“The FOURSOME” by W.E.S.T. Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
The late comedian W.C. Fields avowed that actors should never perform with kids or pets. Rationale – being upstaged. WEST’s quartet of males involved with Norm Foster’s “THE FOURSOME” had an opening night audience totally distracted by a spider weaving a large web -stage-right. This non-ACTRA performer, a large anthropoid arachnid happened to be weaving its web against a black backdrop and under a non-white Kleiglight – perfect illumination!
The play, once interest returned, is about a golf game as part of a fifteen year college reunion, and like an onion, the strips are peeled away revealing the duffer; the con artist; reticent member and the sensitive one.

l-r: Reid; Morrison; Rahmani & Wilson at the sixth Tee

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“O.C.O’s competition winners in concert” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The Oakville Chamber Orchestra is starting it’s 35th year; concertmaster Aleksandar Gajic begins his 2nd decade with the ensemble, and maestro Charles Demuynck has held the podium almost forever. Like every forward-thinking musical organization, looking ahead means nurturing the musicians that will follow and the O.C.O. has always made such actions its mandate.
The Queen Elizabeth Park Cultural Centre does suffer from poor acoustics and the Yamaha may be a little tinny but the talents of four young (
as in 2 x age14 & 2 x19 year olds) made such problems minuscule.
The afternoon started with
J J Bui performing the Mozart Piano concerto no. 12’s allegro (opening) movement.

Sun; Orlenko; Bui & Yuan :- OCO competition winners post-performance

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The Gulencos & an evening of classical music at Mac 2

Review by Judith Caldwell

Larisa and Alexei Gulenco presented a demanding program for two pianos, in this case two Steinway’s, in the new L. R. Wilson Concert Hall at McMaster University.  The 350 seat Hall is a welcome addition to the Hamilton entertainment scene.  The acoustics are excellent delivering a wonderful clarity of sound; plus the size is perfect for concerts and recitals.
The Gulenkos are a husband and wife team who each have impressive credentials.  Alexei received his original musical training in Russia where he won the Rachmaninoff competition, then the Jose Iturbi competition in Spain and the Liszt in Italy.

the Gulenco’s – post concert

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“HARLEM DUET” explores racism, past & present Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Djanet Sears’ powerful “rhapsodic blues tragedy, “ Harlem Duet, is onstage at the Tarragon again, 21 years after its world premiere there. The play received Dora, Chalmers and Governor-General’s Awards, and was the first script by a black Canadian produced at Stratford Festival (2006); it has also been produced in New York.
I did not see earlier productions, but seeing it now, I find the play relevant for today and (like Shakespeare and Greek tragedy) for all times. The playwright asks the question, “Who would Shakespeare’s character Othello be if he were alive today…in my world?” As in the blues, the play has a musical, linear and non-linear quality.   Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Stephens-Thompson & Borden in HARLEM DUET

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“Gemma New’s HPO aces Brahms” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Saturday’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s opening 2018-’19 season epitomizes the old “A-Team” slogan about a plan coming together. The works performed; the guest soloist and the published list for the rest of the season were, & are – terrific.
The opening work was Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3; (of four). It initiates the opera Fidelio in which the main character uses the title as her pseudonym in order to become a prison guard and thus help her beloved escape. Maestra New’s interpretation had a slow and understated introduction so dramatic as to have me close my eyes to thus enhance the aural drama being experienced.

Crozman & New’s HPO interpreting Elgar’s cello concerto

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Hammer Baroque offers THE REZONANCE ENSEMBLE Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The REZONANCE (sic) ENSEMBLE are a five-piece chamber quintet whose interest and emphasis is the post-Renaissance period of the 17th century. Among the stars of the era were Telemann, Corelli, Scarlatti, Pergolasi and a certain J.S. Bach.. For their Hammer Baroque concert at Melrose United, they and soloist Vania Chan selected work by Frederick Handel whose compositional lifetime spanned the first half of the eighteenth century.
Soprano Chan opened the afternoon with Morgana’s aria ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ from Handel’s “Alcina”. Morgana is the sister of the eponymous character and is a desert temptress out to capture Ruggiaro’s heart.

Chan & the ensemble l-r Richards,Onen-Lapointe,Podgorski,Morton & Antal

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