Britten’s RAPE of LUCRETIA… still relevant Reply

   Review by Michael Piscitelli, assisted by Sylvie Di LeonardoreviewerMichael P2
        On those extra rare occasions at which I see an opera, I have a very specific friend that I take along, because I trust she will have a very well informed and eloquent opinion on what it is we’ve just seen. I’d like to thank Sylvie Di Leonardo for her very well informed input on The Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin Britten. The Rape of Lucretia is an opera written and performed in English celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It follows the civil and political unrest within Rome around the time of Etruscan King Tarquinius Superbus.  Photo courtesy of William Ford Photography

Campsall; Borg; Marshall & MacIntosh in a dramatic moment from "Rape Of Lucretia"

Campsall; Borg; Marshall & MacIntosh in a dramatic moment from “Rape Of Lucretia”


T.O.’s MENDELSSOHN CHOIR spectacular in Haydn’s “CREATION” Reply

Review by David RichardsReviewerDave-R
Last night, the near capacity audience at Koerner Hall stepped out of the reality of today’s world of global waste and desecration to celebrate the wonders of life on this planet. The Creation, an opera-like oratorio by Franz Josef Haydn, was written at a time when the Genesis story was unquestioned. Nevertheless, in 2016, it inspired the audience to consider the “six day” evolution from the chaos of nothingness to our glorious world minus the industrial pollution, human tragedies, and global warfare.       Photo courtesy of Frank Nagy

Choir & orchestra performing "CREATION"


MacBush: the Musical – Toil, Trouble, Shock & Awe Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
      Shakespeare may be dead, but his plays are alive, well, and adaptable to modern times. Hamilton author, David Laing Dawson, demonstrates this in his powerful MacBush: the Musical, directed by Ron Weihs.  The play transposes the story of MacBeth to Washington D.C. and Iraq. Mixing clever, biting political satire with direct anti-war statements, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates, especially when done in the name of “good.”
Judith Sandiford’s effective design places the actors in front of projected photographs, from Bush and his cronies, to scenes of war and human devastation, to the aftermath of returning veterans.   Photo courtesy of Adam Carter

Merovitz; Shand; Emberley; Gillespie & Jamila B, the stars of MacBUSH, the MUSICAL

Merovitz; Shand; Emberley; Gillespie & Jamila B, – the stars of “MacBUSH, the MUSICAL”


“POCKET ROCKET” – scores !!!! Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
         Most Canadians have played hockey on a lonely road—making friendships, developing rivalries, even forming romances. Playwrights Gary Kirkham’s and Lea Daniel’s Pocket Rocket traces a friendship between five road hockey players over a twenty-year period starting in 1967—on a stretch of road that could be anywhere in Canada. All the essential elements of Canadian culture are displayed – accessibility to immigrants, a desire to have fun and cut loose; the need to help each other when times get rough; a trace of bigotry, sexism and homophobia, shyness, and a reluctance toward self-revelation.     Photo montage by Tom Vogel

three images of the "Pocket Rocket" actions

three images of the “Pocket Rocket” actions


‘STRATA VOCAL ENSEMBLE’ celebrates Earth Day Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
    Strata Vocal Ensemble’s tribute to Earth Day, on April 24th, showcased local poets and singers, and offered a wide range of music around the themes of Fire, Water, Earth and Wind. The afternoon was a mixture of spoken poetry and songs ranging from the 13th century poet Rumi to contemporary music by J. Aaron McDermid. The Ensemble’s 22 singers are mostly not professional musicians. Many of them sing in local church choirs, yet their conductor, Gordon Adnams, had them singing challenging and complex music and doing it very well. As icing- MacNeill Baptist Church has excellent acoustics.

The vocalists of the STRATA ENSEMBLE

The vocalists of the “STRATA ENSEMBLE


The COC’s “CARMEN” sells out in Toronto 1

Review by David RichardsReviewerDave-R
      Bizet’s “CARMEN” is one of the world’s most well-known operas. It can be counted on to attract big audiences, so it was by no means a surprise that the Canadian Opera Company’s production at the Four Seasons Centre last night was sold out. The COC spared no expense in bringing together the best talent available. It was indeed an unforgettable Carmen. There was a heightened sense of anticipation upon entering the hall. The audience was young, dressed for the occasion, and ready for a special evening. The hall itself, now 10 years old, the finest in Canada,        Photo by Michael Cooper

Thomas & Rachvelishvili in the COC's "CARMEN"

Thomas & Rachvelishvili in the COC’s “CARMEN”