La Scena Musicale

Friday, 2 October 2009

Cette semaine à Montréal (2 à 11 oct) / This Week in Montreal (October 2 to 11)


Musique, danse, théâtre, etarts plastiques à Montréal cette semaine
Music, dance, theatre, and fine arts in Montreal this week
Danse : Grand déploiement en octobre. Danse Danse nous propose du 1er au 3 octobre de découvrir la nouvelle tête d’affiche de la danse britannique, Hofesh Shechter avec deux pièces férocement contemporaines, Uprising et In your room, au Maisonneuve. —Aline Apostolska
Contemporary Music: This month, the Forestare Ensemble introduces works by Quebec composers, Richard Desjardins, Denis Gougeon and more, to a Chilean audience in joint performances with the Chilean Guitar Ensemble. Local audiences can catch the ensemble before it leaves for Chili on October 4 at the salle Philippe-Filion in Shawinigan. forestare.com —Hannah Rahimi
Chamber Music: The Ladies Morning Musical Club presents the celebrated Tokyo String Quartet performing Schubert, Bartok and Mendelssohn on the afternoon of October 4. Pollack Hall. 514-932-6796, lmmc.ca —Hannah Rahimi
Early Music: On September 23, eXcentris reopened with two of its three theatres renovated as live performance venues allowing for an environment of innovation and cooperation between genres, styles and media. Renowned pianist Leon Fleischer inaugurated the hall. Upcoming: Theatre of Early Music (Dido and Aeneas), Oct. 4; —Wah Keung Chan
Art visuel : Betty Goodwin : Parcours de l’œuvre à travers la Collection du Musée (hommage), Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, jusqu’au 4 octobre 2009. —Julie Beaulieu
Danse : Une anniversaire, les 25 ans du Studio 303 dédié à la recherche et à l’avant-garde, un lieu incontournable désormais malgré la petitesse de son espace, et devenu indissociable de la créativité montréalaise. Un spectacle gala aura lieu le 4 octobre, conçu spécialement par Marie Chouinard qui mettra son talent au service d’un hommage à ce lieu singulier et original. —Aline Apostolska
Danse : J’aurai le plaisir d’inaugurer une série d’entretiens avec des chorégraphes et danseurs de renom qui tous composent le portrait de Montréal en matière de danse. Ces entretiens de fond, d’une durée de deux heures, porteront sur l’ensemble du parcours créatif des artistes et tenteront de montrer les liens entre vie personnelle et vie artistique, et auront lieu gratuitement devant public dans les trois lieux qui se sont associés pour produire cette nouvelle série originale, soit Circuit-Est Centre chorégraphique. Il suffira au public de se rendre sur place pour assister à l’entrevue. Le programme de l’automne est le suivant : 6 octobre 2009 – 19 h, à Circuit-Est : Jeanne Renaud Les entretiens seront ponctués d’extraits de chorégraphies illustrant leur parcours. Ce sera une occasion unique de découvrir ces créateurs en profondeur. Venez nombreux ! —Aline Apostolska
Orchestral Music: L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal se prépare à un mois d’octobre chargé. Andrew Grams dirigera l’orchestre dans la Symphonie du Nouveau Monde de Dvořák les 6 et 7 octobre, en même temps que des concertos seront interprétés par des étoiles montantes : le 6, Karen Gomyo jouera le splendide Concerto pour violon de Sibelius et le 7, ce sera Marika Bouraki et le Concerto pour piano de Grieg. 514-842-9951, osm.ca —Hannah Rahimi
Danse : À l’Agora, deux créations, Projet X de Chantal Lamirande, du 6 au 9. —Aline Apostolska
Theatre: The Centaur Theatre delivers us just the thing, opening with the world premiere of In Piazza San Domenico, by the acclaimed author of Mambo Italiano, Steve Galluccio. Set in balmy Naples, in 1952, In Piazza San Domenico is a light-hearted comedy, inspired by Feydeau, Goldoni and Sophia Loren. Misinterpretations, scheming, fast-paced action and romance abound, providing us with a whirlwind of mirth. Sure to leave a smile on your face, In Piazza San Domenico runs from October 6 to November 1. —Jessica Hill
Chamber Music: Quartango celebrates its 25th anniversary this month with performances October 7, 9 and 10 at the Corona Theatre. Comprising four classically trained musicians, the ensemble performs tangos with virtuosity, wit and dedication, joined by guest artists, soprano Gianna Corbisiero, tenor Marc Hervieux and tango dancers Roxana and Fabian Belmonte. 514-931-2088, quartango.com —Hannah Rahimi
Art visuel : Je suis là même si tu ne me vois pas (Hadjithomas + Joreige), Montréal, Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen, jusqu’au 10 octobre 2009. —Julie Beaulieu
Art visuel : Madone de Bentalha (Pascal Convert), Montréal, Galerie de l’UQAM, jusqu’au 10 octobre 2009. —Julie Beaulieu
Orchestral Music: L’immense pianiste Marc-André Hamelin se joint à l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal le 11 octobre dans le Concerto pour piano no 2 de Liszt sous la direction du dynamique Jean-François Rivest, le programme comprenant également les toujours populaires Planètes de Holst. 514-842-9951, osm.ca —Hannah Rahimi
Théâtre : Fragments de mensonges inutiles. Une nouvelle création signée Michel Tremblay est toujours un événement attendu. Et les meilleures pièces de l’auteur d’Albertine en cinq temps reposent généralement sur une idée forte, une construction du temps et de l’espace qui s’éloigne du réalisme. Mise au monde par Serge Denoncourt, celle-ci navigue entre deux années, 1959 et 2009, alors qu’elle dépeint la relation amoureuse entre deux adolescents gays vivant à des époques différentes. Jusqu’au 17 octobre, au Théâtre Jean-Duceppe Marie Labrecque

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, 28 September 2009

This Week in Toronto (Sept. 28 - Oct. 4)


Photo (l.) COC Butterfly with Adina Nitescu and David Pomeroy (photo credit: Michael Cooper) Photo (r.) Evgeny Kissin (Photo: Sheila Rock)


The Toronto Symphony Orchestra opened the season with a bang, bringing to town last week Joshua Bell for two concerts. This week, the TSO offers two consummate musicians, the great pianist-pedagogue Leon Fleisher and the extraordinary Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin. Fleisher plays Mozart Piano Concerto No. 12 K414 on Sept. 30 8:00 pm, in a program that also includes Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, conducted by Peter Oundjian. Then on Sunday Oct. 4, 3 pm at Roy Thomson Hall, the ever-popular Evgeny Kissin makes a return to TO in a performance of Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2. On the program is (once again) Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, and Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin, conducted by Oundjian.

On Saturday, Oct. 3 8 pm at the Glenn Gould Studio, pianist Minsoo Sohn, the first Laureate of the Honens' Competition in Calgary, will give a recital, playing Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, and Liszt's Transcriptions of Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart. In case you don't know, the Honens Competition is heating up this month in Calgary and well worth following. I think at least the finals will be carried on CBC - I will check and report on this later.

For opera fans, the COC's Madama Butterfly continues this week for its run of an unprecedented fifteen performances at the Four Seasons Centre. I understand limited tickets for the shows are still available, including rush tickets for seniors. I attended opening night on Saturday. This Puccini warhorse can be a little hackneyed in a routine performance, but with good singing and a good orchestra like the COC, it has a sweep and power that is almost unequaled in verismo. The old Brian Macdonald production is very basic but serviceable, and the stage direction is traditional. The singing is generally very good. Adina Nitescu is a celebrated Butterfly, having sung it in many of the major houses, including La Scala in 2004. The voice isn't so fresh now five years later, and there is no high pianissimo. Hers is a mature Butterfly - this is not meant to be a criticism - I've always thought it was wicked of Puccini to expect a spinto soprano with the vocal heft to sing this very dramatic music while pretending to be a 15-year old geisha - this is an impossibility! Nitescu bears an uncanny facial resemblance to the mature Teresa Stratas, with dramatic intensity to match. I was very impressed with her acting, especially in Acts 2 and 3 (performed together in this production). On opening night, Canadian David Pomeroy was a ringing-voiced Pinkerton with excellent high notes; baritone James Westman was an extroverted, highly sympathetic Sharpless, and mezzo Allyson McHardy a luscious voiced Suzuki. The tempo of the opening overture conducted by Carlo Montanaro was at breakneck speed, as a result there was some ragged playing by the musicians struggling to catch up. Things settled down soon afterwards for a fine performance. Montanaro knows the verismo style well and he milked the climaxes for a big, exciting sound.

Tomorrow is the alternate cast of Canadian soprano Yannick Muriel Noah in her role debut as Cio Cio San, American tenor Bryan Hymel as Pinkerton, Canadian baritone Brett Polegato in his first Sharpless, and Canadian mezzo Anita Krause reprising her Suzuki. This cast will sing 6 performances of the 15-performance run. Not to be missed.

Finally, to go from the sublime to the ridiculous, I will mention Jerry Springer: The Opera, playing from Sept. 24 to Oct. 10 at 8 pm at The Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto. Calling this piece an opera is an inspired stroke to some, and an insult to the Heiligen Kunst to others. If you don't mind a vulgar "libretto" where four letter words are used allegedly 96 times, this "opera" is for you. I have never seen it, but I just might give it a try. I am told that when this was first shown on the BBC, it received a record number of complaints. So there you are - attend at your own risk!

Labels: , , , , , ,