The Voice of 2014 is Franco Fagioli, Countertenor
By Neil Crory on January 7, 2015
Early this past year, a new CD release on the Naïve label arrived in my mail. Glancing at the title - Arias for Caffarelli [sung by] Franco Fagioli - I reacted with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, "Good god! Not another countertenor!" And with that, I tossed it, unceremoniously, into a box overflowing with CDs to be auditioned...at a much later date...
THE VOICE | The Proof in the Pudding is Puccini
By Neil Crory on October 14, 2014
If one wants proof that music has the power to seduce, one need only turn to the works of Giacomo Puccini to be totally moonstruck. His music has uncanny powers of persuasion, even manipulation. With melodies that linger long in one’s memory, harmonies that challenge convention, and orchestration that envelops one in its sensuality; one is powerless to resist. When combined, these qualities weave a spider’s web of emotional entrapment. Do I feel that my senses are being manipulated? Yes. Do I mind? Not in the least. Tears still moisten these cynical eyes each time Tosca leaps off the parapet of Castel Sant’Angelo; or Liù plunges a dagger into her heaving breast.
THE VOICE | Canadian Opera Company Brings Creative Freshness to Barber of Seville (review)
By Neil Crory on April 18, 2015
Canadian Opera Company remounts Rossini's masterpiece, The Barber of Seville: review
THE VOICE | Canadian Opera Company Unveils a 2015/16 Season Full of Firsts
By Neil Crory on January 16, 2015
On Wednesday evening the Canadian Opera Company announced its 2015-2016 season in Grand Opera style. No exclusive little cocktail party for a handful of press here – instead General Director, Alexander Neef went straight to his public and pulled out all the stops. Over a 90 minute programme he offered the crowd of over 1700 an 'event' overflowing with informal chat, Q & As, video segments, interviews, live music, surprise guest singers, a full orchestra conducted by COC Music Director, Johannes Debus - and the complete Act II finale of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Brent Bambury, the affable CBC Radio One host, functioned as moderator and kept the various elements moving along in a quick and orderly fashion. With the massive set for Richard Wagner's Die Walküre in the background, all that was missing was the chorus...
THE VOICE | Christine Goerke: This Valkyrie Rocks! (Profile)
By Neil Crory on February 6, 2015
Those who have met and/or worked with the American dramatic soprano, Christine Goerke describe her as "fun to be with", "unassuming", "down to earth", "hard working", "a real charmer" - the furthest one can get from your stereotypical, card-carrying Valkyrie...
THE VOICE | Brush up your Verdi…
By Neil Crory on October 6, 2014
For the production, a co-pro with Covent Garden, La Scala, the Met and the Dutch National Opera, Carsen has moved the action from 16th century England and the reign of Elizabeth I to the 1950s and the reign of Elizabeth II. And it’s a comfortable fit. This is no feeble-minded ”concept” production. It is well argued and thought through, drawing comparisons between, as Carsen writes, “the sunset of the aristocracy and the rise of the middle class” in both periods.
THE VOICE | Angela Hewitt and Anne Sofie von Otter: 'Medium' is the Message
By Neil Crory on January 11, 2015
The generous programme for this sold out event consisted of songs and solo piano pieces by German masters on the first half (Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms) and French maîtres (Hahn, Fauré, Chabrier, Debussy and Chaminade) on the second half. And while the ingredients for success were all there, the evening proved to be a mixed, occasionally wanting, affair.
THE VOICE | Gianandrea Noseda Tells All
By Neil Crory on December 3, 2014
The dynamic Italian conductor, Gianandrea Noseda, needs little introduction to Torontonians. Since his local debut in April 2002, he has conducted nearly a dozen programmes with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. For his upcoming appearance, however, Noseda is bringing his own orchestra and chorus from the Teatro Regio Torino in Italy, together with twelve soloists for a single, not-to-be-missed performance of Rossini's epic William Tell (or, more appropriately, Guglielmo Tell).
THE VOICE | Four Seasons Forecast: Dreary, Dreary, Dreary (Review)
By Neil Crory on January 25, 2015
Contrary to popular belief, critics and reviewers do not - for the most part - enjoy writing negative commentary. I know that I don't. But what can be said about the Canadian Opera Company's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts which opened on Saturday afternoon?