A June weekend resounds with the glories of the human voice

The Victoria Scholars sing on Sunday afternoon (COC photo).

Here are some weekend suggestions with which to celebrate the glories of the human voice:


Toronto collaborative pianist Patti Loach teams up with singer Lindsay Sutherland Boal for an evening of cabaret at the ideally suited ground-floor lounge/theatre at the Lower Ossington Theatre on the oh-so-hip strip of Ossington Ave. between Queen and Dundas Sts.

Here is how Loach describes her encounter with Boal:

I met Lindsay a year ago when she was here performing her one-woman show Purely Cabaret at the Fringe Festival. Right away I was intrigued by Lindsay’s extensive knowledge of the music of the Weimar Republic – she studied kabarett in Germany – and charmed by her quirky, sexy, funny personality.
When I suggested to Lindsay that we learn some songs just for fun, she introduced me to some rep that she had discovered at the Yale Cabaret Conference.
One song led to another and this show, Conversations at 3 a.m., is the culmination of a year of Wednesday afternoons, sharing stories and music, at the piano in my kitchen.
We’ve found some gorgeous ballads (“Dublin,” and “The Lies of Handsome Men”). Lindsay is singing some gorgeously wistful songs in German and English from her specific area of expertise: the Weimar republic. And since my newest composer-obsession is with the insanely talented and outrageously funny Ray Jessel, we’re performing two of his songs, including “I Think About Sex.”

There a nice audio sample of Loach and Boal at work here.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Details and tickets here.


  • The Canadian Children’s Opera Company’s brand-new, 90-minute opera, Laura’s Cow: The Legend of Laura Secord, is beautifully done. You can read my appreciation here. There are shows today and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre. Check out the details here.
  • CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera presents the Canadian Opera Company’s robust production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola from last season, featuring wonderful Canadian baritone Brett Polegato.
  • Placido Domingo’s 20th Operalia competition is streaming its finals from Beijing live on medici.tv. If I have my time zones right, the stream will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. After a 24-hour pause, the finals will be available for free on-demand viewing for several weeks. Details here.


One of the Toronto choral directros I respect the most, Jerzy Cichocki, leads an intriguing concert programme on Sunday afternoon by his Victoria Scholars male chorus. With the help of organist William O’ Meara they present rich music that includes Anton Bruckner’s heroic setting of Helgoland.

Other composers on the programme are Charles Stanford, Aaron Copland, Veljo Tormis and the underappreciated Amy Beach.

The concert starts at 3:30 p.m. at the spacious Blessed Sacrament Church on Yonge St, a couple of blocks south of the Lawrence subway station. Admission is $25 ($20 for students and seniors).

Here’s a sample of Helgoland (credits are on the video):

John Terauds


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