Make no mistake, Alden’s interpretation of Johann Strauss Jr’s most popular comic operetta — one long accepted on fine, serious opera stages everywhere — has a great concept, a brilliant set design by Allen Moyer, Constance Hoffman’s colourful costumes and some of the finest operatic lighting (by Paul Palazzo) that I’ve seen in a long time.
Peter Longworth is, I would like to argue, Toronto’s most accomplished collaborative pianist right now. It sometimes looks like there’s nothing he can’t do. So it’s particularly worth paying attention to his first solo album.
Billed as a Parisian soirée, the programme featured art song, poetry, film, modern music for piano, baroque-era chamber music and a sacred detour into the Lamentations of Jeremiah complete with interpretive dance.
The German-speaking law-school dropout with a talent for writing opera arrived in England on the coattails of an unpopular German-born king (George I, the first of the Hanover monarchs, who later Anglicised themselves as Windsors) in the mid-1710s.