Review by Michael Piscitelli
This past week, I have been fortunate enough to go to two operas’ in a row. Both were comedic operas that took very different approaches to comedy, of black comedy and slapstick. For Richard Strauss’ 1933 comedic “Arabella”, director Tim Albery tried his hand at making it into a black comedy. Unfortunately, it fell flat, and made it more of a mellow drama (I’m fully aware of my choice of words) than a black comedy. A show about absurd ideas about love, mistaken identity and poor uses of money it’s sure to have many jokes sung throughout the piece.
Erin Wall as “ARABELLA”
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
Review by Danny Gaisin
George Fredrick Hanover, King George 3rd, ruled Great Britain for the 60 years between 1760 & 1820, a 6-decade run. That certainly outlived the Alan Bennett 20-year film depicting him before going into reruns. Poor George III & his military minions won the 7-Years War but lost the American colonies, so a 500% ERA statistically isn’t too bad. SHAW’s director Kevin Bennett has staged a rather sympathetic interpretation of the movie by emphasizing the horrific medical practices of the time plus the political shenanigans within his court. His son & heir, the Whig/Tory battles; and the struggle for influence are all highly focused. Photo by David Cooper
Tom McCamus & Chick Reid; aka HRH’s George III & Charlotte
Review by Judith Caldwell
Five @ the First again held their annual fundraising Cello Extravaganza in aid of Blooms for Africa and the Ann Vallentyne Scholarship for string players. This year 26 cellists performed in solos, duets, sextets and as a combined cello choir. The Extravaganza is in its fourth year and the choice of music and arrangements seems to get better each year. This year there was one piece written especially for the duo who performed it and several pieces arranged specifically for groups of cellos, including a quiet, thoughtful and rather romantic Requiem written as a cello sextet by David Popper. The cellists …
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
It is great to have the presentation of a modern classic in a bold new version. Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, had an “abiding insistence on the interdependence of love and death,” according to one critic. This is clear in the current production of Blood Weddings/Bodas de Sangre , at Buddies in Bad Times. The show is a remounting of the 2015 collaboration between Modern Times Stage Company, led by Iranian-Canadian director Soheil Parsa (director choreographer of this play) and Aluna Theatre, a Latin-Canadian theatre company whose Artistic Director is Beatriz Pizano.
Kwan; Pizano; Lauzon; Yaraghi & Bush in BLOOD WEDDINGS