“GRAND HOTEL, the musical”; another Sheridan hit! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
            “I vant to be alone”: – like ‘play it again, Sam’; ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’; “Go ahead -make my day” and ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’; another one of those movie quotes that have become iconic. ‘Alone’ was Greta Garbo’s most famous line from the 1932 GRAND HOTEL flick she made with Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery & two Barrymores.
The Robert Wright & George Forrest musical version is the latest blockbuster by Theatre Sheridan.  From the almost overwhelming opening number until final curtain, the musical version is a spell-binder.

Staff & residents of Berlin's GRAND HOTEL, circa 1932

Staff & residents of Berlin’s GRAND HOTEL; circa 1932

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VALENTINA LISITSA champions Russian music! Reply

Review by David RichardsReviewerDave-R
       There was an air of excitement at Koerner Hall, on April 9th, even before the solo concert by Valentina Lisitsa. The ‘sold out’ sign was not the only indicator. There was a long line-up for rush seats; the security presence was higher than usual; and the crowds milled around the entrance hall and café with heightened expectation.   The Internet sensation was here. Lisitsa rose from a career going nowhere when she decided to put her recording of the 24 Chopin Etudes, on YouTube, in 2007. Her self-promotion has been the poster-child of the power of the cyber world.

Maestra Lisitsa in performance

Maestra Lisitsa in performance

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Ensemble Made in Canada – a superb quartet Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
     The season’s final event in the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts was a truly lovely chamber concert, featuring an afternoon of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Schumann, played by a superb quartet called Ensemble Made in Canada (EMIC). The players – Angela Park, piano; Elissa Lee, violin; Sharon Wei, viola and Rachel Mercer, cello – have played together for over ten years and bring a wealth of experience and a shared love of chamber music. They are each superb musicians who have taught master classes and lectured at Universities in both Canada and the United States.

Quartet members Mercer; Wei; Park & Lee

Quartet members Mercer; Wei; Park & Lee

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HAMMER BAROQUE creates an ambiance of spring Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
     Spring has arrived. Beautiful Easter music was masterfully performed in Hammer Baroque’s concert, ‘Easter in Leipzig’. A powerfully hopeful message was presented by The Spiritus Ensemble – a mix of established musicians and students from the Kitchener/Waterloo area -consisting of the choral introduction to Bach’s Cantata Six and the entire Cantatas Sixty-Six and Four.
The Ensemble consists of a 16 voice choir plus an orchestra of strings, oboes, bassoon, trumpet and organ. They created an authentic Baroque concert under Artistic Director Kenneth Hall, performed without intermission, so as not to interrupt the spiritual mood.

The HAMMER BAROQUE singers

The HAMMER BAROQUE soloist singers

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Modern opera of ISIS & OSIRIS Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
      The world premiere of a new Canadian opera is cause for celebration. This was certainly true of Isis and Osiris: Gods of Egypt, at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts –  music by noted composer, Peter-Anthony Togni, and libretto by poet, Sharon Singer.  Direction is by Guillermo Silva-Marin, and produced by VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, with support from the Egyptian Tourist Authority.
While some modern operas deal with contemporary situations, Isis and Osiris depicts an ancient Egyptian myth with universal, still-relevant themes – a dying and resurrected god, the struggle between love and power.      Photo below – the ISIS/OSIRIS chorusIsis & Osiris

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TORONTO SYMPHONY shows its colours! Reply

Review by David RichardsReviewerDave-R
      The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presented a star-studded line-up of world-class performers last evening at Roy Thomson Hall. Guest conductor Thomas Søndergård and pianist Francesco Piemontesi elevated a program that brought out the virtuosity, versatility and range of orchestral colours of Canada’s leading symphony orchestra.  The program began with Kati Agócs’ Perpetual Summer. Agócs describes herself as a Canadian/American/Hungarian composer. She introduced her Perpetual Summer as a musical commentary on the apocalyptic effects of global warming, using a huge battery of percussion, complete with three gongs, a giant mallet, and a box-like drum.

Piemontesi performing with the TSO

Piemontesi & the TSO         Photo by Malcolm Cook

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