The child who goes to bed on Christmas Eve awaiting a visit from Santa Claus may have given clues. Sometimes Santa gets a letter. Sometimes he gets a visit in the department store.
I’m just like that kid, awaiting the Canadian Opera Company announcement of their 2013-2014 season, to be made tomorrow morning. I didn’t actually tell Santa (aka Alexander Neef) what I wanted, so I suppose it’s unlikely I’ll get what I want. But even so, I’m going to put this out there. Who knows, maybe he’ll see this, maybe he’ll bring me something next year.
There are several ways to please this child.
Considering that one of my big wishes is being satisfied in the next few days –Ben Heppner as Tristan—I’m inclined to think that maybe it’s worth dreaming big, to name one’s fantasy aloud. Who knows… maybe?
Tenor: Adam Klein. I saw him at the Met, and approached him for an interview, which confirmed for me what i’d already seen, that he’s a terrific singer of intelligence & wit who can sing just about anything.
Baritone: Tómas Tómasson, who’s singing the Dutchman in Los Angeles in a few weeks, who sang Dr Schön and Telramund on videos I saw in the past few months: a wonderful voice with great stage presence.
Bass-baritone: Canadian Gerald Finley is the voice I’m perhaps most eager to hear from the Four Seasons Stage, a man at home in any century or style.
Soprano also has a Canadian angle. If we’re fortunate Neef will bring back Sondra Radvanovsky and Jane Archibald, two of the most impressive performers to grace Toronto stages. But while we’re creating a wish-list, let me add Barbara Hannigan (whose work i wrote about recently) .
Mezzo-soprano: Anna Caterina Antonacci is a singer who should have sung at the Met by now. Neef has shown a willingness to bring people to Toronto before they get to the Met (Harry Bicket for example), so maybe we’ll see her too?
Calixto Bieito in another city would be a risky deal. Toronto? As I’ve said before in this space, the balance at the COC is unique. We’re a major theatre city who embrace adventurous designs & concepts. Why not bring in the most adventurous & risky director and simply turn him loose? They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
- Der Vampyr by Marschner? It’s an opera that either the COC or Opera Atelier could present, and likely –with even half-decent design—sell successfully.
- Satyagraha is an opera that plays to the COC’s strengths, namely orchestra & chorus. It doesn’t require stars, although one role—Gandhi—should probably be a good singing actor. But Glass’s opera, like War & Peace a few years ago, could be a terrific showcase for the company, and I believe it would capture the city’s imagination, just as it did in NYC when the Met presented it.
- And while we’re talking of showcases and box office, I think it’s time to re-stage one of the Ring operas. Maybe the whole cycle is too expensive, but putting on one of them? Surely the Tristan experience –and the brisk ticket sales—suggest that we need to keep Wagner in the repertoire every season. François Girard’s Parsifal is supposedly coming one of these years, but in the meantime, why not revive Rheingold for example (which is maybe the easiest to cast)?
Wednesday morning? …see what’s under the tree.