Toronto Masque Theatre’s world premiere of The Lesson of Da Ji, written by Alice Ho and Marjorie Chan, has been nominated for Outstanding New Musical/Opera — as has A Synonym for Love, the Volcano Theatre-Classical Music Consort production written by Deborah Pearson that took over the Gladstone Hotel last August.
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.
It’s taken five weeks for me to feel like I’m starting to make connections with the 12 piano students I received from a teacher that’s taken a year’s maternity leave. Last night in particular, I was reminded again how the cliché about a teacher learning from students is so very true.
Galway is one of the few classical musicians to have successfully bridged classical and popular music styles — much in the way that the Conservatory’s chief programmer Mervon Mehta mixes up genres at the Telus Centre’s three performance venues, including Koerner Hall.