From the Editorby Wah Keung Chan
/ December 1, 2014
What better way to celebrate the holidays than with singing and more singing? Gracing our cover for the third time is Canadian mezzo/contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, who takes a dramatic turn in her career in January with her first Dalila in Saint-Saëns’s masterpiece Samson et Dalila. Our aria of the month is Dalila’s seductive “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” (My heart opens to your voice).
Canada’s two leading African-Canadian sopranos Measha Brueggergosman and Marie-Josée Lord have both released Christmas albums, and Richard Turp catches up with both in featured interviews.
The most stirring Christmas tune is undoubtedly Adolphe Adam’s Cantique de Noël (or Minuit, chrétiens; the English version is O Holy Night), a showpiece, with a climatic high B-flat, usually sung in midnight masses by a tenor. We invited Eric Legault to update his review of various singers, originally published in La Scena in 1996. Choral music is integral to holiday music and ICI Musique’s choral show host Francoise Davoine shares her favourite choral repertoire.
If this inspires you to celebrate the season by attending a live concert, our special ‘holiday concert picks’ on page 27 is the perfect guide. If you are in a giving spirit, our veteran contributors and prominent musicians share their latest Gift Ideas. December is also a time to donate to worthy causes, since December 31 is the deadline for a tax receipt. Why not support music and the arts charities? Look to our Philanthropy section and guide (including a donation form) to take advantage of new fiscal Federal and Provincial tax saving policies, such as the First Time Donor Super Credit.
Quebecers have traditionally lagged behind the rest of Canada in both level of donors and amounts given, but did you know that Quebec has the most generous tax incentives? If you haven’t donated since 2007, a $1000 donation will cost you only $300, and a first-time major donation of $5000 to the arts will cost you between $1162 to $1371. All win-win for you and the arts.
For our La Scene Musicale charity, we recently launched our 2014-2015 fundraising and subscription campaign. With the uncertainty of the current economic climate, our levels of advertising revenue have been unpredictable. Every dollar donated will help us maintain and improve the quality that is expected from La Scena Musicale. And why not give a subscription to La Scena Musicale? Privileges include 52 hours of musical downloads, whiter paper, and home delivery ensuring access to the complete list of concerts and great writing. Or treat yourself and get the second subscription for half price.
As we close 2014, I want to thank all those who have supported us over the year, as readers, and as donors of funds and time. On behalf of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, I wish you a holiday season full of music and the arts.