September 1, 1998
Donna Phillips, formerly of the Manitoba Opera, is
the new Executive Director of the Manitoba Choral Association.
Manitoba Opera's new Artistic Director is American
Louis Salemno, former Music Director of the Portland, Oregon,
Spoleto Festival U.S.A. general director Nigel
Redden, 47, is the new director of the Lincoln Center Festival in
New York. He replaces John Rockwell, who recently rejoined the New
York Times as editor of the newspaper's Arts and Leisure
Santa Fe Opera has chosen current SFO Artistic
Administrator and Associate General Director Richard Gaddes to
succeed John Crosby as General Director, effective September 30,
The Lysy-Lortie-Berick Trio has been dissolved,
citing incompatible schedules. Pianist Louis Lortie lives in
Berlin, Antonio Lysy in Ottawa.
Countertenor madness has seized the major labels.
EMI has signed American divo David Daniels, who will star in the
COC's Xerxes next January. EMI will release his first disc
in October. Brian Asawa already belongs to BMG. Germany's Andreas
Scholl was recently lured away from harmonia mundi by
Will Canadian tenor Jon Vickers finally get a
long-overdue Governor General's Award this autumn ?
The 1998-99 roster of Canadian operatic company
apprenticeship programs are / Les nouveaux stagiares des ateliers
lyriques canadiennes pour la saison 1998-1999 sont: Canadian Opera
Company Studio Ensemble: coach Kate Carver, tenor Michael Colvin,
bass Alain Coulombe, mezzos Liesel Fedkenheuer & Krisztina
Szabó, soprano Tamara Hummel, baritone Andrew Tees & conductor
Judith Yan. L'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal : sopranos
Stephanie Brill, Melanie Esseltine & Marie-Annie Simoneau;
mezzo Dina Martire; ténors Marc Hervieux & Éric Laport;
baryton Sergei Stilmachenk; mise en scène Julie De Grandpré;
répetiteur Claude Webster. Vancouver Opera Studio Ensemble:
soprano Karen Wierzba, mezzo Marie-Ann Kowan, tenor John Tessier
& baritone Gregory Dahl.
The Miro String Quartet won the 6th Banff
International String Quartet competition in August. Daniel Ching,
(first violin) Sandy Yamamoto (second violin), John Largess
(viola) and Joshua Gindele (cello) will split the $20,000 prize.
The Miro Quartet also won a $2,000 prize for its outstanding
interpretation of the 11-minute String Quartet No. 3
commissioned by the CBC from Chan Ka Nin. The Quatuor Castagneri
[France], second-prize winner, takes home $12,000. The Belcea
Quartet [London, UK] pockets $8,000 and the Avalon String Quartet
[U.S.A.] won $5,000 as fourth prize. The finals will air on La
Chaine culturelle on Radio-Canada in September. The 7th Banff
International String Quartet Competition will take place August 27
to Sept 2, 2001.
The National Association of Teachers of Singing of
America competition was held in Toronto in July. First prize went
to soprano Debra Wilke, second prize to soprano Katarina Tchoubar,
third prize to mezzo Perri Wagner. Also impressive was Michelle
Areyzaga. Other winners included mezzo Tina Milhorn and soprano
Pianist Richard Raymond, 32, a New Brunswick native
now living in Longueuil, Quebec, won second prize at the William
Kapell International Piano Competition in Philadelphia. Raymond is
artist in residence at the University of New Brunswick
(Fredericton) this fall.
Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian made a surprise
debut as Pamina in Mozart's Magic Flute and won the second
annual Marilyn Horne Foundation Award at the Santa Barbara,
California, Music Academy of the West in July. The Horne award
includes a New York recital to be broadcast on New York's WQXR
classical radio station. Bayrakdarian is expected to make her
Montreal debut at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival in May,
Pianist Anton Kuerti and tenor Richard Verreau were
named Officers of the Order of Canada. Conductor Georg Tintner,
acclaimed for his recent recordings of Bruckner symphonies on the
Naxos label , was named Member of the Order of Canada.
German baritone Hermann Prey, 69, on July 19 in
Italian conductor Lamberto Gardelli, 83, on July
Henry Butler, 79, opera director and librettist for
Martin Levy's opera of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes
Italian dramatic soprano Ilva Ligabue, 67, in
Wanda Toscanini Horowitz, daughter of conductor
Arturo Toscanini and widow of pianist Vladimir Horowitz, 90, on
Aug. 21, in New York.
The American Musicological Society (AMS) will hold
their 64th annual meeting in Boston, October 28-November 1. Der
Stein Der Weisen (The Philosopher's Stone), an opera partially
attributed to Mozart, will be performed by the Boston Baroque in
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory of Music, October 30, 8 p.m.
and November 1, 3 p.m. The URL for the meeting is: www.bu.edu/sfa/AMS98/
The Canadian Opera Company named Toronto-based
architects A.J. Diamond, Donald Schmidtt and Company architects
for their new 2100-seat opera house. The COC season opens in
Toronto's Hummingbird Centre with Bellini's Norma on Sept.
24. With the participation of Altamira and EMI Classics, the COC
has issued Operafare, a compilation of tracks from operas
to be performed during their 98-99 season. The selections were
chosen by COC Artistic Manager Phil Boswell from a list supplied
by EMI. Altamira paid for the pressing. Proceeds from the $10 CD
will benefit the Feed the Children foundation.
Since the Toronto-based entertainment company Livent
was bought by Disney executive Mike Ovitz last spring, there has
been nothing but bad news. Accountants investigating Livent's
book-keeping have alleged "serious irregularities," warranting an
audit going back several years. Meanwhile, Livent stock was frozen
by major stock exchanges and Livent founder Garth Drabinsky was
suspended. Livent leases North York's Ford Centre for the
Performing Arts from the City of Toronto. In the Ford Centre's
George Weston Recital Hall, Livent presents Canada's largest
classical music season, with over 60 events. Their 1998-1999
season begins Sept. 24 with Catherine Malfitano, soprano. No word
from the Ford Centre whether Livent's problems will affect
classical music programming.
The J.-Armand-Bombardier Foundation will give the
Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal $ 200,000 for the 1998-1999
season. This will more than replace the funding lost when Pierre
Péladeau died in December 1997. Péladeau was widely regarded as
the saviour of the Orchestre Métropolitain and basked in his
public image as a philanthropist and classical music lover. Since
his death it has been revealed that his generosity amounted to
little more than one rent-free office and complimentary printing
of the orchestra's programs. Little cash exchanged hands, and
Péladeau's tax-deductible, in-kind gift probably amounted to less
than $100,000 per year. The Péladeau family controls Canada's
largest printing empire, with gross revenues of $7 billion in
1997. Pierre Péladeau's heirs are not renewing their father's
minimal support of the Orchestre Métropolitain.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra made a killing on
Bre-X shares last December when it sold a block of donated stock
at $22 per share for a profit of $253,000. Six months later Bre-X
went bankrupt and the shares became worthless.
Following the exchange of bitter press releases
between the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the musicians' union
in July, and two cancelled concerts, labour negotiations are still
problematic. Despite the intervention of a mediator, the musicians
may still strike before their first concert of the season on Sept.