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 | COC: Lepage Landmark Double Bill Revived (Review)
Dramatically, the pairing of these two gripping psychological studies is a natural fit. Musically, however, they are light years apart. Neil Crory reviews.
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?
FEATURE | Maria Callas In Toronto – A Night On The Town
By Neil Crory on October 15, 2014
"Maria Callas Is Coming!" trumpeted one newspaper headline a few days before the Greek-American soprano was to make her highly anticipated Toronto debut on October 21, 1958. Vocally, the diva was at the peak of her game and the height of her celebrity, so it is perhaps not surprising that an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 opera fans gathered to hear her perform in the cavernous Maple Leaf Gardens - home not only to the Maple Leafs, but also to New York's Metropolitan Opera on tour. So dense were the crowds of fans, the Toronto Daily Star reported, that when she appeared, police had to drive a path through the cheering throngs...
THE VOICE | Against the Grain Theatre Goes Green and Wins Gold (Review)
This past Friday, Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) gave the final of four sold-out performances of their latest venture, Death & Desire, featuring mezzo-soprano, Krisztina Szabó, bass-baritone, Stephen Hegedus, and pianist, Topher Mokrzewski.
THE VOICE | Wagner's Ring of Fire Relit
By Neil Crory on February 2, 2015
On Saturday, January 31, the Canadian Opera Company officially launched the revival of its lauded 2006 production of Richard Wagner's epic Ring Cycle with seven performances of Die Walküre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The production runs through February 22nd...
THE VOICE | The Toronto Consort Take Light in the Darkness (Review)
The ever resourceful The Toronto Consort outdo themselves with an engaging production of the liturgical drama, The Play of Daniel. Neil Crory reviews.
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 | 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 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...