Reviews by Ellen S. Jaffe
Oct. 13th, ‘16
The biannual RUTAS Panamericanas Festival, now in its third season, is an international performing arts festival featuring work from various countries in the Americas, often with indigenous and experimental themes. This year’s festival, sponsored by Aluna Theatre in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts, also features a Maori production from New Zealand. Toronto is fortunate to host this event, which features dance and film as well as theatre. RUTAS Panamericanas Festival, including plays, dance, and film, runs to October 16 at the Daniels Spectrum, 565 Dundas St. East, Toronto. Following are reviews of two of the productions. More…
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
CONCORD FLORAL, the title of Jordan Tannahill’s play currently at Canadian Stage, is the name of a vast, abandoned greenhouse in the suburbs of Toronto. Once the source of roses for births, weddings, and funerals, because “life without beauty is unbearable,” it is now derelict, a night-time hang-out for local teenagers – and for a resident fox; bobolink, an old couch. Soon it will be sold to become a shopping mall. The play, conceived by Tannahill and developed with multi-media artists Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner, was created as part of Can Stage’s 2012 Festival of Ideas.
the CONCORD FLORAL cast dramatically photographed by Erin Brubacher
Review by Judith Caldwell
Oct. 10th, ‘16
The ACTA Recorder Quartet consists of Alison Melville, Anne Massicotte, Colin Savage and Tatsuki Shimoda are each formidable musicians with varied and interesting resumes. They began their program with some lovely and lively French dances from the time of Catherine de Medici where the soprano recorder carried the tune and the others provided accompaniment. Then, still in the same time period, the audience heard a much more structured and solemn instrumental in four parts by James Harding where the recorders sounded like a pipe organ. This was followed by an interesting piece by Boismortier.
Massicote;Melville; Savage & Shimoda: – the ACTA Quartet
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony previewed its seventy-first season at the Centre in the Square. The evening’s program featured thirteen selections from the upcoming season, and introduced the symphony’s many newcomers to their outreach and education initiatives. Patrons new to the symphony will find a lot to love this season. The audience welcomed pieces from this year’s Yuletide Spectacular and the Skating’s Greatest Hits series, which will host three-time Olympian and Canadian skating icon Kurt Browning this weekend. Patrons can expect a lively program, featuring pieces from Phantom of the Opera, Swan Lake, Casablanca, and Carmen along with original footage of the award-winning routines. *
the Kitchener-Waterloo orchestra in a preview performance
Review by Danny Gaisin
The first visual change that newly appointed HPO conductor has made was in the orchestral layout. About eight years ago, debate within the concert community took place over the concept of having the violins situated to the left of the podium, or a return to the pre-20th century notion favored by Tchaikovsky; Mahler and even Beethoven; that the first and second sections should be at opposing sides; the OSM’s Nagano; London’s Haitink and Levine of the Boston Symphony prefer splitting: – Detroit’s Slatkin takes an opposing opinion. Maestra Gemma New also has repositioned the celli and violas plus moving the basses next to percussion.
Goodyear interpreting Brahms with the HPO
Review by Judith Caldwell
The 2016/2017 season of concerts in the 5 @ the First series began with String Extravaganza VI, a concert of two violins, two violas and two cellos played first as pairs and finally in a sextet. Yehonatan Berick & Csaba Koczo, violin; Caitlin Boyle & Theresa Rudolph, viola; and Rachel Desoer & Rachel Mercer, cello; are a group of friends who get together once a year to offer an expertly played varied program. This year began with 12 year old Tate Li playing the Sarabande from J.S.Bach’s Suite #4 in E flat major for cello.
the 5@1st SEXTET!!!