SCRUTINY | Mezzo-Soprano Simone McIntosh Stays True To Her Growing Reputation
By Joseph So on December 6, 2017
Mezzo Simone McIntosh gave a scintillating recital of songs by Edvard Grieg, Francis Poulenc, Alban Berg, and Frank Bridge at Wirth Vocal Prize showcase.
SCRUTINY | Bel Canto Bliss: The Tale of Two Normas
By Joseph So on October 25, 2016
Toronto Bel Canto Opera Fans may think they have died and gone to heaven. Two great exponents of Norma, both in Toronto, to sing in the current production at the Canadian Opera Company. Talk about an embarrassment of riches!
RECORD KEEPING | At the Crossroads of Gamelan and Minimalism
How American Lou Harrison synthesized Asian percussion instruments and minimalism into his music in the middle of the 20th century.
SCHMOPERA | #UncleJohn: the Toronto Story
Joel Ivany is all about the audience’s experience, which translates into unconventional venues, like outdoor spaces subject to rain, mosquitoes, and sulphur, and extraordinary demands on the mechanics of opera, like the AtG Messiah
chorus performing from memory, or managing Mozart recitative
without any singer-conductor sight lines. The AtG creative team tends to work with a wild idea, and enough open minds around to try it out; the award-winning company has been full of successes from the beginning. All these unknown elements hover in the air throughout the rehearsal process, including the first performance, and no one really knows how they’ll all settle. In my own experience working with their team, there’s always a bit of alchemy that happens in AtG shows. In Banff, #UncleJohn
was an incredible mix of good energy amongst the team, green and responsive audiences, and an unforgettable venue. The reward for all that creative work was enormous.
SCRUTINY | Great Singing And Superb Orchestra Mark Revival Of COC Elektra
By Joseph So on January 27, 2019
There have been wonderful singers in the title role of Elektra in the past at the COC, Christine Goerke is a most worthy successor to that storied lineage.
Concert review: Thomas Dausgaard and Alecia Weilerstein show what committment means with the Toronto Symphony
It’s a combination of factors, of course, but the concrete that cements it all into place is commitment, a sense that the musician or actor or reader has focused every fibre and neuron on their performance.
SCRUTINY | Inaugural Ukrainian Art Song Summer Institute Concert Showcases Voices Of Tomorrow
By Joseph So on August 15, 2017
The Ukraine's art song legacy was well-represented this past weekend, capped off with an evening of unabashed emotion in Toronto.
SCRUTINY | Marc-André Hamelin And TSO Delight At Roy Thomson Hall
"Langrée rose to the occasion, as did the TSO, who matched Hamelin's shifting focus between heart-melting melodies and sweeping rambles across the keyboard."
LEBRECHT LISTENS | Steven Isserlis Gives Haydn A New Swagger
The latest release by cellist Steven Isserlis takes on two well-known Haydn concertos plus three works touched by Haydn's influence.