“Carmina Burana”; fitting end of the 2015 Brott Summer festival Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
The final concert in the 2015 Brott Summer Music Festival featured choral works by two Twentieth Century musical titans – Leonard Bernstein and Carl Orff. The opening half of the concert belonged to Bernstein, his ‘Chichester Psalms’. This is a work for boy soprano or counter tenor, chorus and orchestra which was written around the pivotal roles of two harps, Bernstein composed their music first and then wrapped the remainder of the music around them. Instead of the traditional, tonight had soprano Leslie Fagan singing as the youthful King David. More…

“Cirque du Festival”; pleasing but distracting Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
One has to hand it to Boris Brott; he certainly knows how to put a concert together. This reviewer was not at all sure about a concert with aerialists – would they add to the program or distract? Initially, in Felix Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night Dream Suite they did distract, but later added so much to Tales of the Netsilik that they even seemed necessary to the storytelling. The evening opened with Janna Sailor conducting the N.A.O. in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Overture to Hansel & Gretel,

Chief Hill with the Brotts;  post-concert

Chief Hill with the Brotts; post-concert

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Boy’s Choir from France perform locally Reply

Editor’s Note: The following concert took place last week but the critique could not be (technically) uploaded until today. Apologies.  ETG

Review by
Judith Caldwell


                Maitrise Des Hauts de France, young singers of Lambersart, gave a concert At St. Thomas’ Catholic Church in Waterdown on Sunday evening. Francois Verschaeve was their translator/ interpreter for their North American tour and in exchange requested a concert in his home town of Waterdown.  He promised Father Lobsinger of St Thomas’ that he would fill the church for it – he got his wish on both counts. The choir was led by Conductor Jerome Cupelli and accompanied by Martine Betremieux on piano or organ.

The choir performing in Waterdown

The choir performing in Waterdown

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“POPERA”; a smorgasbord of standards + divas/divo’s Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

From the opening notes of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” opera overture to the closing  (audience-participating)’ Va Pensiero’ from Verdi’s “Nabucco”; POPERA 2015 had three distinct entities showcased, and one lone (musical) arranger who, even out of context, brought out some of the essence of operatic arias. Entity one certainly had to be the polished members of the National Academy orchestra whose faultless technique and instrumental skill shone throughout. Under the batons of conductor Boris Brott and his apprentice Janna Sailor; the ensemble plus the seven vocalists worked as a harmonious unit.

The soloists performing an aria from "Barbiere"

The soloists performing an aria from “Barbiere”

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“TEA TIME”, N.A.O.’s annual musicale/social event Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
The Brott Summer Festival’s High Tea with Giampiero was presented at the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday. The National Academy Orchestra and clarinetist Giampiero Sobrino offered a very full and satisfying program. It began with a work by Montreal composer Allan Belkin titled ‘Night Passages’ which did carry the listener along fascinating paths, with intriguing surprises- as promised. It was tonal, harmonic and reminiscent of traditional European works and received emphatic applause.
Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (one of my personal favourites) is one of those rare works where all three movements are equally well known and loved.

Sobrino & Max Mauricio-Cardilli; post-concert

Sobrino & Max Mauricio-Cardilli; post-concert

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N.A.O.’s “Romantic & Fantastic” concert 1

Review by Judith Caldwell    reviewerJudith

The National Academy Orchestra of Canada under the baton of Boris Brott offered a Romantic and Fantastic evening of music to a sold-out audience despite the competition from the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games. The evening began with some new music from a young Canadian composer, Jordan Pal, who was in the audience. “‘Burn’ brings to mind the qualities, characteristics and properties of fire: its volatile, destructive and unpredictable nature; and its often overlooked sublime and evanescent states” according to the helpful and descriptive program notes.

soloist Tryon & student Jason Scozzar; post-concerti

soloist Tryon & student Jason Scozzar; post-concerti

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