Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony previewed its seventy-first season at the Centre in the Square. The evening’s program featured thirteen selections from the upcoming season, and introduced the symphony’s many newcomers to their outreach and education initiatives. Patrons new to the symphony will find a lot to love this season. The audience welcomed pieces from this year’s Yuletide Spectacular and the Skating’s Greatest Hits series, which will host three-time Olympian and Canadian skating icon Kurt Browning this weekend. Patrons can expect a lively program, featuring pieces from Phantom of the Opera, Swan Lake, Casablanca, and Carmen along with original footage of the award-winning routines. *
the Kitchener-Waterloo orchestra in a preview performance
Beautifully played hits such as “When I Fall in Love” and the theme from Star Trek enticed audience members, preparing them for a series of “Unforgettable” evenings featuring the music of Nat King Cole and Music from the Movies. Principal Trumpet Larry Larson endeared the audience with Apollo 13 and a surprisingly delightful “reindeer” during “Sleigh Ride.” Subscribers can expect to relive their favourite cinematic experiences through the KW Symphony’s powerful performances of pieces from Titanic, Forrest Gump, Ratatouille, and many more.
The most memorable part of the program was Jack Wallace’s appearance. Wallace is the concertmaster of the KWS Youth Orchestra, and perhaps the symphony’s best advertisement for its training programs. The young violinist stunned the Centre’s full-house with his sharpness and grace, robustly supported by the symphony players and vibrant assistant conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and KWS Youth Orchestra’s have a lot to offer seasoned symphony-goers and newcomers alike. The Signature Series offers an exciting curation of well-known pieces, while the Pops series, Youth Orchestra concerts, Kinderconcerts, and holiday programming make it easy to introduce unfamiliar family members.
Review by Danny Gaisin
The first visual change that newly appointed HPO conductor has made was in the orchestral layout. About eight years ago, debate within the concert community took place over the concept of having the violins situated to the left of the podium, or a return to the pre-20th century notion favored by Tchaikovsky; Mahler and even Beethoven; that the first and second sections should be at opposing sides; the OSM’s Nagano; London’s Haitink and Levine of the Boston Symphony prefer splitting: – Detroit’s Slatkin takes an opposing opinion. Maestra Gemma New also has repositioned the celli and violas plus moving the basses next to percussion.
Goodyear interpreting Brahms with the HPO
Review by Judith Caldwell
The 2016/2017 season of concerts in the 5 @ the First series began with String Extravaganza VI, a concert of two violins, two violas and two cellos played first as pairs and finally in a sextet. Yehonatan Berick & Csaba Koczo, violin; Caitlin Boyle & Theresa Rudolph, viola; and Rachel Desoer & Rachel Mercer, cello; are a group of friends who get together once a year to offer an expertly played varied program. This year began with 12 year old Tate Li playing the Sarabande from J.S.Bach’s Suite #4 in E flat major for cello.
the 5@1st SEXTET!!!
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Montreal playwright Olivier Kemeid’s adaptation of Virgil’s The Aeneid (L’Éneide), at the Stratford Festival, is a powerful theatrical experience. Beautifully directed by Keira Loughran, the production uses ensemble movement and speaking, creative set and lighting design, and spare, poetic language to make Virgil’s epic relevant to today. First produced in French in 2009, in Maureen Labonté ’s translation, the play lets the audience empathize with the plight of seeing one’s home and city destroyed and risking a journey into the unknown to find a new, safe place.
Virgil’s epic poem (comparable to the Iliad and the Odyssey), written between 29-19 B.C.E., Photo by David Hou
Some of the AENEID cast seeing on-stage refuge
By Danny Gaisin
Precisely one year ago today, this scribe was in Stratford to attend the 2015 production of HAMLET. An amazing presentation, it was one of last year’s Arts Review’s TOP TEN LIST! Today, through the generosity of Sun Life Financial; the CBC aired a taping of that performance sans commercial breaks (eat your heart out trivago & Leons!). In addition to getting out my dog-eared Shakespeare compendium, I re-printed my originally published critique. Alas, three (3) little letters had been omitted…sort of like “for want of a nail etc.”
In describing the portrayals of support roles – courtiers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz read by Steve Ross & Sanjay Talwar respectively. More…
Review by E. Lisa Moses
The world première of Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s one-act play, Bunny, at the Stratford Festival, crams a lifetime onto the Studio Theatre’s tiny stage – all in 90 minutes. Under director Sarah Garton Stanley’s firm hand, Maev Beaty’s memorable performance as Sorrel takes us on a roller-coaster ride along two decades of her quirky life through both narration and acting.
Nicknamed “Bunny” by her best friend for the frightened looks she gets in social situations, Sorrel begins frolicking and fornicating through life at age 17. In this watershed year, she morphs from an “ugly dork” into a “hot dork” with the cheekbones and body of a supermodel.
Photo by David Hou
Campbell; Pellerin & Beaty in “BUNNY”