Listening: The ghosts of Wagners future and past hover over Gluck, Elgar and Schoenberg

Susan Graham starred in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Iphigénie en Tauride, desolately staged by expat Torontonian Robert Carsen.

Grabbing the heart with text and music takes many forms. This weekend, we have a chance to sample opera reduced to its essence, and two very operatic ways of crafting oratorio and cantata.

The first comes via CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, which broadcasts the Canadian Opera Company’s critically praised production of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s 1779 masterpiece, Iphigénie en Tauride, featuring American mezzo Susan Graham in the title role. Continue reading


Tomorrow: The art song is about conveying the text, says tenor Colin Ainsworth

Tenor Colin Ainsworth sings with the Nash Ensemble at Koerner Hall on Thursday.

Colin Ainsworth, whose lyric tenor is one of the golden voices among the younger generation of great Toronto singers, is slipping away from Opera Atelier’s summer production of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Armide, which runs until Aug. 23 at Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York, to perform with England’s Nash Ensemble at Koerner Hall on Thursday night. Continue reading