La Scena Musicale

Monday, 21 December 2015

Cette semaine à Montréal : le 21 au 27 décembre

Pierre Grandmaison à l'orgue
Orgue à l’Oratoire Saint-Joseph
Tous les Montréalais ont déjà vu de loin le dôme de l’oratoire Saint-Joseph. Mais combien sont déjà allés à l’intérieur ? On y trouve un splendide orgue Beckerath inauguré en 1960 qui compte cinq claviers, 78 jeux et 5811 tuyaux. Les dimanches après-midi, on y présente un concert gratuit à 15 h 30, avec projection sur grand écran. Pour le temps des fêtes, la série Noël à l’orgue présente le 27 décembre Noël romantique, avec Julie Pinsonneault, et le 3 janvier, Noël français avec Jean-Michel Grondin. www.saint-joseph.org
Orgue à la Basilique Notre-Dame
En 2016, on fêtera le 125e anniversaire de l’orgue Casavant de Notre-Dame qui, avec ses 92 jeux, est l’un des plus grands situés dans une église en Amérique du Nord. Tous les dimanches, les « Florilèges de l’orgue liturgique », auditions musicales avec Pierre Grandmaison, organiste titulaire, ou Martin Boucher, organiste assistant, ont lieu de 10 h 30 à 10 h 55, juste avant la messe. Du 27 au 31 décembre, 14 h 30, la série Prenez place à l’orgue – spécial Noël permet aux mélomanes d’assister, assis à la tribune, à un concert de Noël avec Pierre Grandmaison. Seulement 60 places sont disponibles, il est donc recommandé de réserver. www.basiliquenotredame.ca

Luminothérapie - du 10 décembre au 31 janvier
Les arts visuels font partie du paysage et du mode de vie des Montréalais qui ont la chance d’avoir accès, et souvent gratuitement, à de nombreuses facettes de cette expression artistique. Cet hiver, profitez de Luminothérapie, car non seulement vous avez besoin de lumière durant la saison froide, mais de plus vous pourrez partager, avec votre famille et vos amis, une expérience esthétique et quasi-hypnotique inoubliable avec toutes ces productions artistiques interactives hautes en couleurs. www.quartierdesspectacles.com/lumino
Arts visuels à Montréal
Au Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM), découvrez un volet de l’histoire artistique canadienne et montréalaise longtemps méconnu avec l’exposition Une modernité des années 1920 consacrée aux artistes du Groupe de Beaver Hall, présentée jusqu’au 31 janvier 2016.
mbam.qc.ca
Jusqu’au 10 janvier 2016, le Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) présente une exposition couvrant la carrière de l’artiste américaine Dana Schutz, dont le travail des dix dernières années a exercé une profonde influence sur la peinture contemporaine. Puisant dans les avant-gardes du début du XXe siècle, du cubisme synthétique et de l’expressionnisme allemand, l’art très coloré de Dana Schutz est une fusion de figuration et d’abstraction. www.macm.org
À voir également au MAC, Grosse Fatigue, une installation vidéo de 13 minutes de Camille Henrot qui lui a valu le Lion d’argent de la meilleure jeune artiste de la Biennale de Venise en 2013. L’artiste française propose une histoire de l’univers conjuguant des éléments d’histoire scientifique à divers récits sur la création du monde provenant de diverses traditions et cultures. Toujours jusqu’au 10 janvier, Patrick Bernatchez présente une exposition articulée autour d’œuvres tirées de deux grands ensembles de son répertoire, Chrysalides et Lost in Time. Le public y retrouvera l’essence de son travail qui aborde des questions liées à la vie et à la mort, à la décomposition, à l’entropie, au cycle des saisons ainsi qu’aux dimensions multiples du temps. www.macm.org
Au Musée McCord, jusqu’au 10 avril 2016, voyez Montréal dans l’œil de Vittorio, 50 ans de vie urbaine et de création graphique. Cette exposition est consacrée à l’artiste affichiste d’origine italienne Vittorio Fiorucci dont la carrière s’est échelonnée sur 50 ans. Arrivé à Montréal en 1951, il y découvrira sa vocation en expérimentant la bande dessinée, la photographie, les découpages et les collages. À travers la carrière de ce créateur humoristique, l’exposition retrace l’histoire culturelle du Québec des années 1950 à 2000 au moyen de 125 affiches, photographies, illustrations et bandes dessinées. www.mccord-museum.qc.ca
Une idée de sortie avec des jeunes de trois à neuf ans ? Emmenez-les voir Le cirque de Monsieur Lapin au Musée McCord. Dans cette exposition inspirée de la collection de livres à succès Monsieur Lapin des éditions Les 400 coups, les jeunes se livreront à une enquête pour retrouver les accessoires de cirque disparus un soir de première et ainsi découvrir les quelque 200 jouets et objets des collections du musée. www.mccord-museum.qc.ca

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This Week in Montréal: December 21 to 27



Pierre Grandmaison at the organ
Oragn at St. Joseph’s Oratory
All Montrealers have seen the oratory dome from afar. But how many have actually been inside? They’d find a splendid Beckerath organ inaugurated in 1960 that has five keyboards, 78 stops and 5,811 pipes. On Sunday afternoons you can hear a free concert at 3:30 pm, with an accompanying screening. For the holidays, the series Noël à l’orgue will present Noël romantique with Julie Pinsonneault on December 27, and on January 3, Noël français with Jean-Michel Grondin. www.saint-joseph.org
Organ at Notre-Dame Basilica
In 2016, the Casavant organ in Notre-Dame will be 125 years old. With its 92 stops, it’s one of the largest in any North American church. Every Sunday the “Florilèges de l’orgue liturgique”, musical anthologies played by principal organist Pierre Grandmaison or assistant organist Martin Boucher, take place from 10:30 to 10:55, just before Mass. From December 27 to 31 at 2:30 pm, Pierre Grandmaison will play a concert entitled “Prenez place à l’orgue – Spécial Noël” to an audience seated in the gallery. Only 60 places are available, so we recommend you reserve. www.basiliquenotredame.ca
Luminothérapie – December 10 to January 31
In Montréal, visual arts are a large part of the city’s personality and way of life. The city is flush with art expositions all year long, most of which are free. To make up for the short winter days and brighten up the long winter nights, check out Luminothérapie, an interactive, colourful, and hypnotic festival of light, and best of all – it’s free! A great activity to share with friends and family. www.quartierdesspectacles.com
Visual Arts in Montréal
A
t the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, discover a long unknown part of Canadian and Montréalaise history with the exhibition “Une modernité des années 1920“ about the artists of the Beaver Hall Group, on display until January 31 2016. www.mbam.qc.ca
Until January 10 2016 the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) is hosting an exhibition on the career of American artists Dana Schutz, whose work in the last ten years has had a profound impact on contemporary painting. Drawing on the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, synthetic cubism, and German expressionism, Schutz’s very colourful art is a fusion of figuration and abstraction.
www.macm.org
Also at the MAC is Grosse Fatigue, a 13-minute long video installation by Camille Henrot, winner of the Silver Lion for promising young artists at the Venice Biennale 2013. This French artist presents a history of the universe combining elements from the history of science to stories about the creation of the world from various traditions and cultures.
Until January 10 Patrick Bernatchez will present an exhibition about works taken from two main collections of his repertoire, Chrysalides and Lost in Time. The public will discover the essence of his work, which deals with issues of life and death, decomposition, entropy, and the four seasons as well as the multiple dimensions of time. www.macm.org
Until April 10 2016 see the exhibition “Montreal through the eyes of Vittorio: 50 Years of City Life and Graphic Design” at the McCord Museum. This exhibition deals with Italian-born artist Vittorio Fiorucci, whose career spanned 50 years. Arriving in Montreal in 1951, there he discovered his vocation through comic books, photography, decoupage and collages. Through the career of this humoristic creator the exhibition traces the cultural history of Quebec from the 1950s to the 2000s through 125 posters, photographs, illustrations and comic strips. www.mccord-museum.qc.ca
Need an idea for something to do with children between 3 and 9? Take them to see Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum.  In this exhibition, inspired by the best-selling Mister Rabbit books (published by Les 400 coups), children will be able to follow an investigation to find the missing circus equipment on opening night and in doing so discover the 200 toys and objects in the museum’s collections. www.mccord-museum.qc.ca

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

This Week in Toronto (Dec. 21 - Jan. 3)

My Toronto Concert Picks for the 2 Weeks of Dec. 21 to Jan. 3

~ Joseph So

Happy Holidays Everyone ! (Photo: Joseph So)

Given that classical musical presentations are much reduced during the week surrounding Christmas, I've combined the two weeks in my weekly preview, as I've done in previous years. That said, there are still a few notable events worthy of your consideration.

Soprano Karina Gauvin (Photo: Michael Slobodian)


Top on my list is Bravissimo! the annual operatic concert on New Year's Eve presented by Canadian impresario Attila Glatz of Attila Glatz Concert Productions. Billed as "Opera's Greatest Hits," it's an evening of standard arias and duets sung by an international cast of soloists, with usually a non-Canadian maestro conducting the Opera Canada Symphony which is essentially a "pick up orchestra" made up of local Canadian orchestral musicians for the occasion. There are two excellent Canadian singers this year - soprano Karina Gauvin and mezzo Krisztina Szabo. Joining them are two Italians - tenor Stefano La Colla and baritone Lucio Gallo. Conducting will be Italian maestro Marco Guidarini, who was just in town a couple of months ago for Canadian Opera Company's La traviata. The performance starts at 7 pm at Roy Thomson Hall on Dec. 31 and will be all over shortly after 9 pm, leaving plenty of time for New Year's Eve festivities.  I've attended this concert annually from the beginning. It took a couple of years to catch on but it now draws a large crowd, with excellent singing each time. You can be sure it will conclude with the festive "Libiamo, libiamo" from La traviata!  http://www.roythomson.com/eventdetail/Bravissimo2015

Hungarian National Ballet (Photo: www.salutetovienna.com)

If you are not tired out from partying all night, be sure to attend Salute to Vienna, an afternoon divertissement of ballet and operetta Viennese style. Hungarian conductor Imre Kollar leads the Strauss Symphony of Canada, with Polish soprano Katarzyna Dondalska and Austrian tenor Franz Gurtelschmied as soloists. Joining the festivities are dancers from the Hungarian National Ballet and the International Champion Ballroom Dancers. I've been attending this event the past several years and it's virtually sold out every time. Friday Jan. 1st 2:30 pm at Roy Thomson Hall. http://www.roythomson.com/eventdetail/Salute2016

The National Ballet of Canada is in the middle of its month long run of The Nutcracker. This show is terrific holiday entertainment for the whole family, and a surefire box office bonanza for the Company. I've seen the James Kudelka version only once when it was new - his colourful, slightly quirky and decidedly unique vision of the classic is sure to entertain the young and the old. It's two hours long with a single intermission. Here's a little Youtube video on the 20th anniversary of the Nutcracker, introduced by head of the National Ballet and former prima ballerina Karen Kain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecMDAdyMgsU  Thirteen more performances from this Tuesday to Jan. 3rd at the Four Seasons Centre. Go to the National Ballet website for details of times and principal dancers. https://national.ballet.ca/Productions/2015-2016-Season/The-Nutcracker

Soprano Jennifer Taverner (Photo: Katie Cross)

Toronto voice fans can count on the Toronto Operetta Theatre to stage a production every Christmas and New year. This time around, it's Sigmund Romberg's The Student Prince.  I've always had a soft spot for this piece as it was my very first exposure to opera, by way of the Hollywood movie starring Mario Lanza, Ann Blyth and Edmund Purdom - I was all of seven years old. Perhaps that's what got me interested in opera ever since!  COC conductor Derek Bate is at the helm and TOT's Guillermo Silva-Marin is the stage director. The principals are soprano Jennifer Taverner, tenor Ernesto Ramirez, tenor Stefan Fehr, and bass-baritone Curtis Sullivan. It opens on Dec. 27 at the Jane Mallett Theatre, with additional performances on Dec. 28, 31, Jan. 2 and 3. The New Year's Eve performance also includes an option of a dinner and post-performance festivities. Go to their website for details.     http://www.torontooperetta.com/index.html

Lutenist John Edwards and soprano Hallie Fishel (Photo: Alexandra Guerson)

Last but not least, the Musicians in Ordinary is bringing in the new year with its traditional Baroque Concert. on Friday Jan. 1st 2 pm at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in Yorkville. This concert is repeated on Saturday Jan. 2 at 8 pm. Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards offer a program of "Opus 1's" - first compositions by Handel, Vivaldi and other Baroque masters. Joining them are violinist Christopher Verrette and Patricia Ahern as well as keyboardist Borys Medicky.   More information at  http://www.musiciansinordinary.ca/







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