“Choral Spectacular”, NAO’s terrific Festival closer Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The Brott National Academy Orchestra finished its 30th season with a superlative concert; four featured soloists and seventy-four choir-members selected from dozens of diverse venues – all coming together as one coordinated unit. The magic required to accomplish such a feat was contributed by chorus manager Paul Hawkins and under the mastership of Stephane Potvin. The latter is artistic director of MUSIKAY, a small ensemble whose popularity is growing with each season, but the challenge of creating something tenfold in size boggles the mind. It would be egregious not to mention the challenge facing the podium – choral group AND an orchestra.

Bradley, Segal, MacMaster & Westman performing ‘Ode to Joy with the NAO & Chorus

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Brott’s Prom – Positively Fun-tastic! Reply

Review by Judith Robinson
“The Last Night of the Proms” was a delightful, rollicking, fun loving evening of theatre and music. Tenor, David Curry, acted his way through his numbers with such intimacy and charisma, that it was easy to forget the National Academy Orchestra was behind him, at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Concert Hall Saturday night. The charming, blond-haired, Oakville native has received as many accolades for his acting in roles such as Tony in ‘West Side Story’ in Paris, and Marco in ‘The Gondoliers’ for the English National Opera, as he has for his fine tenor voice.

The ‘Grand-Daddy’ of all “PROMS” @ London’s Royal Albert Hall. 2005

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‘HORSES’- a caravan that’s-moving and enjoyable Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
July 30th, ‘17
For those who have long experience of riding and being around horses, Allan Merovitz’s show, Horses (recently at the Pearl Company in Hamilton and coming to Toronto) will bring back warm memories.  Even for those, like me, who don’t know horses well, the show is enjoyable and moving; it restored a few of my own memories. Merovitz, a singer and story-teller, has performed several of his one-man shows in Hamilton in the past, and also acted in plays by local theatre companies. He captivates the audience through his warm, engaging manner. In this show, he tells stories and sings both original and traditional songs.

                          Kiik & Merovitz; performing on-stage

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“PopOpera”; a panacea for us aficionados Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

An evening of operatic aria selections, especially differently chosen from the ‘same old, same old’ fare of the most familiar, is a palliative for those of us unable to zip down to the Glimmerglass festival (this year – Porgy & Bess plus Oklahoma) and that other Cooperstown icon. Boris Brott’s N.A.O. enlisted the talents of ten professional vocalists to interpret sixteen compositions ranging from eighteenth century to 1966. Some choices were well-known and proverbial but most were new to us scribblers … a nice personal anniversary (54th) gift.

All the soloists (& audience) singing “Libiamo”

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Hot Jazz; the NAO & Dominic Mancuso Reply

Review by Ursula Erasmus

The Brott Summer Festival is selectively eclectic – classical; popular; operatic and jazz. A splendid way to spend a summer evening, on a soulful tour across cultures and emotions with Dominic Mancuso and his group. The repertoire wound its way through the world of experience we all share, with a combination of laid back ease and deeply connected energy. Dominic is a story teller and an empath, with the themes and characters of the stories emerging through the variety of instruments and Dominic’s rich voice. The fish salesman’s attempts to coax the interest of a lovely woman conveyed the pent-up expectation of the moment.  the stories made the evening personal and relatable.

Singer/composer Dominic Mancuso (center) and his group

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N.A.O. venerates (terrific) Tchaikovsky Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
The second concert in the Brott Music Festival was called Terrific Tchaikovsky and terrific it was. Two very different Tchaikovsky compositions were on the program plus a Youth Overture by Airat Ichmouratov, a Russian/Canadian contemporary composer.
The evening began with Tchaikovsky’s mighty Symphony No. 6 in B-minor, the Pathetique. a work in four movements of extreme inner struggle. It begins with a mournful Adagio that instead of becoming livelier as the pace quickens, seems nervous and anxious. Struggle is conveyed by extremes of ranges between soft and loud; the second movement waltz is in 3/5 time and so is hauntingly off kilter all the time.

Law; Lewis; Hiemstra & Green…members of the N.A.O.; post-concert

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