“Messiah”, Bach Elgar’s 2017 version Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Messiah is an event that defines the Christmas season. The Bach Elgar Choir has been singing for 113 years and have offered the oratorio through most of those years including 2017. Guest conductor Howard Dyck, with soloists Agnes Zsigovics, soprano, mezzo Allyson McHardy, Colin Ainsworth, tenor, and bassist Sean Watson, the choir, and a 19-piece orchestra presented the full version of Messiah on Saturday night and a shorter sing-along version on Sunday afternoon at Melrose United Church. The church has good acoustics but the pews are quite uncomfortable for a long concert. though it was written as an Easter Oratorio, it tells of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Bach Elgar interpreting Handel’s MESSIAH

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HPO’s “Home for the holidays” extravaganza evening Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The mark of a top-drawer orchestra is its ability to successfully interpret a range of genres and under diverse conductors. The Hamilton Phil’ exhibited both these talents in presenting a cornucopia of familiar melodies of the season, and under the guest baton of Lucas Waldin of the Edmonton Symphony.
Regardless of one’s religious background or affiliation, the ubiquitous Christmas music is familiar to anyone with a radio or a visit to the mall or grocery store. To make an on-stage reprise thoroughly enjoyable surely is the mark of genius. Last night’s concert certainly achieved this level accolade on three different aspects – aural; visual and imaginative.

Heather Bambrick; Lucas Waldin and the H.P.O.

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TBSO Launches Into the Wonder of Mozart & Martinis Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra hosted their annual cocktail fundraiser Mozart and Martinis at Bight Restaurant last week. The symphony musicians appeared in chamber groups to perform the works of Mozart and his contemporaries in an intimate, elegantly decorated setting at the waterfront. Carefully-crafted cocktails including the Salzburg Spritz and Salieri’s Revenge were accompanied by artisanal appetizers, curated specially for the event by Bight’s Bianca Garofalo.
This evening’s program began with the overture course and
Salzburg Symphonies No. 1 followed by the Flute Quartet in D, K. 285. The uplifting melodies of the third movement Rondeau  were accompanied by aperol and orange flavors,

The Thunder Bay orchestra patrons enjoying the wines, nibbles & food

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“HPO Remembers”, consulare tenebris, solennes adque arcebant * Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin
The serendipitous alignment of Nov. 11th ’17 falling on a Saturday meant having the Hamilton Philharmonic present it’s traditional Remembrance Day event after the emotional catharsis of the city’s & (Country’s conventional) recognizance of the day’s significance. With the ritual and pomp of the Regimental Band of the ‘RHLI’s’ accompanied by a pipe band opening the evening, the two novel and contemporary compositions, the mood and mind-set of the audience was posited and ready for Mozart’s Requiem Mass, performed by the orchestra; 4 soloists and the Bach-Elgar Choir.

l-r: – Mercer; Nesrallah; New; Wiliford & Fanning performing the ‘Tuba Mirum’

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Winter is coming… and so is the TBSO! Reply

By Sylvie Di Leonardo
Hey, Northerners [Norwesters?]; are you looking for music that hits a little closer to home? The TBSO has you covered. Each year, the musicians of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra set out on two regional tours, to bring as much music as possible to as many people as possible. This year’s tour, thoughtfully arranged by TBSO musician and tour manager Damian Rivers-More, will take our new Musical Director, Paul Haas, and Conductor-in-Residence, Simon Rivard, East of the city. This tour herald’s the TBSO’s return to Terrace Bay after many years, and its annual visit to the Pic River First Nation. More…

“Puccini & the H.P.O.”; 2017 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
We’re democratic (in the social -non-political way) so we respect folks right to different opinions than ours. This is especially true of opera. Unlike many other ambiguous items, this particular genus seems to elicit, like piano keys, either a black or white response – no grey area. We understand this because opera is more than just listening to music it’s experiencing the entire presentation; sight, sound and ethos. When we attend an in-concert opera performance our minds recall the whole libretto, the rationale and the scenario behind each presented aria. Non-aficionados may thus not appreciate the piece as part of an entirety.

Benedikt & Jackson interpreting “O Soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme

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