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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 5, No. 2

Les Notes

October 1, 1999

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On June 22, negotiations between the Place des Arts management and the 152-member Local 56 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees broke down. While the strike by stagehands, carpenters and sound and light technicians forced Les Grands Ballets Canadiens to move to a smaller space, performances by the Montreal Symphony, Opéra de Montréal and the Theatre Jean Duceppe remain at Place des Arts. Although Opéra de Montréal had planned to perform Salome in the Notre Dame Cathedral because of the strike, opera subscribers did not want to move from the Opera's usual venue. "Since our number-one priority is to serve clients," said Andree McNamara Tait, spokesperson for Place des Arts, "every effort was made." Salome was performed as a staged concert‹to good reviews."The strike is nowhere near over," said Tait, in a September 22 interview. "Talks have ceased and no more are scheduled. As soon as we get a phone call (from the union) we'll be willing to go back to the table," said Tait. "We want to resolve this as soon as possible." - Jason Tchir Montreal violin-maker Jules Saint-Michel is featured in a 10-cent Canada Post stamp honouring artistic woodworking. Issued on April 29, 1999, as part of a series in tribute to eight traditional trades, the stamp shows St-Michel's hands. St-Michel opened his atelier in Montreal in 1970 after working five years as assistant to Montreal violin maker Antoine Robichaud. Twenty-four year-old pianist Naida Cole has become the first Canadian classical musician to sign with Universal Music Canada and Deutsche Grammaphon. The first alblum due out on October 26 includes works by Ravel, Satie, Chabrier and Fauré; a national tour follows. Cole is the highest-placed Canadian at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in its 40-year history. Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian is no stranger to being a last-minute replacement. In the summer of 1998, while apprenticing in Santa-Barbara, Bayrakdarian sang all performances of Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute on two days' notice. In January, Bayrakdarian stepped in for the opening night performance of the Canadian Opera Company's The Barber of Seville. In late October, she will replace the pregnant Juliana Rambaldi in the role of Catherine in some performances of the world-premiere of Malcolm Bolcolm's A View from the Bridge at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Oct. 9, 13, 17, 19, 22, 25, 28; Nov. 2, 5) Leporello gets his Due. Leporello, Don Giovanni's man servant will be featured in a television opera film next season. Rhombus Media, the company that brought us Thirty-two short Films on Glenn Gould and, most recently, The Red Violin, will be producing this retelling of Mozart's Don Juan classic through the eyes of Leporello. The one-hour drama is set to the scenes from Mozart's Don Giovanni in which Leporello appears. International baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky will star as both Leporello and Don Giovanni. The Canadian Opera Company, led by Richard Bradshaw, will provide the soundtrack. The other cast members include Dominique Labelle as Donna Anna, Gary Relyea as the Commandatore, Liesel Fedkenheuer as Donna Eliva, Michael Colvin as Don Ottavio, Alain Coulombe as Masetto and Krisztina Szabo as Zerlina. The film is the brain-child of Rhombus founding partner Barbara Willis-Sweete, who will direct. Filming begins October 18 in Toronto and will premiere during 2000-2001 on Bravo and then CBC. PBS, NHK and Telefilm Canada are also partners. Rhombus is also working on a TV film about conductor Arturo Toscanini for 2000-2001.
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