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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 5, No. 1

Fall Vocal Preview

September 1, 1999

La rentrée musicale – preview Fall Vocal Preview by Wah Keung Chan Just two years ago, opera in concert was a rarity in Montreal, but this year, vocal music lovers will have several opportunities to enjoy this genre. The Montreal symphony Orchestra (MSO) presents the second North American performance of Polish composer Szymanowski's lyrical opera King Roger on October 12 & 13. To celebrate their 20th season, l'Opéra de Montréal (O d M) had planned concert versions of Delibes' Lakmé on Jan. 23, 2000 and Wagner's Das Rheingold April 27, 2000, but the Place des Arts technicians' strike has turned at least their September run of R. Strauss' Salome into "stand and sings." Puccini's La Bohème, Nov. 6-20 and the Opera Gala Dec. 12 round out the O d M's fall offerings. The same strike forced the Orchestre Métropolitain to postpone a second run of their successful Hänsel and Gretel by Humperdinck. Staged opera is found at l'Opera de Québec's production of Rossini's L'Italienne à Alger, Oct. 16, 19, 21, 23; Opera Lyra Ottawa presents Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de perles Sept. 18, 20, 22, 25; and in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company puts on Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore Sept. 24 - Oct. 9, Verdi's La Traviata Sept. 23 - Oct. 8, Mozart's Don Giovanni Jan. 21 - Feb. 5, and Wagner's The Flying Dutchman Jan. 20 - Feb. 4. Twentieth Century Opera is represented by Giacinto Scelsi'sChants du Capricorne performed by Chant Libres on Nov. 10-13. The world premiere of Francis Caron's chamber opera Des Hommes inutiles, will be presented by L'Ensemble contemporain de Montréal and the Nouveau Quatouor de Saxophones du Québec on Dec. 3 and 4. Symphonic vocal works will be featured in Orchestre Métropolitain's tour of Beethoven's Ninth on Sept. 21 - 30, the MSO's production of Fauré's Requiem and Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero on Oct 5 & 6, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec's Elijah by Mendelssohn on Dec. 15, and the NAC Orchestra's Das Lied von der Erde by Mahler with contralto Ewa Podlès Jan. 5-6. Fans of vocal recital can choose from soprano Donna Brown (CBC/McGill) Sept 15 in a hommage to Richard Strauss on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death, the young Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian in her Montreal recital debut Nov. 23, American soprano Renée Fleming Dec. 18 in Quebec City (Club Musical de Québec), French soprano Françoise Pollet in "Hommage to Francis Poulenc" with the MSO Jan. 21-22, soprano Barbara Hendricks Jan. 31 (Pro Musica), and contralto Ewa Podlès Feb. 6 (Ladies' Morning Musical Club). Quebec's only vocal music series, the André Turp Musical Society, enters their second season with soprano Ingrid Schmithüsen Oct. 24, Canadian mezzo Annamaria Popescu Nov. 28, Canadian heldentenor Ben Heppner April 9, baritone Matthias Goerne May 19 and Canadian lyric soprano Manon Feubel May 28.

(c) La Scena Musicale