O.A.R.’s “THE TOP TEN” (plus plus), 2016 Reply

Editorial & Administrative opinions
There have been previous years where due to tie-votes, our ARTS REVIEW’s TOP TEN list has, in actuality contained 12 or even 14 items. This year has seen such a plethora of worthy efforts of entertainment that the final selection process was daunting. So, for the first time, O.A.R.  will also specify an ‘Honourable Mention’ (sort of Silver or Bronze medal) category.

THEATRE UNLIMITED, This successful Miss ‘a community group undertook staging the musical version of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. The droll puns and one-liners still abound but with the addition of musical numbers, it’s even enhanced. As we wrote in our review “– an awesome giggle from start to finish and we loved it!”

the candidates for work as part of A CHORUS LINE

the candidates for work as part of Stratford’s “A CHORUS LINE”


TSO concert; not your usual holiday Tchaikovsky Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo ReviewerSylvie2                    

While many musicians may find themselves rehearsing The Nutcracker this season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra found themselves performing other works by Tchaikovsky earlier this week at Roy Thompson Hall. While only one of the pieces performed was intended to debut in the theatre, this evening’s program was as drama-filled as the Russian composer’s life.
There exists no formal record of the chronology of the piece, the Overture for Hamlet conjures images of love and loss. One cannot help but recall the sweet melancholy of Ophelia when listening to oboist Keith Atkinson.

The T.S.O. members in a formal photograph


Bach Elgar’s “Messiah; ver. 2016” 1

by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
          The Bach Elgar Choir gave a performance of Handel’s Messiah to a sold out and appreciative audience at Melrose United Church on Saturday evening. Handel had written many operas to varied responses and was considering retirement when he was asked to write a sacred oratorio to be performed in Dublin. He collaborated with his friend Charles Jennens, an aristocratic man of letters who drew on both the Old and the New Testaments for the text. The debut in Dublin in 1742 was a resounding success and its staying power has been established by continued performances over the last 274 years .
bach-elgar-messiah-16-2                                                                                    The choir performing “MESSIAH”


“O.S.M. successfully invades TSO territory” 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

reviewerDGcolor            On October 31st, 1961, a novice concert writer had his first byline article published in Montreal’s ‘Georgian” newspaper. The subject was the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; the conductor was Zubin Mehta; the opening work was a Verdi overture and the rookie scribe was one Daniel Jesse Gaisin. The kid dared to chastise maestro Mehta for reproving the audience for inopportune applause. Fifty-five years and millions of published words later, I am now the one upset by such ill-conceived behavior. Last night, I once again had the opportunity to hear & critique the         Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.Fellner performing LVB's 4th with the OSM & conductor NaganoFellner performing LVB’s 4th with the OSM & conductor Nagano

Hammer Baroque’s “Stella di Natale’ (Xmas star) 1

Review by Judith Caldwellreviewerjudy

A Christmas concert to open the season was held at the ‘Rock on Locke” as part of the Hammer Baroque series, entitled Stella di Natale.  It featured Ensemble Alloro and Rezonance Baroque Ensemble. Ensemble Alloro is a duo of voices; Emily Klassen, soprano and mezzo Meagan Zantingh, dedicated ‘to the performance of Baroque Chamber music in intimate settings and to bringing lesser-known works to a larger audience.’ Rezonance Baroque Ensemble is a group which varies per the repertoire and required instrumentation – in this case two violins played by Rezan Onen-Lapointe and Jimin Shin, and David Podgorski’s harpsichord.

Onen-Lapointe; Shin; Pidgorski; Klassen & Zantingh - post concert

Onen-Lapointe; Shin; Podgorski; Klassen & Zantingh – post concert


Cinema Serenade”; Perlman & the TSO 1

Review by Sylvie Di LeonardoReviewerSylvie2               

As I buttoned my coat and struggled to get into my boots, my little brother asked me why I was headed to hear Cinema Serenade with Itzhak Perlman and the TSO this evening at Roy Thompson Hall. “Are they playing along with the movies?” No.  “Is it a shadow cast?” No. “Why would you want to go hear the songs, then?” He had a point. Why spend my day off on the highway at rush hour? “It’s like watching reruns,” he says. I consider this, and again—he had a point. But, I like watching reruns.   Photo by Jag Gundu – T.S.O.

Perlman, Oundjian & the T.S.O.

Perlman, Oundjian & the T.S.O.