|La Scena Vocale - Vol.2, No.6 Février / February 1997|
Wah Keung Chan
La Scena Vocale, publiee dix fois par annee, est consacree au plaisir de la musique vocale. Chaque numero contient un calendrier de concerts, conferences, films emissions sur le chant ainsi que des critiques et des articles sur des chanteurs.
La Scena Vocale is dedicated to the enjoyment of vocal music. It is published ten times a year. Readers will find listings of live concerts, conferences, films, broadcasts as well as articles on singers and reviews.
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Circulation 4000 copies
Publicité / Advertising
Dans ce numéro / In this Issue
Calendrier jusqu'au 15 mars
New York, New York
Opera on Campus
Calendrier / Calendar
Montréal / Québec
Février / February
1, 6 Concert Bénéfice pour la fondation de l'Hôpital de Montreal pour Enfants, Céline Giangi, soprano, Françoise Gadbois, pianiste, Derek Yaple-Schobert, pianiste, extraits d'opéras et mélodies, piano solo et duo, Salle Tudor, Magasin Ogilvy (5e étage), 1307, rue Ste-Catherine O., 13h30, 15$ (reçu d'impôts), 284-1219
1 Bellini: I Puritani
1 Bach et Schutz: Magnificat
2 Théatre d'art lyrique de Laval
2 Palestrina: Missa Ut re mi fa sol la
2 Schubert: La belle meunière
2 Nora Sourouzian, mezzo
4, 5 Concert Opéra Italien
4, 7 Verdi: Rigoletto (film), English version from the English National Opera, Operamania, Fac. de musique, Univ. de Montréal, salle B-421, 19h30, 5$, 343-6427
4 Schönberg: Pierrot Lunaire
5 Récital: Classe de Yoland Parent, Faculté de musique, Univ. de Montréal, B-484, 20h, 343-6427
6 Concert Bénéfice (voir le 1)
7 Ingrid Schmithusen, soprano
8 Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
10 "Souper à Chenonceaux"
11, 14 Verdi: Rigoletto film-historique de l'Opera de Rome (1947), Operamania, Fac. de musique, Univ. de Montréal, salle B-421, 19h30, 5$, 343-6427
14 Haydn: Messe Saint-Nicholas etc
14 "Souper à Chenonceaux" (voir le 10)Théatre John Rennie, 20h, 630-1220, 10-5$
15 Verdi: La Forza del Destino
15, 17, 20, 22, 26, Mars 1
16 Voix solo, émotions en trio
16 Récital: Classe de France Dion, Faculté de musique, Univ. de Montréal, B-484, 14h30, 343-6427
16 Kozmik Vocal Ensemble, Bob Harvey, dir., "Sunday Evening Music at St. Mark's"St. Mark's church - 865 Lakeshore Drive, Dorval, 19h00, 10$-7$
18 Récital: Classe de Jane Randolph, Faculté de musique, Univ. de Montréal, B-484, 17h30, 343-6427
18 Récital: Classe de Gail Desmarais, Faculté de musique, Univ. de Montréal, B-484, 19h30, 343-6427
18, 19 Mendelssohn: Elijah
19 "Souper à Chenonceaux" (voir le 10) Salle Dina-Bélanger, Québec, 20h, (418) 687-9250, 25-20$
21, 22 Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana et Wolf-Ferrari: Le secret de
22 Berg: Wozzeck
22 Le Livreur de Coeur, Opéra pour jeune public (6-12 ans)
22 "Divertisments" at Christ Church Cathedral, songs by Schubert and Brahms, Winston Purdy, baritone, Eugene Plawutsky, piano, Christ Church Cathedral, 17h, free will offering, 843-6577
23 Choeur Allemand "Deutscher Chor Montreal", dir.
Karl-Heinz Pees, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert
23 Gala concert, The Professional Association of Teachers of Singing "NATS International Chapitre Montreal", winners of the Student Vocal Festival 1996and candidates of the NATS Artist Awards competition for young singers (USA): Anthony Flynn, Joseph Kaiser, Louise Marcotte, Shannon Mercer, Michael Meraw, Leslie Michaels, Terence Mierau, Julie Ann Nesrallah, Jeffrey Thompson, Église Erskine and American (coin du Musée), 15h, 5$, 484-5407.
23 Les Chantres Musiciens
25 "Souper à Chenonceaux" (voir le 10) Salle Pierre-Mercure, 20h, 987-6919, 20-14$
26 Récital: Classe de Gail Desmarais, Faculté de musique, Univ. de Montréal, B-484, 19h30, 343-6427
27,28, Mars 1,6,7,8
27 "Souper à Chenonceaux" (voir le 10) Auditorium Dufour, Chicoutimi, 20h, (418)549-3910, 23-15-5$
28 Récital: Classe de Yoland Parent, Faculté de musique, Univ. de Montréal, B-484, 17h, 343-6427
1 Verdi: Aida
6 Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano
8 Britten: Billy Budd
8 Stravinsky: Les noces
9 Théatre d'art lyrique de Laval
9 Choral Music of Epiphany and Lent, The Choir of The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, Bruce Wheatcroft, dir., Briarwood Presbyterian Church, 70 Beaconsfield Blvd., Beaconsfield, 19h30, Freewill Offering, 842-3431
10 Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
12 Lucianno Pavarotti, tenor
13-16 Black Box Theatre, Opera McGill, FACE School, 19h30, 398-4547
15 Mozart: Così fan tutte
15, 16 Atelier d'opéra de l'UQAM
16 Brian McMillan, baryton
16 Bach: Cantata Conversations
Ailleurs / Elsewhere
1. Beethoven Symphony No.9. Dominique Labelle, sprano, Sandra Graham, mezzo, Michael Schade, tenor, Gerald Finley, baritone. Toronto Symphony, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. dir Jukka-Pekka Saraste. 8 pm Roy Thomson Hall. 416-598-3375.
2m, 5, 7
2 Malaika, accapella music,
5, 7, 8, 9m
12,13. Janacek Glagolitic Mass. Eva Urbanova, soprano. Maria popesc, mezzo. Gary Lakes, tenor. Gary Relyea, bass-baritone.Toronto Symphony, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.dir. Andrew Davis Roy Thomson Hall. 8 pm. 416 598-3375.
12-16 Artisan, accapella music, North American Folk Alliance, Toronto, ON
13-14 Malaika, accapella music,at North American Folk Alliance, Toronto, ON
15 Malaika, accapella music, Flying Cloud Folk Club, Toronto, ON
15-16 The King's Singers, North York Performing Arts Centre, Toronto, ON
16. John Bryan's Rip Van Winkle.Toronto Children's Chorus. Metropolitan United Church.56 Queen St.East. 3 pm. $9-18.416-932-8666.
20 Anita Krause, soprano. Recital. Jane Mallet Theatre, Toronto. 8 pm. $10. 366-7723.
23 Barbara Bonney, sprano. Caren Levine, piano. All Schubert Program. Ford Centre. 2:30 pm. $24.50-$37.50. 416-872-2222.
24 Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony, Srul Irving Glick: The Hour Has Come, Sherri Karam, soprano, Gary Relyea, baritone, Ottawa Choral Society, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Iwan Edwards, dir., National Arts Center, Ottawa, $
26 Ladysmith Black Mambazo, accapella music, Potsdam College, Potsdam, NY
27 Ladysmith Black Mambazo, accapella music, Flynn Theater, Burlington, VT
27 Leontyne Price, soprano. Ford Centre. 8 pm. $48.-$75. 416-872-2222.
28 Midwinter Songs. by Canadian Composers John Rea, José Evangelista, Alexina Louie. Esprit Orchestra. dir Alex Pauk. Elmer Iseler Singers. dir. Elmer Iseler. 8 pm. St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 141 McCaul St. Toronto. $12.50-25. 416-366-7723.
Mars / March
9 Vancouver Chamber Choir, Jon Washburn, conductor, Ford Centre, Toronto, 2:30 p.m., $32.50-21.50, (416) 872-2222
14 Michael Schade, tenor
16 Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin
New York News
It is no exaggeration to say that you can hear more superb opera and recitals in New York in one week than in the whole Montreal or Toronto season. Here's an average week in the vocal life of the Big Apple as blissfully experienced by yours truly.
January 11: This Saturday matinee Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera was packed with fans of Nello Santi, an expert Verdi and Puccini conductor. Though the Bohème cast was short on celebrities, it gave a stellar performance such as most stars only rarely manage. Tenor Marcello Giordani's Rodolfo was as satisfying as recent memories of Roberto Alagna on the same stage. He was most comfortable in lyrical passages that suited his easy middle voice, but like virtually every tenor these days he shied from the high notes. The whole cast was young, attractive, and passionately involved Soprano Patricia Racette's Mimi would be a credit to any production. Her "Mi chiamano Mimì" was moving, and she kept up the standard right to her subtle but convincing death scene. A bit too much vibrato might be attributed to nerves, and it wouldn't hurt if she looked at Rodolfo a little during their love scene, but quibbles aside, Racette deserved the big applause she got. Paul Whelan and Ara Berberian as Benoit and Schaunard respectively gave satisfying portrayals. Anthony Michaels-Moore's Marcello was a pillar of the production, despite a slightly covered voice that should have been more ringing. Gwynne Geyer's Musetta was titillating though her eyes were always glued to the conductor, which hurt the comic spontaneity of her performance. Nevertheless against the background of Zeffirelli's lavish sets and with Maestro Santi at the podium, this was overall the most satisfying Bohème I've seen.
January 12. Sunday evening opera cognoscenti gather at Carnegie Hall for the Opera Orchestra of New York's semi staged La Cenerentola (no controversial surtitles thank you:free librettos are provided). Three times a year Eve Queler brings the most promising young vocal talent forward in ambitious productions of unusual repertoire. For those unfamiliar with Rossini's La Cenerentola , Queler's production probably made many converts. Last minute cast changes (Philip Cokorinos as a very buffo Don Magnifico and Gino Quilico as Dandini) strengthened this already strong cast. Cinderella's step sisters Clorinda (Olga Makarina) and Tisbe (Carla Wood) had superbly matched voices. The pivotal flunky role of Alidoro was perfectly sung and acted by bass Eric J. Owens. His powerful rich voice was compellingly inflected and despite slightly lazy diction he is definitely ready for bigger things. Bruce Fowler's boyish tenor makes up for his wooden acting. Gino Quilico's Dandini was by contrast a tour de force of dramatic confidence and stage charisma. The great discovery of the evening was Vivica Genaux's Cinderella. Here is the mezzo of the future, tall and lovely with a thrillingly free and powerful vocal production reminiscent of the great Marilyn Horne. Genaux has her technique down pat, pours out a stunning wealth of song, and is a fine actress. The evening's success was completed by a sparkling orchestra and chorus.
Sunday afternoon's recital by Luciano Pavarotti at the Met was rather a sad affair despite a sold out house of The Tenor's most vociferous fans. A program of Tosti, Schubert, and standards like "Per la gloria", "Già il sole dal Gange" almost proved too much for the visibly ailing star. Propped against the piano he gave us a handful of thrills reminiscent of the good old days (just a few years ago). Whereas in the past Pavarotti was the king of the high notes he is now the prince of pianissimo, but his fans didn't seem to mind his vocal problems. They cheered like it was aleady the Superbowl. I guess that's what it means to be a legend in your own time.
Most anticipated event was the season premiere of the Met's I Puritani. The curtain rose on a Constable inspired landscape, and the chorus dressed in "Pilgrim"costumes that every American associates with Thanksgiving. If this Puritani took a few minutes to get off the ground, blame Bellini. Conductor Eduardo Müller did his best with the trivial overture, but it wasn't 'til the engagement scene (Act I. Sc. 3) when both principals Ruth Ann Swenson and Stuart Neill were first on stage together, that the show caught fire. Swenson has already proven her worth with a couple of dynamite recital albums. Her Elvira was physically gorgeous, well-acted, but vocally not quite the wild woman one hoped for. All the notes were there for "Son vergin vezzosa" and the mad scene was correct, but one feels Swenson was playing it safe. She could have taken a few risks, and Müller could have speeded up the tempo, with my full approval. Tenor Stuart Neill's Met debut made this a night to remember. If Neill keeps improving over the next few years he'll be by far the best tenor we have. His Arturo was the most accurate, respectful bel canto singing I've ever heard. Neill sings to and for the audience. Every note is spot on, his rhythm is impeccable, he has the pianissimo and the fortissimo and a creamy passage in between. Add a pleasant natural timbre to these technical accomplishments and he's a singer to cherish.
Kathleen Battle, whose temper has unfortunately recently overshadowed her singing, gave her only New York recital Tuesday January 14 at Carnegie Hall. A sold out house proved that her following has not diminished, and she deserved the encouragement. This was my first Battle recital and I was overwhelmed by her pure nightingale soprano, her showy passage work, and gorgeously embroidered upper range that carried to the very back of the acoustically perfect Carnegie Hall. Her program was eclectically challenging:Handel's "Where'er you walk", Wolf, Liszt, and Strauss lieder, Turina songs, and a capella spirituals. I usually dread the spiritual thing, but here Battle acheived some of her loveliest effects. Too bad she flubbed one of her encores, "O had I Jubal's lyre". You can't deny that Battle is neurotic but she is such a bird of paradise in her chocolate silk gowns and diamonds that one forgives her little mannerisms.
The big discovery of the week was the Bronx Opera Company. They've been around for 29 years but were new to me. They presented a double bill of Schubert's comic singspiel The Conspirators and Menotti's The Medium in the intimacy of the John Jay College Theatre. The Schubert was fun, well-costumed and staged on a shoe-string. All the singers are talented young professionals who work more for love than money. Especially talented in the Schubert were bass Michael O'Hearn who has Wagnerian potential, and sopranos Wilsonia Boyer and Andrea Roth. After the intermission came the evening's highlight, Menotti's Medium, a dynamite production directed by Lucinda Winslow that delivered a huge dramatic punch The three principals were stunning. Judith Skinner's electrifying Madame Flora/Baba deserves an Academy Award. Her portrayal of the phony clairvoyant who is driven to murder by the voices in her head must bear comparison with the greatest interpretations of the role. Culver Casson's vulnerable, girlish Monica was equally astute. Her rapport with the mute Toby, acted by George Rios, was utterly convincing. The Bronx Opera Company should be sought out by anyone interested in the best for less (tickets start at $15). Their upcoming Don Giovanni May 9, 10 should be a treat (212-576-1370).
Opera on Campus
Our two major university opera programs - Opéra McGill and the Atelier d'Opera de l'Université de Montreal - offered two frothy operettas in January, both very popular with the public. Opéra McGill's production of Rossini's La Cenerentola had five shows with two casts. The opening night on Thursday January 23 left mixed impressions. The McGill Symphony under Tim Vernon gave a spirited and incisive rendering of Rossini's fast paced score. The sets by André Barbe, by far the most impressive sets in McGill's recent history, were a delightfully whimsical mix of Hockney and art nouveau. Costumes by Mireille Vachon were as fabulous as the sets. McGill usually skimps on sets and costumes, but they really got their money's worth this time. Vocally, there was one star, soprano Julie Nesrallah. Her Cinderella, professional and enjoyable from start to finish, was no mere student performance. Cinderella's step sisters Melanie Esseltine and Sophie Taillefaire also sang and acted well. They were both funny and convincing. Upcoming: McGill's annual Fringe Opera (featuring L'amico Fritz, La Rondine, and Mahagonny) in the Black Box Theatre March 13-16, 20-23 at 7:30 p.m.
Over at the University of Montreal, I caught the last of four evenings of Johann Strauss's sparkling La Chauve-Souris (Die Fledermaus). This bilingual production delivered recitative in French, but sang all arias and ensembles in German - and excellent German at that. This was a workable compromise which aided comprehension in the absence of libretti or projected translations. Musically this Chauve Souris was a total delight. If I had seen it earlier I would have gone twice. The strong cast was lead by tenor Pascal Mondieig, a superb actor presently involved with the Opera de Montreal's Atelier Lyrique. His phenomenally subtle and comic Gabriel von Eisenstein anchored the whole production. Soprano Raphaëlle Paquette as Rosalinde, his wife, is also a born actor, with a voice that deserves high praise. Isabelle Metwalli brought striking physical beauty and yet another gorgeous voice to the stage as Adèle, their maid. Less astonishing but competent were Julien Patenaude's Frank, Michael Kim's Dr. Blind, and Christiane Jean's Orlofsky. The chorus of attractive women, some wearing nothing but lingerie, sang ravishingly and bravely acted their parts as lesbians at Orlovsky's party - chacun à son gout, indeed. Everyone was titillated when they left the stage to waltz with the audience. Director Renaud Doucet deserves credit for a funny tasteful show that ran like clockwork. Such talent and dedication really deserves an orchestra and a bigger hall. They're worth paying to hear. Watch out for their next show, Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites, March 7,8,9,15,16 (free reservations: 343 6427).
Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs 1996
For people looking for words to a particular song or opera, several internet sites are there to help. Due to copyright laws, translations are not always available; if you can help with your own translations, send the organizers a message.
The Lieder and Song Text Page
Lyle Neff's Opera Libretti Page
I was looking for something to do last weekend and was inspired to
visit Toronto by an entry in your listings. The concert with Nancy Argenta in Toronto was
great, she sang beautifully. Thank you.-
Récu / Received
Strauss-Schubert-Lanner in Grinzing, Trio Kaffeehaus et Le Quintette vocal de la Famille Laferrière-Doane. SNE 619-CD
Choeurisma, chorale débutante, est à la recherche de voix
d'hommes. Contacter Serge: 495-8325.
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