The Canadian Opera Company unveils its 2012-13 season of free concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre

COC Ensemble Studio member Adrian Kramer sang his farewell concert at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre with accompanist Christopher Mokrzewski last May.

The most significant concert presenter in this city outside the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is Nina Draganic, the unheralded doyenne of the Canadian Opera Company’s annual 10-months of free concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

The new season kicks off at lunchtime on Sept. 18, with a concert by the COC’s Ensemble Studio and will run its combination of classical, jazz, world and new music, dance and lecture concerts through to the end of June. Continue reading

Tokyo String Quartet announces end of a long a glorious history

The Tokyo String Quartet will be no more at the end of the 2012-13 season (Peter Ceccia photo).

It feels much like being told that a close friend is terminally ill: The Tokyo Quartet has announced that it will disband at the end of next season.

The following notice appears on the Tokyo website, signed by violinists Martin Beaver, Kikuei Ikeda, violist Kazuhide Isomura and cellist Clive Greensmith: Continue reading

Valery Gergiev début one of many 2012-13 season highlights at Royal Conservatory

Valery Gergiev makes his Koerner Hall début with the Stradivarius Ensemble on Oct. 26.

Yesterday, the Royal Conservatory of Music unveiled 49 classical music and opera dates with its 80-plus concert 2012-13 season — its fourth since the opening of the Telus Centre and Toronto’s now-beloved Koerner Hall.

And those dates don’t include a long list of outside presenters who now present some or all of their art music concerts at Koerner Hall — people like Soundstreams, Esprit Orchestra and Tafelmusik. Continue reading

Opera Atelier leaves Baroque behind as it announces Der Freischütz for 2012-13 season

Tenor Kresimir Spicer will sing Max in Opera Atelier's new production of Der Freischütz

Opera Atelier has just announced its 2012-13 season of two productions. It’s probably the first time in the company’s quarter century that there won’t be a Baroque-era opera on its Elgin Theatre season.

The season opens with the most recently-composed opera yet for the company: Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz, a not-frequently-produced landmark work that ushered in the Romantic era on the German opera stage in 1821. Continue reading

Canadian Opera Company puts Canadians first as it announces 2012-13 season

Adrianne Pieczonka will sing her first Madame Lidoine in Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites at the Canadian Opera Company in May, 2013

There may not be any new homegrown operas on the Canadian Opera Company’s 2012-13 season, but general director Alexander Neef has made sure to give prominent roles to Canadian singers.

In his fourth season announcement, Neef proved yet again his commitment to local talent. But, in his case, this is more than a token gesture. Neef, who arrived with an international rolodex that would put the majority of other North American opera producers to shame, chooses Canadians for lead roles because they happen to be the finest singers available for them. Continue reading