Anyone who knows me also knows that I like the classics when it comes to music. The classic radio channel is on nearly all day. I wake up with it and keep it on for cooking, eating, writing or just dreaming. It only gets turned off when I leave the house or watch TV.
This time of the year has a lot to offer in regards to classical music. Not only does it chase away the winter blues, but it also transports us to other places and times with its intentions and stories.
February is the month for romance and romantic music is certainly being played everywhere. Just recently I woke up to Mark DuBois’ version of Lehar’s "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from The Land of Smiles, sung in the best of Richard Tauber tradition, which is still one of my favourites.
The aria was sung by a young tenor, James Ciantar. Still at the beginning of his career as a tenor his repertoire is not as rich as some of the other artists that performed that night. He had to sing off the sheet and did it well. There is just this little bit of a difference in the quality of a communication when the singer is familiar with the music. When too much attention is on the technicalities of the performance then the communication suffers. This became abundantly clear, because when he sang something that he was familiar with, like La Boheme or Turnadot; he was fantastic. Nevertheless, the audience was enthused by his strong performance and applauded wildly, because they love all the familiar arias that were offered that afternoon in the club. A very polished performance was delivered by Douglas Tranquada, baritone. It did not matter whom he sang with, he was always "on" with his rich voice that sports fans know from singing the National Anthem more often than anyone else, ever.
There were two lovely sopranos, versatile and quirky Wendy Dobson, who also doubled as a mezzo, and Sarah Hallyburton with her strong yet controlled dramatic voice, ideally suited for those really big arias like "Eines Tages wird kommen ein Schiff" from Madame Butterfly. I usually cry when this aria comes up, but this time I had shivers all over me. She was fabulous and the spontaneous bravos, the only ones that afternoon, were well earned.
Positively charming was the introduction of a young singer from Moscow, Veronika Anissimova. Only just 14 years old she delighted with Edelweiss and Mein Herr Marquis, which was a bit of a stretch for such a young girl. We had heard her before at Germanys National Holyday on the 3rd of October 2007. Everyone was happy to give her a hand. It is so important for a young aspiring singer to have exposure to an audience.
More romantic music
If you are a fan of classical music there is lots to chose from, but I would like to recommend a few venues to you. First there is the next offering of Via Salzburg on February 7, 2008, with another fabulous mix of something unusual, including mime mixed with the concert. Check it out on the website atwww.viasalzburg.com. This takes place as usual in the Glenn Gould studio on Front Street, Toronto.
Then I would like to recommend an Alicier Arts concert called Love’s Labour Lost. Shakespeare said: "If music be the food of love, play on."
And that the wonderful young artists that make up this group, including Kimberly Schemeit, will do. With their many varied and talented guests all their concerts are unique, entertaining and definitely a bargain at 20 and 15 dollars per person for a full concert in the afternoon. Do not miss this performance on Sunday, February 17, 2:30pm, at the lovely St. George’s-on-the-Hill Chapel, 4600 Dundas Street West, between Royal York and Islington.
The other performance I would like to recommend is Opera York’s offering of Don Giovanni under the artistic direction of Geoffrey Butler, starring the popular Andrew Tees in the lead and with Sinead Sugrue as Donna Anna and the effervescent Lucia Cesaroni as Zerlina. Call Opera York a 905-763-7853 to reserve a ticket for the Markham Arts Center on February 29 or the YCDSB Arts Center at St. Elisabeth in Vaughan, February 22 at 8 pm and on the 24th at 2pm.
There are certainly many other interesting musical offerings, all renowned and wonderful, some of them are listed on our websitewww.echoworld.com. But I would really like to see some of you out here at these events.
Remember, music is good for the soul!...And so is dancing!
See you at the ball!
Until next time
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