‘Tis the season for new things

‘Tis the season for new things

The COC, as we all know by now, announced its new season this week.

Among the highlights is certainly the Berlin Staatsoper rental, Jossi Wieler & Sergio Morabito’s Un Ballo in Maschera, set in American South at the time of the Civil Rights movement. Pieczonka will debut the role of Amelia, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux Ulrica. Here’s a good bootleg clip from the 2009 production in Berlin.

A spanking new Cosi fan tutte by Atom Egoyan should be interesting. The last thing he directed for theatre was the Cruel and Tender at Canadian Stage, which I absolutely loved. (His recent films… not so much. But stage is stage: a different language etc.)

The COC co-prod with the LOC, Hercules by Sellars with Harry Bicket in the pit, looks good. I will remind the mezzosexuals among you that this production will return Alice Coote to town. She will, of course, sing Dejanira.

Sondra Radvanovsky will be Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux in the Dallas Opera rental, with the dark-hued mezzo Allyson McHardy in the role of Sara.

meow meow///

The Royal Conservatory also revealed details of its 13/14 Koerner Hall season last week. Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante make the Koerner Hall debut in February next year, however with a non-vocal Vivaldi program. In December this year, Natalie Dessay joins Michel Legrand and Les Violons du Roy in a (it looks like it) a non-classical program of Legrand’s and other songs. Still part of the current season, Meow Meow, a mad political cabaret mixen* from Britain, will perform here in February. Bizarrely, there are still no program notes available on the Koerner Hall website, but I believe she will do the Little Match Girl performance. Have a listen to her talk about her re-think of the HC Andersen classic over on Women’s Hour.


Among ATMA Classique January releases, the wind band called Les Jacobins. Completely new to me, the ensemble “originated with the desire to explore the rich but little-known repertoire associated with the French Revolution.” Sympa, oué? Consisting chiefly of transcriptions of opera overtures by Méhul, the recording also includes the actual war songs  for the Revolutionary French armies (one presumes, while they were being led by Napoleon to spread the Liberté-Fraternité-Egalité truc across Europe). Those who have a perverse sense of pairing will make this CD a companion piece to any future seeing of Poulenc’s Carmelites. You can have a taste of it here.

* “Mixen” is a combination of a vixen and a mynx. Now you know.

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