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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 5, No. 8

The Third André Turp Society Season

by Wah Keung Chan / May 1, 2000

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They say the third time is a charm, and for the André Turp Musical Society (ATMS), their third season is shaping up to be just that. The Society's mandate is to promote the vocal arts, and to date, their primary activities have been their series of recitals, and lectures and round-table discussions. New next year will be a group of four masterclasses and workshops, including a masterclass conducted by Will Crutchfield on interpreting Bellini and Verdi, and a workshop on the art of the accompanist.

Their Spinelli Series devoted to Canadian artists will feature baritone Gerald Finley, a recital by Monique Pagé, and one by Lyne Fortin; Finley's recital will be his Montreal debut and his only Canadian recital for the year. The Archambault series of international stars will feature the Montreal debut of tenor Christoph Prégardien in Schubert's Die Winterreise (the first of the three Schubert Song Cycles for ATMS), and a ATMS fundraiser featuring contralto Ewa Podlès, who thrilled Montreal audiences this year in a mostly Polish program, will return in a program of Rossini, Gluck and Handel arias and cantatas with La Chapelle de Montréal directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. With the collapse of the International Recital series at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Prégardien's recital will be the only Canadian stop in his tour.

In their first two years, the ATMS have established themselves with recitals by international baritone Dmitri Hvorstovsky and heldentenor Ben Heppner, and as a result have accumulated a large deficit. The recent postponement of the Heppner recital due to a sudden snow storm didn't help. In response to grumblings about high ticket prices for these events, André Lemay-Roy, Secretary of the ATMS explains, "We don't receive any government funding." Happily, the ATMS will get some support from CBC Radio Two and Radio-Canada next year. The main focus of the ATMS has been to promote the art of the recital, thereby filling a void in Montreal. A donation of 9000 audio recordings from the estate of Christian Delmas will allow the ATMS to open a public audio library.

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