LSM Newswire

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

TSMF's Ariadne auf Naxos

Festival continues to garner critical acclaim
Strauss's opera Ariadne auf Naxos set to launch in two weeks

The 2008 Toronto Summer Music Festival continues to bask in the success of its third season after a first week of performances featuring virtuoso pianist Andrˆ© Laplante, international award-winning duo Mayumi Seiler, violin, and Tˆºnde Kurucz, piano, and vocal Baroque authorities Suzie LeBlanc, soprano, and Daniel Taylor, countertenor. Ken Winters of the Globe and Mail writes: "The festival - concerts by major performers (and Academy faculty members) - is tapping deeply into a desirous public ordinarily abandoned during these months."

As part of the four-week festival a fully staged opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, featuring a double cast comprised of 18 singers from across the world, will take place from August 14-17, 2008. One of the most difficult operas written for the human voice, Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss is staged by prolific Austrian stage director Titus Hollweg (son of legendary tenor Werner Hollweg) and conducted by the Festival's Artistic Director Agnes Grossmann, who have worked together previously on Ariadne auf Naxos, and accompanied by the National Academy Orchestra.

"We received more than a hundred international applications from the highest caliber of emerging artists," said Grossmann. "It was exciting to hear these amazing artists and musicians and it enabled us to handpick a cast that includes some of the best singers from Canada and abroad."

The opera introduces new talent, including Swiss born soprano Dˆ©sirˆ©e Till (Zerbinetta) as well as Canadian performers Gene Wu (Musiklehrer/Harlequin) and Christopher MacRae (Bacchus) from Calgary, Melinda Delorme (Ariadne) from Port Perry, Ghislaine Dionne (Ariadne) from Ottawa, and Christopher Enns (Scaramuccio/Offizier) from Winnipeg. A significant number of performers hail from Toronto: Steven Sherwood (Bacchus), Mia Harris (Komponist), Erica Iris Huang (Komponist), Teiya Kasahara (Zerbinetta), Neil Aronoff (Musiklehrer/Harlequin), Stephen Bell (Brighella/Tanzmeister), Patrick Jang (Brighella/Tanzmeister), David English (Truffaldin/Lakai), James Baldwin (Perˆºckenmacher), Anna Bateman (Najade), Laura McAlpine (Dryade), and Ada Balon (Echo).

A lecture the day before the opera by renowned Strauss expert, Bryan Gilliam, will give context to the story of Ariadne auf Naxos. Iain Scott returns this year for pre-opera talks on August 14, 15, and 16. The Festival culminates with "A Day at the Opera" which introduces opera lovers to Ariadne auf Naxos with a performance by master storyteller Clayton Scott, followed by a hands-on clay workshop at the Gardiner Museum, and concluding with the final opera performance of the TORONTO SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL.

Ariadne auf Naxos: Thursday, August 14, 2008 to Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 7:30pm;
Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 2:00pm
At MacMillan Theatre (Edward Johnson Building, Faculty of Music, 80 Queen's Park)
Festival passes ($175 - $250) and single tickets ($27 - $50) are available online or by calling 416.597.7840

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