Ensemble Made in Canada – a superb quartet Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
     The season’s final event in the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts was a truly lovely chamber concert, featuring an afternoon of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Schumann, played by a superb quartet called Ensemble Made in Canada (EMIC). The players – Angela Park, piano; Elissa Lee, violin; Sharon Wei, viola and Rachel Mercer, cello – have played together for over ten years and bring a wealth of experience and a shared love of chamber music. They are each superb musicians who have taught master classes and lectured at Universities in both Canada and the United States.

Quartet members Mercer; Wei; Park & Lee

Quartet members Mercer; Wei; Park & Lee

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HAMMER BAROQUE creates an ambiance of spring Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
     Spring has arrived. Beautiful Easter music was masterfully performed in Hammer Baroque’s concert, ‘Easter in Leipzig’. A powerfully hopeful message was presented by The Spiritus Ensemble – a mix of established musicians and students from the Kitchener/Waterloo area -consisting of the choral introduction to Bach’s Cantata Six and the entire Cantatas Sixty-Six and Four.
The Ensemble consists of a 16 voice choir plus an orchestra of strings, oboes, bassoon, trumpet and organ. They created an authentic Baroque concert under Artistic Director Kenneth Hall, performed without intermission, so as not to interrupt the spiritual mood.

The HAMMER BAROQUE singers

The HAMMER BAROQUE soloist singers

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Modern opera of ISIS & OSIRIS Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
      The world premiere of a new Canadian opera is cause for celebration. This was certainly true of Isis and Osiris: Gods of Egypt, at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts –  music by noted composer, Peter-Anthony Togni, and libretto by poet, Sharon Singer.  Direction is by Guillermo Silva-Marin, and produced by VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, with support from the Egyptian Tourist Authority.
While some modern operas deal with contemporary situations, Isis and Osiris depicts an ancient Egyptian myth with universal, still-relevant themes – a dying and resurrected god, the struggle between love and power.      Photo below – the ISIS/OSIRIS chorusIsis & Osiris

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TORONTO SYMPHONY shows its colours! Reply

Review by David RichardsReviewerDave-R
      The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presented a star-studded line-up of world-class performers last evening at Roy Thomson Hall. Guest conductor Thomas Søndergård and pianist Francesco Piemontesi elevated a program that brought out the virtuosity, versatility and range of orchestral colours of Canada’s leading symphony orchestra.  The program began with Kati Agócs’ Perpetual Summer. Agócs describes herself as a Canadian/American/Hungarian composer. She introduced her Perpetual Summer as a musical commentary on the apocalyptic effects of global warming, using a huge battery of percussion, complete with three gongs, a giant mallet, and a box-like drum.

Piemontesi performing with the TSO

Piemontesi & the TSO         Photo by Malcolm Cook

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“LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE”; a play even for guys! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
reviewerDGcolor

“Coming out of the closet” has a popular & current connotation of publicly divulging or acknowledging one’s sexual preference; it also could mean a laconic critical description of Nora & Dalia Ephron’s play on Beckerman’s book “Love, Loss & What I Wore”. Via the vehicle of monologues, five women portray twenty-eight characters as defined by their apposite wardrobes for the described periods. Understandably, there were less than a dozen males in the L.A.C. audience for Galahad‘s production under the direction of Yo Mustafa, & produced by Paul Groulx.

Glover;Lander;Brokenshire;Fisher;Dagenais & McCabe-Bennett in L.L.& WIW

Glover;Lander;Brokenshire;Fisher;Dagenais & McCabe-Bennett in L.L.& WIW

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“Chimerica” explores US-China relations Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson

Director, Chris Abraham, does an excellent job of tying together the threads of the various plot lines and underlying themes in Chimerica – a co-production between Canadian Stage and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre – about the complex and tenuous relationship between China and the United States. In 2012, American journalist, Joe Schofield, played by Evan Buliung attempts to track down a man who stood in front of a row of tanks in China’s Tiananmen Square, in 1989. Schofield is an anti-hero who continually drops the ball, both personally and professionally, causing the audience to lose interest in his quest.

the political protagonists debating in "CHIMERICA"

The political protagonists debating in “CHIMERICA”

 

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