Attending a musical concert is usually an opportunity to hear familiar favorites or recognizable nostalgic pieces. Unlike listening to the same works on one’s stereo or CD player; the performing artist should contribute some reminiscence, trivia and background to introduce each piece. But most important is the addition of the entertainer’s individuality that makes an evening special. Michèle Tredger has a personality that almost outshines her full-range soprano voice, and both were on display at her Beth Jacob fundraising event.
Review by Judith Caldwell
The two winners of the Oakville Chamber Orchestra’s Youth Concerto Competition headlined the final OCO concert of the 2014/2015 season and it was certainly a grand send off to the season. The winners were Tessa Laengert, soprano, and pianist Marko Pejanovic. The concert began with the orchestra playing Symphony #5 in B-flat major by Franz Schubert. Those of us who have seen ‘Amadeus’ are used to the idea of Antonio Salieri as a miserable, jealous man, but he was really quite generous in his praise for his student, Schubert.
Review by Danny Gaisin
Way back (1950’s) at High School in Montreal, there were three categories of ‘bad boys’. The worst were those taken to the cloak-room for the strap; next were those sent down to the Principal; and for minor miscreants; exiled from the classroom and told to sit by the door until the bell rang. These were known as ‘The kids in the hall’ and due to my big mouth – I was regularly so banished.
Photo courtesy of David Hawe
Toronto’s METRO YOUTH OPERAS refers to the cast/crew; not the audience judging by the plethora of canes and white hairs; including us. Another hint, only one or two of ten grabbed their I-pads as soon as the houselights went on. If we were the under-thirty crowd, that figure would be 98.7%! Schlepped in from the ‘burbs to see ‘Béatrice & Bénédict; Berlioz’ comedic opera based on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing”. It was worth the trip!
Review by Danny Gaisin
This season has seen Dundas Little Theatre offer two-fer presentations based on a common theme. Both Hall & Middlemass’ THE VALIANT and John Mortimer’s THE DOCK BRIEF deal with capital convictions, albeit from both thespian-designed interpretive masks. The former takes its name from a familiar line in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Act II, scene 2; the latter – a formal term from British jurisprudence. Crime & punishment proves fertile soil & subject for theatre.
Director Brenda Ewing stages ‘The Valiant’ by carefully avoiding any denouement telegraphy.
New theatre is the life blood of our art. New theatre gives artists the opportunity to be recognized and be better known in the community. New theatre is ridiculously hard to do in Toronto due to the enormous expenses involved with staging a show. Thanks to Why Not Theatre with their most recent initiative – The RISER Project; new works, emerging and indie artists are being given the chance to showcase and perform in spaces that would have otherwise been too expensive to use.