“Brigadoon” an old favourite, renewed & improved Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
July. 9th,’19

First off; let’s deal with the elephant in the room. This scribe has read Gerstacker’s Germelhausen and it’s the antithesis of Lerner & Lowe’s terrific musical – BRIGADOON! One is a depressing tale of a curse; negativism and a depressing ending; the other is about hopes and miracles! I’ve seen Brigadoon numerous since 1957’s road company performances and loved every version. From the exciting opening number to the quotable last line (“ye must love her very much…Ye WOKE ME UP” and then the line about anything being possible if one believes in miracles). This scribe actually applauds WHEN Peter Pan needs support to revive Tinker Bell. Imagine how I respond to such an affirmative ending! Yup –teary-eyed.  Photo courtesy of ShawFest

Matt Nethersole telling his townsfolk about his feelings for ‘Bonnie Jean’

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Outside Mullingar”, or – The Life of Reilly’s Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

It’s an awful business…Growing old!” When Vince Carlin makes this statement in John Shanley’s 2014 com/dram (sic) OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, it was way too close to home. Both the muse and I have just undergone a necessitated cognitive analysis. Our concentration veers; our memory has too many gaps; and worse of all – the short trip between brain and mouth often detours.
Interpreting Shanley’s play, the unique production team of ‘
Act of Faith’ have brought back the ‘Painting Churches’ (see O.A.R. 4/28/’18) dynamic team of Caroline Saulez; Vince Carlin & Willard Boudreau. The latter, recovering from major surgery, is still in top directorial form with his minute (‘mine yoot’ not the 60-second noun) style of detailing.

l-r: Saulez; Sheehy; Marchment & Carlin, chez Reilly’s farm kitchen

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Hammer Baroque showcases a quintet to interpret Vivaldi Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Dominic Teresi is principal bassoon of Tafelmusik and teaches at The Juilliard School.  Stefano Demicheli is a composer,. In keeping with Hammer Baroque traditions, five extraordinary musicians offered a concert titled Soprattutto Vivaldi on Saturday afternoon.   Oboeist Marco Cera, trained in Italy and was lured over to Toronto by Tafelmusik.  He is also a member of the Artic fusion band, Ensemble Polaris.  Alison Melville performs on historic flutes and recorders. She is also a member of Ensemble Polaris, who has performed a lot of music for film & TV soundtracks.  Violinist Cristina Zacharias, is a core member of Tafelmusik and appears annually at the Carmel Bach Festival.

The performers of Hammer Baroque’s VIVALDI

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Walker play explores middle class madness Reply

Review by Judith Robinson    May 12, ‘19

Since the 1970’s, Canadian playwright George F. Walkers plays have had audience members squirming in their seats as pimps, prostitutes, criminals and drug addicts took center stage. In recent years, the master craftsman turned his spotlight on to the Middle Class. His 2010 drama, And So It Goes, currently playing at the Pia Bouman Scotia Bank Theatre in Toronto, not only gives a voice to the voiceless, it exposes what it’s like for those who had a voice to lose it. Latin teacher, Gwen, powerfully enacted by Deborah Drakeford, and her husband investment adviser, Ned, played by Dan Willmott, had a pretty cushy life,

Drakeford * McCulloch on stage

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Mahler’s 5th, big composition needs a big orchestra Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin,  May. 12th, ‘19

Gustav Mahler’s 5th symphony is big, glorious; affecting; and serious. Thus, it needs a class ‘A’ orchestra and conductor to properly perform it. The Hamilton Philharmonic and maestra Gemma New certainly accomplished the work’s requirements.
This season’s final concert opened with Claude Vivier’s ORION. First time hearing this piece and quite probably, my last. The seven motifs supposedly represent the stars that make up the constellation – the hunter and his two doggies. Like the myth; Vivier; a flamboyant gay, was murdered in Paris by a young male prostitute just as Orion was condemned for insulting the gods.

Gemma New & Diana Weir, informing the HPO audience about tonight’s special event

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“Ravel & Stravinsky; + Bartok, Prokofiev, & ballet” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin, Apr. 28, ‘19

Under the vision of maestra Gemma New , executive director Diana Weir and the HPO Board, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has evolved into something far more eclectic and audience attractive than we saw under previous administrations. This is obvious from the increase of ‘sold out’ concert situations and also from the noticeable atmosphere emanating from the musicians themselves. Last evening’s event under guest conductor Nathan Brock featured the HPO’s concertmaster Stephen Sitarski performing the violin concerto No. 2 by Sergei Prokofiev. This piece is far less known than the composer’s ‘Peter & the Wolf’ or his opera ‘Alexander Nevsky.

Sitarski under guest HPO conductor Nathan Brocki

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