NAO concert, ‘out of this world’ Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell reviewerJudith
Thursday, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada (NAO) offered an evening of fantastic music which began with four much-loved John Williams’ compositions: “The Theme from Superman”; Highlights from Jurassic Park; the “Theme from Schindler’s List” and the flying theme from E.T. Each had their own instantly recognizable leitmotif which then expanded into a grand symphonic film score. Superman was masterful and heroic; Jurassic Park curious and probing and Schindler’s List heartbreakingly haunting (the audience barely breathed during the violin solo played by Concertmaster Mark Skazinetsky). E.T. was light, airy and so hopeful…  the music intricate and difficult – written by a true master.

Conductor Brott & a certain 'Star Wars' character

Conductor Brott & a certain ‘Star Wars’ character


NOZZE Di FIGARO or “Fun with Suzy & Rose” 2

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Episode 2 in the Figaro Saga. When we left off; Figaro- the factotum cum barber had finessed Rosina away from her patron Dr. Bartolo and arranged for her to be with her Count Almaviva (aka) Lindoro.
Mozart takes up the story a half-decade later. Almaviva has turned into a horny married old man; hired a maid for his countess (Rosina) and employed Figaro as his butler. Figaro wants to marry maid Susanna; Almaviva wants to deflower her before the wedding.
Cue the overture! Nozze di Figaro
l-r   Bartolo; Basilio; Marcellina; Almaviva; Figaro; Susanna & Rosina


“POPOPERA”; the NAO’s program-design evolves 1

Review by Danny & Terry GaisinDanny & Terry '05
            The concept of an accepted program of familiar arias from classical opera presented in a concert format has faded into a same old, same old listing of ‘Nessun dorma; Habanera; “Au fond du temple Sainte” and the flower duet from Lakmé, usually with the invariable divas & divos. The National Academy Orchestra’s Brott summer Festival has pushed the envelope. Less familiar arias; new voices and program notes defining the actual pieces made this year’s edition a novel experience, especially for aficionados of the genre.

the soloists taking well-deserved kudos

the soloists taking well-deserved kudos


HAMMER BAROQUE satirizes English travelers Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
         Hammer Baroque presented a short delightful concert to wrap up their current season called The Paradise of Travelers. The 17th century title obviously refers to a time period well before the modern cramped economy class seats which take the paradise out of travelling.
The program consisted of madrigals, motets and canzonettas and included readings of the recollections of English travelers through Italy. Apparently the English were the most obnoxious travelers of their time – thoroughly convinced of the superiority of all things English and the quaintness of all other cultures.

Dietrich; Modolo; Roach & Roth -the Hammer Baroque quartet

Dietrich; Modolo; Roach & Roth 


Whose symphony is it anyway?” (@ the T.S.O.) Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo  ReviewerSylvie2

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Second City’s resident improv ensemble reunited at Roy Thompson Hall for the second performance of ‘The Second City Guide to the Symphony’, hosted by Second City alumnus/ improviser Colin Mochrie. This show features original music by the Second City’s own Matthew Reid, who joins the TSO on-stage for a “glorious ninety minutes when life doesn’t suck,” among similarly themed full-chorus and solo numbers. These ninety minutes provide high-quality accessible music and comedy, enjoyable by/for both TSO and SC devotees, as well as any “Symphony Virgins” who may be “Fiddling Around,” as the scenes suggest.
Brownen Sharp’s photo of ‘Chief Inspector’ Mochrie with the 2nd City & T.S.O.TSO & 2nd City concert

T.S.O.’s ‘Eroica’ celebrates liberty, equality, fraternity Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo ReviewerSylvie2

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55, the “Eroica,” heralded Romantic composition: It was written at the beginning of the French revolution, and underwent some changes in dedication between its writing, publication, and performance for reasons of politics, but more so, of integrity. Surely these sentiments are relevant to a contemporary audience.  Solid from beginning to end, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s performance was championed by the funeral march. The woodwinds shone during the return; the clarity in their execution of the theme gave a glimpse of the celebration of life inherent in the march.   Photo courtesy of JOSH CLAVIR

Bronfman performing with the Toronto Symphony

      Yefim Bronfman performing the concerto No. 3 with the Toronto Symphony