Monthly Archives: April 2015

10 Questions for Krisztina Szabó

My stereotype of Krisztina Szabó is inaccurate of course. My questions may have made her laugh, even though she’s too polite to send me packing. In cobbling together a few questions –concerning a pair of 20th century compositions—I was far … Continue reading

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Graceful Orpheus will move you

I can’t think of a performing arts troupe with a more recognizable style than Opera Atelier. For the first twenty years of their existence (give or take a few seasons), they straight-jacketed themselves with the idea of authenticity, portraying themselves … Continue reading

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10 Questions for Alek Shrader

It can be embarrassing when you don’t realize you’ve already seen / heard an artist before.  I didn’t realize I’d seen Alek Shrader before, in his impressive turn as Ferdinand in Adès’s Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera. So in other … Continue reading

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Back to music for loyal supporters of TSO

It’s been a difficult week. The Toronto Symphony’s players, tonight’s conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, the would-be soloists Valentina Lisitsa and Stewart Goodyear, and the audience have in various ways been through an ordeal. Arriving at the concert tonight, we walked past … Continue reading

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Toronto Symphony: last moment program change

From a press release: “The TSO has taken a decision to remove Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 from this week’s programme.  The concert for Wednesday, April 8  and Thursday, April 9  will focus entirely on Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.  The concert … Continue reading

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TSO controversy: it’s not about the music anymore

The similarities between Valentina Lisitsa and Justin Bieber were noted years ago. They’re self-made stars They get millions of hits on youtube Their overconfidence has led them into trouble Perhaps Lisitsa needs to have a celebrity roast, as she seeks … Continue reading

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Stewart Goodyear replaces Valentina Lisitsa

A change has been announced for the Toronto Symphony concerts this week on April 8 & 9, a concert I was eagerly anticipating, wanting to hear Valentina Lisitsa in person (as I wrote yesterday). But today the announcement was made … Continue reading

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Virtual virtuoso: Valentina Lisitsa to play Rachmaninoff with Toronto Symphony this week

I’ve been thinking about the way that concert performances idealize a work.  Even the most elaborate productions of opera require short-cuts, some sort of suspension of disbelief when fully staged.     The question about concert performances of opera is really a … Continue reading

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What does this Requiem do? Ivany meets Mozart

The calendar reminds us of the relationship of our society and religion.  This week is one of those times of year when people may make their only annual visit to a church or synagogue, while those who are regular attendees or church … Continue reading

Posted in Music and musicology, Opera, Personal ruminations & essays | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments