La Scena Musicale

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This Week in Toronto (May 16 - 22)

Scott Belluz & Peter McGillivray-The Shadow - (c) Meghan Hall
Scott Belluz and Peter McGillivray in The Shadow  (Photo: Meghan Hall)

After the burst of operatic and concert activities throughout April and early May, we seem to have entered into a lull this week.  Still there are a number of interesting events on offer, including the world premiere of
The Shadow, a new opera with music by Omar Daniel and libretto by Alex Poch-Grodin. It is presented by Tapestry New Opera Works, running from May 21 to 30 at the Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs (box office:: 416-368-3110). Below is a description of this new opera in the promotional material from Tapestry: 

A world of duplicity in which a humble postman assumes the identity of a wealthy suitor to win a woman's love.  Determined to maintain the ruse at all costs, he is haunted by the Shadow as he spirals deeper into debt.  Set in Old Barcelona, Alex Poch-Goldin and Omar Daniel have created a world premiere opera full of intrigue, desire and deception.    Director Tom Diamond and Music Director Wayne Strongman lead a stellar cast including baritone Peter McGillivray as Raoul, soprano Carla Huhtanen as Allegra and a comic turn by tenor Keith Klassen as the waiter.  Renowned Canadian baritone Theodore Baerg makes his Tapestry debut as the Don and Allegra's father and countertenor Scott Belluz is The Shadow.  Veteran Stratford Lighting Designer Robert Thomson and Set & Costume Designer Camellia Koo create a stunning visual world reflective of Gaudi's Barcelona. The Shadow was presented as a workshop production in Tapestry's Ernest Balmer Studio in March 2007.

For those yet to catch the COC's spring season, this will be the last week of La boheme and A Midsummer Night's Dream until May 24. An interesting event starting Friday May 22 is the Toronto Symphony Orchestra National Piano Competition. The first round of solo performances takes place at Mazzoleni Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Floor St. West., Toronto.  Admission is by donation (suggested $10 minimum). 

While on the subject of competitions, I will be attending Montreal International Musical Competition is Voice Edition, Chant 2009, from May 19 to 28. Twenty-nine singers from nine countries (including eleven Canadians) have been invited to Montreal to participate in the competition. Among the jurors are Dame Gwyneth Jones, Tom Krause, and Sherrill Milnes. If you are interested in discovering new voices, this is the place to be.  If you cannot make your way to Montreal, you can follow the twists and turns of the drama right on your computer! Espace Musique of Radio Canada will offer live video and audio coverage.  For details, go to 

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