Oakville Chamber Orch’s, “fun & fun(d) raiser” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
The OCO has a history of creative ways to attract support and contributions. Even our ARTS REVIEW had the imaginative idea of door prizes that incorporated assisting in the next concert’s critique; a restaurant dinner and an evaluation (always positive) of said eatery. The laminated and mounted article then was hung in the diner’s entryway. It was a desirable prize.
Since relocating to Hamilton, we’ve forsworn the concept, but OCO also has other innovative ideas and an afternoon at Joshua Creek Art gallery for music, food and silent auction was a success.

Leslie Ashworth performing, backed by Linda Ruan

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“Russian celebrations”, a superlative HPO evening 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Once upon a time, there was a thing called a record player. Round vinyl platters could be stacked up, and thus preferent music choices could be enjoyed. The HPO’s director Gemma New somehow was able to select four of this scribe’s favourites. So, if a reader gleans a little bias in the following…please forgive me.
A capriccio is defined as a whimsical or prankish work. Methinks Rimsky-Korsakov interpreted the meaning to emphasize the lighthearted aspect rather than a joke idiom because the work is a pure joy – both to perform and to hear. The H.P.O. gave all its five sections a distinct image

   Chalifour & New performing Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto

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Hammer Baroque & ‘Eybler Quartet -confusion! Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Hammer Baroque got off to their usual early start to the 2017/18 season with a concert on the Saturday of Labour Day weekend. This time it was the Eybler Quartet presenting an afternoon of classical chamber music by Vanhal, Asplmayr, Hayden and Mozart, even though the concert was billed as Beethoven and Vanhal. Bud Roach took the blame for the confusion, and while there may have been some disappointed Beethoven fans, they were not evident as the near-capacity and knowledgeable audience thoroughly enjoyed the quartets which were offered. String Quartet Op. 6 No. 2 (1771) by Johann Vanhal opened the concert. 

Nosky; Gay; Jordan & Wedman – post-concert

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“Choral Spectacular”, NAO’s terrific Festival closer 1

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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Shaken not Stirred – The Music of “Bond” 3

Review by Judith Caldwell
The penultimate concert in the 2017 Brott Music Festival was an evening of music inspired by the James Bond movie franchise. It featured the National Academy Orchestra conducted by the NAO’s artistic director Boris Brott, and Roï Azoulay, this years’ apprentice conductor, plus the Jeans ‘n Classics quartet of John Regan keyboard, Jeff Christmas (drums), bassist Mitch Tyler and Peter Brennan on guitar, whose arrangements of the Bond tunes were spectacularly good. Also on the bill were Rique Franks whose rich contralto perfectly suited the music, and Neil Donnell who has a chameleon voice which he used to mimic Marvin Gaye, Louis Armstrong and Duran Duran among others.

Cartoon by Otto Binder (BIZARRO)

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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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