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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 16, No. 4


Par/by Julie Berardino, Crystal Chan, Wah Keung Chan, Linda Litwack, Joseph K. So, Mijana Veljkovic / December 1, 2010

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Chooi takes MSO Competition prize
Congratulations to Victoria violionist Timothy Chooi (age 16), winner of the Grand Prize at the 2010 MSO Competition. WKC

Trois gagnants québécois des competitions internationals
Marie-Nicole Lemieux reçoit un prix de l’Académie Charles Cros en tant que SOLISTE LYRIQUE pour son nouvel album Ne me refuse pas. Alain Lefèvre a remporté un prix AIB Media. Le gagnant a remporté le prix Personnalité de l’année – Radio, à Londres, pour son emission sur Espace Musique. Martin Bédard, compositeur de musique électroacoustique, est lauréat d’un « Awards of distinction » au gala du festival Ars Electronica 2010 en Autriche. CC

Elliot Madore to receive the first ARIAS Emerging Young Artist Award
Toronto baritone Elliot Madore, winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will be awarded the ARIAS Emerging Young Artist Award. He is a member of the Met Lindemann Young Artist Program for the 2010-11 season. ARIAS, or the Canadian Opera Student Devel JKS/ll

Résultats de Repentigny
L’Association de Repentigny pour l’avancement de la musique est fière d’annoncer les résultats finaux de l’édition 2010 du Concours provincial de musique de Repentigny. Le pianiste Charles Richard-Hamelin, s’est mérité le premier prix (bourse de 10 000 $). La violoncelliste Vanessa Russell et le flûtiste Vincent Lauzer sont les autres lauréats. Le prix « coup de cœur » a été remis au percusionniste Benjamin Duinker tandis que Charles Richard-Hamelin et Victor Fournelle-Blain se partageaient les prix « meilleurs candidats de Lanaudière ».

Top spot for Jiayan Sun
Twenty-year old Chinese pianist Jiayan Sun, has captured the top prize in the first CCC Toronto International Piano Competition. From China’s eastern Shandong province, he is currently living in New York. Jiayan Sun received $15,000 US and will also have orchestral and solo concert engagements. He credited his parents—neither of them musicians—for their support. His mother lives with him in New York while he studies at the Juilliard School. JKS / LL


Nominations open for prix arts-affaires
The Prix Arts-Affaires is an award offered to an individual or small business in recognition of their service to an artistic or cultural organization. Cultural groups that wish to publicly acknowledge the help they have received are invited to submit deserving candidates. Nominations for the 2010 edition, which celebrates aid between September 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010 will be received up until February 1, 2011. www.ccmm.qc.ca/prix-arts-affaires CC

In Memoriam

Shirley Verrett
With the passing of American mezzo Shirley Verrett (May 31, 1931 - Nov. 5, 2010), the opera world lost one of its greatest singers. Verrett was born in New Orleans and studied at the Juilliard School in New York. She made her operatic debut in Britten’s Rape of Lucrezia in 1958, followed by Carmen in Spoleto (1962), Moscow (1963) and the Met (1968). Her wide-ranging repertoire included Dalila, Amneris, Azucena, Eboli, Dido, Ulrica and other standard mezzo roles. Later in her career, she attempted, with qualified success, soprano roles such as Desdemona, Madame Lidoine, Norma, Tosca, Lady Macbeth, Leonore (Fidelio) and Selika (L’Africaine). She also appeared in Carousel on Broadway. The Verrett voice in its prime was a gorgeous, flexible, silvery instrument, a mezzo with an upper extension that allowed her to sing some of the soprano roles. A beautiful woman, she brought stage allure and dramatic flair to all her roles. She was compared to fellow American mezzo Grace Bumbry, who also attempted soprano roles, and they toured together in a duo recital in the early 80s. After Verrett retired from the opera stage in the mid 90s, she became a professor of voice at the University of Michigan. Her last appearance in Canada was when she served on the jury panel of the Montreal International Music Competition (Voice Edition) in 2005. She gave a masterclass that amply demonstrated her pedagogical skills, and in particular her kindness and encouragement to the students. For anyone curious about this great singer, her honest and heartfelt autobiography, I Never Walked Alone (Wiley 2003), is well worth reading. JKS

Henryk Górecki
Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Górecki died on Friday, Nov. 12, in Katowice, Poland, at the age of 76. Born on Dec. 6, 1933, in Silesia, Górecki was known for the serialist, 12-tone style in his compositions in the 50s and 60s. He later evolved into a more tonal, albeit minimalist style in the 70s. He gained international popularity when a 1992 recording of his Symphony No. 3, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” with soprano Dawn Upshaw became a huge international hit, selling over a million copies worldwide. Interestingly, its popularity had no effect on the uncompromising stance Górecki took towards his compositions; he refused to pander to popular and commercial taste. JKS

Rudolf Barshai
Born in 1924, Labinskaya, USSR, conductor and violist Barshai was a Shostakovich expert. In his home country, the USSR, he rose to fame in the 50s and 60s, after which he worked internationally to great acclaim. He led ensembles such as the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra and Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. CC


Radio mélomanie
Il existe sur les ondes de la nouvelle station communautaire CFJO-FM à Ottawa une émission intitulée « La Mélomanie », animée par François Gauthier et diffusée le dimanche de 9 heures à midi. Elle est consacrée à la musique classique et donne une voix aux artistes des ensembles musicaux impliqués en région. JB

Brian Mulroney Opera to be Released Next Year
Opera films are on the rise and the latest story idea has raised quite a few eyebrows. Currently entitled Politics is Cruel: An Opera (but subject to change), an opera is to portray Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s story as a comedy. He may be known for many errors during his political past but the main focus will be on more positive aspects in his life such as his romance with wife Mila. The opera follows the path of other politically themed operas such as Nixon in China (which is to be performed by the Canadian Opera Company this coming February). MV

Wagner’s Great-Granddaughter and Israeli Orchestra No More
Due to unfortunate circumstances, Richard Wagner’s great granddaughter Katharina Wagner cancelled her trip to Israel, where she was to officially invite the country’s national chamber orchestra to perform at the composer’s festival in Bayreuth, Germany next summer. Outrage broke all over Israel after hearing reports of the planned visit. Holocaust survivor groups have claimed it would “break decades of unofficial boycott to perform music by Hitler’s favourite composer.” Wagner, too, was known to have held the same anti-Semitic views as the Nazi leader. It was feared protests would grow to even more dramatic levels so the invitation was officially cancelled. Instead, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra will perform in the town of Bayreuth in Bavaria. MV

National Ballet Welcomes New Concertmaster
Violinist Benjamin Bowman has been chosen to fill the role that Fujiko Imajishi filled for nearly 30 years until her 2009 retirement. Bowman was raised in Manitoba and will continue to be associate concertmaster with the Canadian Opera Company cc

OSI and Concordia Raise Funds for New Steinway
The Orchestre Symphonique de l’Isle (OSI) directed by Cristian Gort will kick off a fundraising campaign for a new Steinway grand piano at Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Jan. 30. The concert will feature Concordia University Department of Music students and faculty members in works by Dvorˇák, Chopin and Saint-Saëns. This begins a partnership between the OSI and the Department of Music, where students will be able to perform with the OSI as well as have new contemporary compositions played in sight-reading sessions at the concert hall. www.osimontreal.ca

Les arts À Venir
Le 55e salon des Métiers d’art du Québec : du 3 au 22 décembre à la Place Bonaventure

Just for Laughs Museum to close
In operation on St-Laurent since 1993, the Just for Laughs Museum will be closing its doors on January 1, 2011, due to financial constraints. CC

Wajdi Mouawad and Judith Thompson win NTS prize
This year’s winners of the annual Gascon-Thomas Award—one theatre professional in both the French and English fields—were alumni Mouawad and Thompson. The 40 past recipients of the prize (it has been administered since 1990) were invited to join in the festivities in honour of the school’s 50th year anniversary celebrations. The 12 that joined included Joy Coghill, the very first recipient of the award. CC

Mecca Award Winners
The 2009-2010 MECCA awards were announced on November 29, 2010. The winners this year are:
» Best Production: Haunted Hillbilly (SideMart Theatrical Grocery)
» Best Actor: Chip Chuipka for A Line in the Sand
» Best Actress: Glenda Braganza for A Line in the Sand
» Best Director: Andrew Shaver for Haunted Hillbilly
» Best Text (tie): Amy Lee Lavoie for Rabbit, Rabbit; Joanna Nutter for My Pregnant Brother
» Best Ensemble: My Christmas in New York (Le Nouveau Théâtre Sainte-Catherine)
» Best Visiting Production: Icaro by Daniele Finzi Pasca
» Best Set Design: Lara Kaluza for A Line in the Sand
» Best Costume Design: Catherine Allan, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, and Paul Van Dyck for Miss Sugarpuss Must Die
» Best Lighting: Eric Mongerson for Swan Song of Maria
» Best Sound: Benoit Brunet-Poirier for 4.48 Psychosis
» Revelation Award: Amy Lee Lavoie
» Myron Galloway Award for Distinction: Annabel Soutar & Porte Parole

Les finalistes 2010 de la deuxième édition du Prix Michel-Tremblay et de la troisième édition du Prix Louise-LaHaye sont dévoilés
Les finalists sont : Excuse-moi de Serge Boucher, L’Imposture d’Evelyne de la Chenelière, Les mauvaises herbes de Jasmine Dubé, Rouge Gueule d’Étienne Lepage, Porc-Épic de David Pacquet, et La Liste de Jennifer Tremblay (pour le prix Michel-Tremblay) et Éclats et autres libertés de Marie-Josée Bastien, Mathieu Gosselin, Étienne Lepage et Jean-Frédéric Messier, Marguerite de Jasmine Dubé, et Le grand méchant loup de Jacqueline Gosselin (pour le prix Louise-LaHaye).

Ces deux importants prix soulignent chaque année l'excellence d'un texte dramatique d'un auteur francophone d'ici créé à la scène durant la saison précédente, l’un toutes catégories confondues et l’autre dans la catégorie Jeune public. Le lauréat du Prix Michel-Tremblay recevra une bourse de 20 000 $, dont 10 000 $ versés par CEAD Diffusion, grâce à un appui de Van Houtte, et 10 000 $ versés par le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Le lauréat du Prix Louise-LaHaye se mérite une bourse de 10 000 $, versée grâce à l’appui d’Hydro-Québec, et le titre d’auteur associé à la Maison Théâtre pour une année. Les noms des gagnants seront dévoilés le lundi 6 décembre sur le site www.cead.qc.ca

Sobey Award Goes to Daniel Barrow
Winnipeg native Daniel Barrow took home Canada’s biggest and most prestigious contemporary prize this year. He was awarded on November 18 in Montreal. Read about an exposition of the winner and the other nominees here. CC

Johanna Skibsrud wins Giller Prize
Thirty-year-old Montrealite Johanna Skibsrud is the youngest recipient of the $50,000 Giller Prize. Her winning novel, The Sentimentalists, was published at a tiny Nova Scotian press specializing in handcrafted books. The publisher has had to scramble to fill demands, since it had a printing capacity of only 1,000 copies per week! CC

14 Winners at the Governor General’s Literary Awards
The Canada Council for the Arts Governor General's Literary Awards are worth $25,000 each. This year, 11 of the 14 winners received the award for the very first time. The English award winners were: Dianne Warren (fiction), Richard Greene (poetry), Robert Chafe (drama), Allan Casey (non-fiction), Wendy Phillips (children's literature, text and illustration) and Linda Gaboriau (translation). The French award winners were: Kim Thúy (fiction), Danielle Fournier (poetry), David Paquet (drama), Michel Lavoie (non-fiction), Élise Turcotte (children's literature, text), Daniel Sylvestre (children’s literature, illustration) and Sophie Voillot (translation). CC

Vous n’aimez pas la vérité, 4 jours à Guantánamo a remporté un prix à Amsterdam
Le long métrage documentaire de Patricio Henriquez et Luc Côté vient de remporter le Prix spécial du jury dans la catégorie Longs métrages documentaires au Festival international du documentaire d’Amsterdam, le plus important des festivals de cinéma documentaire au monde. Vous n’aimez pas la vérité est un documentaire percutant basé sur l'enregistrement d'une caméra de surveillance de la prison de Guantánamo. La rencontre, jamais vue auparavant, d’une équipe d’interrogateurs canadiens avec un enfant détenu dans la prison de Guantánamo. Basé sur les sept heures d’enregistrement vidéo déclassifiées par les tribunaux canadiens, ce documentaire rend compte de l’intensité de cet interrogatoire qui a duré quatre jours. S'appuyant sur le style d’un écran de surveillance, le film analyse les portées scientifiques, légales et politiques d’un dialogue forcé. Vous n’aimez pas la vérité, 4 jours à Guantánamo sera diffusé sur les ondes de Canal D le dimanche 12 décembre à 19 h.

(c) La Scena Musicale