La Scena Musicale

Monday, 20 June 2011

This Week in Toronto (June 20 - 26)

Last Night Of the Proms


















This being the final week of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra season, it's offering its own Last Night Of the Proms. I don't quite remember when this tradition started at the TSO, but it's been at least a dozen years. Given the recent nuptials of Will and Kate, the ever-enterprising TSO is offering its own Royal Wedding Celebration! The usual program of British music that always ends with Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Brittania - and plenty of flag waving. Conductor Bramwell Tovey leads the TSO forces and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir under choirmaster Noel Edison. Three performances, on Tuesday June 21 at 8 pm and Wednesday June 22 at 2 and then again at 8 pm. Then on the weekend are two performances of Opera Favourites starring American soprano Leah Crocetto and Canadian tenor David Pomeroy. Crocetto is coming to Toronto fresh from the 2011 edition of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition where she was a finalist in the Song Prize. Previously she was a winner of both the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the Jose Iturbi Competition in Los Angeles. Pomeroy is no stranger to Toronto audiences. The tenor from Newfoundland made an auspicious Met debut replacing an indisposed Joseph Calleja in the title role of Les contes d'Hoffmann last December. He is slated to return to the COC in this role next season. The two will sing selections from Italian operas - La traviata, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Ernani and Rigoletto. Alasdair Neale conducts. Two performances on Saturday June 25 at 7:30 pm and Sunday June 26 at 3 pm. Not sure why the late start for the matinee, but given most singers don't like to sing too early in the day, I am sure they don't mind! http://tso.ca/Home.aspx

Also of interest this week is Queen of Puddings Music Theatre's presentation of SVADBA- Wedding, a world premiere opera by Ana Sokolovic. The cast is made up of 6 women (sopranos Laura Albino, Carla Huhtanen, Jacqueline Woodley, Shannon Mercer and mezzo-sopranos Andrea Ludwig and Krisztina Szabo), sung in Serbian with English surtitles. According to the publicity material, the opera takes place the night before the main character, Milice, leaves for her wedding. Her girlfriends keep her company in an all-night slumber party, "invoking pagan rituals as they prepare her for the impending marriage.... Solokovic uses existing Slavic/Balkan peasant folk tales, myths and traditions as her text source, and draws on her native Balkan folk music as a source of inspiration for all her music. She transforms the music and text into her own unique onomatopoeic language and transports listeners to a world of magic realism. The singers have to use every single possible vocal technique – combining opera singing with Balkan folk singing, overtones, extreme chest voice, heightened nasal voice, whispering, creating a wildly inventive intense palette of colours. The experience for the audience will be unforgettable, a bath of ravishing, soaring and seductive sensations." The production is directed by Michael Cavanagh. Performances on June 24, 25, 28, 29, 30 and July 2 at 8 pm at the Berkeley Street Theatre. More information at http://www.queenofpuddingsmusictheatre.com/QofP_NewsletterSpring2011.pdf





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