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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Brian Current opera Airline Icarus to close Soundstreams 2013-14 season

By John Terauds on April 23, 2013

The Australian Art Orchestra brings its 15-year-old Passion project to Toronto in the spring of 2014.
The Australian Art Orchestra brings its continuously evolving 15-year-old Passion project to Toronto in the spring of 2014, thanks to Soundstreams.

Soundstreams today announced its 2013-14 season of five programmes spread at Koerner Hall, Trinity-St Paul’s Centre and the Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park. As is the organization’s long-standing practice, the performances have been curated to showcase a mix of contemporary Canadian and international composers and performers.

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.

Here are the details from the Soundstreams press release:

The Music of Arvo Pärt
October 1 at 8 p.m., Koerner Hall
Two recent choral and orchestral masterpieces, both based on sacred texts, are at the centre of this concert: in Adam’s Lament, the first man’s grief at his expulsion from Paradise expands into a gorgeous meditation upon the sorrows of all humankind, while L’abbé Agathon recounts the legend of a fourth-century hermit tested by an angel in disguise. Longtime Estonian collaborator Tõnu Kaljuste conducts Choir 21 and string orchestra in a program featuring soprano Shannon Mercer and the world premiere of a new work by Toronto composer Riho Maimets.

Reimagining Flamenco
November 13 at 8 p.m., Trinity St. Paul’s Centre
Russian guitar virtuoso Grisha Goryachev and pianist Serouj Kradjian bring contemporary perspectives to the traditional music of Andalusia. Besides a rare opportunity to hear the original chamber version (with flamenco singer) of Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo — with its celebrated Ritual Fire Dance, in which a young widow is freed of the ghost of her unfaithful husband — the concert features Goryachev’s own classically flavoured reinventions of solo guitar pieces by the old flamenco masters. The world premiere of a new work by Canada’s André Ristic rounds out this exploration of a distinctive and much-loved genre.

Canadian Choral Celebration
February 2, 2014, at 3 p.m., Koerner Hall
Under the baton of Kaspars Putniņš, conductor of the Latvian Radio Choir, Ontario’s Elmer Iseler Singers and Choir 21, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Alberta’s Pro Coro Canada present a special weekend-long series of concerts to celebrate six decades of professional choral singing in Canada. The festivities culminate in Koerner Hall with a performance of monumental works by Henryk Górecki, Thomas Tallis, and a world premiere for 64 voices by R. Murray Schafer.

Passion after St. Matthew
April 15, 2014, at 8 p.m., Trinity St. Paul’s Centre
By blending jazz improvisation with classical tradition, the Australian Art Orchestra joins an ensemble of brilliant Canadians (including composer and sound artist Nicole Lizée) for an adventurous homage to one of the masterpieces of classical oratorio, J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Structured in five movements, each composed by a different member of the group and linked by brief chorales, Passion is designed to evolve significantly from performance to performance, a dazzling example of this unique ensemble’s innovative approach to music-making. The first performance took place in Australian in 1997.

Airline Icarus
Music by Brian Current, libretto by Anton Piatigorsky. Produced by Maniac Star.
June 3–8, 2014, Ada Slaight Hall, Daniels Spectrum
In evoking the story of Icarus, who flew with waxen wings only to plummet to his death after soaring too close to the sun, award-winning composer Brian Current and playwright Anton Piatigorsky impart a mythic dimension to the mundane experience of contemporary air travel.

Set aboard a plane bound for Cleveland, their opera explores both the spiritual joy and the angst of flying as it invites us into the minds of passengers and crew, revealing their relationships and their inmost thoughts.

The composer himself conducts this fully staged opera, with a cast that includes mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and baritone Alexander Dobson. Directed by Tim Albery. (The opera was first presented in Toronto, at Koerner Hall, during the 2011-12 season.)

For all the details of the 2013-14 season, click here.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
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