“POPERA”; a smorgasbord of standards + divas/divo’s Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

From the opening notes of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” opera overture to the closing  (audience-participating)’ Va Pensiero’ from Verdi’s “Nabucco”; POPERA 2015 had three distinct entities showcased, and one lone (musical) arranger who, even out of context, brought out some of the essence of operatic arias. Entity one certainly had to be the polished members of the National Academy orchestra whose faultless technique and instrumental skill shone throughout. Under the batons of conductor Boris Brott and his apprentice Janna Sailor; the ensemble plus the seven vocalists worked as a harmonious unit.

The soloists performing an aria from "Barbiere"

The soloists performing an aria from “Barbiere”



“TEA TIME”, N.A.O.’s annual musicale/social event Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
The Brott Summer Festival’s High Tea with Giampiero was presented at the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday. The National Academy Orchestra and clarinetist Giampiero Sobrino offered a very full and satisfying program. It began with a work by Montreal composer Allan Belkin titled ‘Night Passages’ which did carry the listener along fascinating paths, with intriguing surprises- as promised. It was tonal, harmonic and reminiscent of traditional European works and received emphatic applause.
Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (one of my personal favourites) is one of those rare works where all three movements are equally well known and loved.

Sobrino & Max Mauricio-Cardilli; post-concert

Sobrino & Max Mauricio-Cardilli; post-concert


N.A.O.’s “Romantic & Fantastic” concert 1

Review by Judith Caldwell    reviewerJudith

The National Academy Orchestra of Canada under the baton of Boris Brott offered a Romantic and Fantastic evening of music to a sold-out audience despite the competition from the opening ceremonies of the Pan Am Games. The evening began with some new music from a young Canadian composer, Jordan Pal, who was in the audience. “‘Burn’ brings to mind the qualities, characteristics and properties of fire: its volatile, destructive and unpredictable nature; and its often overlooked sublime and evanescent states” according to the helpful and descriptive program notes.

soloist Tryon & student Jason Scozzar; post-concerti

soloist Tryon & student Jason Scozzar; post-concerti


“VIVA L’ITALIA” –NAO’s 2nd offering of the season Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The second concert in this year’s Brott Music Festival, somewhat confusingly entitled ‘Viva L’Italia’ as there were only two Italian composers on the program and one of those is famous for his gypsy music. However, the other composers did stick to the Italian theme. Rossini’s Overture to An Italian in Algiers was the opener. Conducted by Apprentice Janna Sailor, she made this orchestra of young inexperienced players sound as though they had played together for years. It was a crisp, precise rendition that was full of drama and texture. *

Janna Sailor with NAO 'adoptees' Renaud;Kim; Stuart & Eddy

Janna Sailor with NAO ‘adoptees’ Renaud;Kim; Stuart & Eddy


N.A.O. concert: – the ‘Bruckner’ needed some editing Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
The 2015 Brott Summer Music Festival opened with a varied program of 20th Century music including a Mozart Violin Concerto and a very rarely-heard Bruckner Symphony played by the director’s NAO ensemble. This is the only professional apprentice/mentor orchestra in Canada and hundreds of gifted graduating musicians audition for the 50+ places each year. The successful candidates have the opportunity to play a huge repertoire in a brief few weeks. It is an intense and unique program.
This evening opened with a 1945 Oskar Morawetz composition, Carnival Overture.

Broverman,Chambul,Sun & Debrowski - some of the 2015 NAO apprentices

Broverman,Chambul,Sun & Debrowski – some of the 2015 NAO apprentices


“It’s FESTIVAL Time” Reply

Editorial by Terry Gaisin

It’s (Almost) summertime. Here are some of the cultural events that we and our readers will appreciate. Book early…book often!

SHAW is always a something-for-everyone event. Jackie Maxwell selects productions that educate; entertain and are continually a challenging stage for her repertory thespians. STRATFORD consistently re-tutors us in the works of Shakespeare as well as other classics. The BROTT NAO series of concerts, gives an opportunity to new graduates to perform alongside experienced professionals. The TORONTO Fringe presents 150 1-hour plays that are un-pre-juried…so anything goes.

Violinist Lindsay Deutsch aboard "La Bamba II, circa 2008

Violinist Lindsay Deutsch aboard “La Bamba II, 2008