La Scena Musicale

Monday, 20 October 2014

This Week in Montreal: October 20 to 26

Aline Kutan

Montreal Lyric Orchestra Debuts
Montreal has a new orchestra: founded by conductors Simon Rivard and Ben Kepes, the Montreal Lyric Orchestra is devoted to vocal works. Its debut concert features soprano Aline Kutan in Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Schubert’s An die Musik and Mahler’s 4th symphony with Kutan taking the soprano solo in the 4th movement. Pianist Olivier Godin tackles Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. Oscar Peterson Hall. Oct. 23.
- Wah Keung Chan

Belles Sœurs: The Musical
Montreal’s Segal Centre presents the English-language premiere of Belles Sœurs: The Musical. Based on Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-sœurs, the darkly comedic, bittersweet play about working-class strife in Quebec, circa 1965, is the story of Germaine Lauzon, a Plateau Mont-Royal housewife who wins one million department store trading stamps. Musical mayhem ensues when she invites her closest relatives and friends to celebrate at a raucous stamp-pasting party. Les Belles-sœurs premiered in 1968, and the musical version debuted in 2010. The book & lyrics are by René Richard Cyr, and the music is by Daniel Bélanger. The English book adaptation is by Brian Hill, while Neil Bartram penned the English lyrics. Produced by Montrealer Allan Sandler, the show features an all-female Canadian cast. Oct. 19 to Nov. 9.
- Naomi Gold

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Cette semaine à Montréal : le 20 au 26 octobre

Yukari Cousineau
L’Orchestre Métropolitain dans les arrondissements
Le concert Vienne en deux temps de l’Orchestre Métropolitain, présenté le 24 octobre à la Maison symphonique, fera la tournée de quatre arrondissements, sous la direction de Julian Kuerti, chef invité principal pour une seconde saison. Yukari Cousineau, violon solo de l’Orchestre Métropolitain, interprétera le Concerto pour violon « À la mémoire d’un ange » de Berg. Aussi au programme : Beethoven et Schubert. Arrondissements Verdun (22), Rivière-des-Prairies (23), Saint-Laurent (25) et Pierrefonds (26).

Série Tableaux en musique: création d’une œuvre de Julien Bilodeau
Commandée par la Fondation Arte Musica au compositeur Julien Bilodeau, à partir d’une œuvre de la collection du Musée des beaux arts, L’heure mauve lui a été inspirée par le tableau d’Ozias Leduc. Les pianistes Brigitte Poulin et Jean Marchand l’offrent au public en création mondiale. Aussi au programme : Stravinski, Debussy et Decaux. Salle Bourgie, Série Tableaux en musique, 24 octobre, 18h30.

Pro Musica en octobre: le Quatuor Belcea
Les membres du Quatuor Belcea harmonisent la diversité de leurs influences en un langage musical commun qui se reflète dans son répertoire. Sa discographie impressionnante lui a valu de grandes distinctions. Œuvres de Mozart, Berg et Brahms. Théâtre Maisonneuve, 26 octobre, 20 h.

À la Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur
Le violoniste Axel Strauss, l’altiste Douglas McNabney, la violoncelliste Élisabeth Dolin et la pianiste Bernadene Blaha forment un nouveau quatuor à géométrie variable. Ces chambristes recherchés proposent un programme d’œuvres de Bloch, Brahms et Mendelssohn. 26 octobre, 15 h 30.

- Renée Banville

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

This Week in Toronto (Oct. 20 - 26)

My Concert Picks for the Week of October 20 to 26

- Joseph So

Soprano Meghan Lindsay and seven men in OA's Alcina (Photo: Bruce Zinger)

Opera Atelier, Canada's premiere Baroque opera company is staging Handel's Alcina as its fall season presentation.  According to OA's publicity material, this marks the first time the Company has used film to enhance traditional painted backdrops so expertly executed by Gerard Gauci.  I have not yet seen any production photos - not available until Oct. 22 - but you can get a taste of the creative process in this Youtube video -   The cast includes all frequent guests of OA, with soprano Meghan Lindsay in the title role. Also appearing are mezzo Allyson McHardy, soprano Mireille Asselin, and mezzo Wallis Giunta.  The show opens on Thursday Oct. 23 7:30 pm at the Elgin Theatre and goes until Nov. 1. Incidentally, the promotion photo here has soprano Meghan Lindsay naked posing on a stepladder.  I would bet that she will be more fully clad to sing the opera comes opening night.

This week is also the home stretch of the Canadian Opera Company's fall season of Falstaff and Madama Butterfly.  Given its superlative musical and dramatic values, Falstaff is selling extremely well. But there are always returns and rush tickets (not to mention standing room) if you need a ticket.  Do check the COC website the evening before to find out if there will be returns and rush the next morning. My advice is to show up by about 9 am at the box office. Tickets to Madama Butterfly is more plentiful, given there are twelve performances and the opera is performed with regularity at the COC. There's only one performance of the Verdi on Saturday Oct. 25 at 4:40 pm.  Madama Butterfly shows are on Oct. 21, 22, 24, 26. Check the COC website to find out the casting.

The last free vocal noon hour recital at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre happens on Thursday Oct. 23, with mezzo Lauren Segal and baritone Robert Gleadow, in works by Dvorak, de Falla, Ibert, and Vaughan Williams.  At the piano is COC chorusmaster Sandra Horst. Details at  Be sure to show up an hour ahead to ensure a seat.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti (Photo: Rhys Frampton)

Conductor Stephane Deneve returns to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to conduct  a Russian program in two performances on Wednesday Oct. 22 at 8 pm, and Thursday Oct. 23 at 2 pm. The flamboyant violinist Nicola Benedetti plays Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, coupled with Prokofiev's Suite from Romeo and Juliet, arranged by Deneve. The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra opens the concert with Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave.

Conductor Stephane Deneve (Photo:Drew Farrell)

Music Toronto is presenting the Belcea Quartet on Oct. 23 8 pm at the Jane Mallett Theatre. On the program are chamber pieces by Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert.

Soprano Suzie LeBlanc and countertenor Daniel Taylor are giving a joint recital of Handel Love Duets on Oct. 24 7:30 pm at the Trinity College Chapel, under the auspices of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. In addition to Handel, on the program are works by Monteverdi and Cavalli.

Canadian Opera Ccompany Music Director Johannes Debus

The Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus is giving the Hermann Geiger-Torel Lecture on Monday Oct. 20 7:30 pm at Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building. The title of his talk is "Applause, applause - a homage to the symbiotic artist-audience relationship."

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