys of classical music. All performances at Roy Thomson Hall. http://www.tso.ca/

British conductor Matthew Halls

Toronto Masque Theatre is presenting Handel's Acis and Galatea with soprano Teri Dunn and tenor Lawrence Wiliford for three performances Jan. 15 to 17, at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity St. Also in the cast are tenor Graham Thomson and baritone Peter McGillivray. Larry Beckwith conducts. 


Tenor Lawrence Wiliford

Finally, I want to mention the COC 2015-16 Season Announcement on Wednesday Jan. 14.  This is not a public event as such as it's invitation only. However, I will be reporting on it as soon as I get the press release that evening. I think a relatively safe bet would be Wagner's Siegfried as one of next season's productions, since it's common knowledge that the COC is doing the Ring cycle minus Das Rheingold. Die Walkure is opening in three weeks, and it would seem logical that Siegfried is next. However, the rest of the season's is anybody's guess!

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Thursday, 8 January 2015

New Orders of Canada Appointments



by Claudie Provencher

On December 26th, Governor General David Johnston announced new appointments for the Order of Canada. La Scena Musicale congratulates the winners in music and the arts.

Since its creation in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, more than 6,000 Canadians have been nominated. They all contributed in some way into building Canada.

The Order has three distinct categories. The Companion for the international achievement, the Officer for the national achievement, and finally the Member for the contribution in the regional or local level or in a special field of activity.

Here are the nominees in the fields of music and the arts:

COMPANIONS OF THE ORDER OF CANADA
James Douglas Fleck, C.C.
Toronto, Ontario
For his enduring contributions and strategic leadership as one of Canada’s leading arts patrons, and for endowing our national cultural institutions, notably by partnering business with the arts.  
This is a promotion within the Order.
OFFICERS OF THE ORDER OF CANADA
Eleanor Wachtel, O.C.
Toronto, Ontario
For connecting Canadian readers with the worldwide literary community and for her insightful contributions to our appreciation of contemporary literature.
This is a promotion within the Order.
MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF CANADA

Denis Brott, C.M.
Saint-Sauveur, Quebec
For his achievements as a cellist and pedagogue, and for his role in establishing the Canada Council of the Arts’ Musical Instrument Bank.
Brenda Clark, C.M.
Port Hope, Ontario
For her contributions as an illustrator, notably as the artist behind Franklin the Turtle, and for her support of literacy.
Conrad Charles Daellenbach, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For popularizing classical music, notably as a founder of the Canadian Brass, one of our nation’s most internationally renowned classical music groups.
Louise Dupré, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For her contributions to Quebec literature as a poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and professor.
Simon Durivage, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For his contributions as a highly respected journalist-news anchor and television program host.
Charles Foran, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For his acclaimed work as a literary journalist, biographer and novelist, and for his staunch support of Canadian writers.
Julia E. Foster, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For her voluntary service in promoting the arts and Canadian culture.
Chantal Kreviazuk, C.M. and Raine Maida, C.M.
Los Angeles, California, United States of America and Toronto, Ontario
For their achievements as Canadian musicians and for their extensive charitable and humanitarian work.

John Barker Lawson, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For his transformative contributions as a volunteer in support of many of Toronto’s most important music ensembles and arts organizations.
Suzie LeBlanc, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For contributing to the development of early-period music and Acadian culture as a singer and teacher.
Grégoire Legendre, C.M.
Québec, Quebec
For contributing to the cultural and musical development of his city, notably as director of the Opéra de Québec.
Jens Lindemann, C.M.
Pacific Palisades, California, United States of America and Edmonton, Alberta
For his skill as a world-renowned trumpet soloist, and for his support of Canadian musicians and music students.

Michael I. M. MacMillan, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For his tireless promotion of our cinematic talent and for his commitment to enhancing civic engagement in Canada.

John G. McAvity, C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario
For his contributions to preserving Canada’s cultural heritage, notably through his long-standing role as executive director of the Canadian Museums Association.
Dan Needles, C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario
For celebrating our rural communities as the playwright of the much-loved Wingfield Farm series, and for championing the dramatic arts outside of Canada’s major centres.
John R. Porter, C.M., C.Q.
Québec, Quebec
For his contributions to museology and to developing a greater understanding of Quebec art.
Lorraine Vaillancourt, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For her contributions to modern music as a conductor, professor and pianist.
Eric Robert Walters, C.M.
Mississauga, Ontario
For his contributions as an author of literature for children and young adults whose stories help young readers grapple with complex social issues.


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