Tag Archives: culture

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway: ‘Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein’ (Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 8 p.m.)

This fabulous concert brings you unforgettable songs from every one of the eleven Broadway musicals that this legendary team created—solid-gold classics such as The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Carousel, Oklahoma!, and The King and I, with appealing rarities like Cinderella and Flower Drum Song, too!

All music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett, unless otherwise indicated.

Arr. Adolph Deutsch/orch. Alexander Courage

Selections from Oklahoma!

Main Title (film version)

“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” (film version)

“People Will Say We’re in Love”

Orch. Don Walker

Selections from Carousel

The Carousel Waltz

“Soliloquy”

“You’ll Never Walk Alone”

“It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from State Fair

“The Gentleman Is a Dope” from Allegro

Selections from South Pacific

“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” (orch. Don Walker)

“I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”

“Some Enchanted Evening”

“There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame”

Selections from The King and I

Overture

“I Have Dreamed”

“I Whistle a Happy Tune”

“No Other Love” from Me and Juliet

“Everybody’s Got a Home But Me” from Pipe Dream

“Waltz for a Ball” from Cinderella

“I Enjoy Being a Girl” from Flower Drum Song

Selections from The Sound of Music

Prologue and “The Sound of Music” (orch. Irvin Kostal)

“Edelweiss”

“Climb Ev’ry Mountain”

Principal Pops Conductor, Steven Reineke says, “I love the music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who together are arguably the most important and successful song writing duos in theatre history. While many of their songs from the eleven musicals on which they collaborated are classics now, it’s worth remembering that they revolutionized the genre when Rodgers and Hammerstein created them. Rather than simply being a diversion to the main action of the story, these song and dance numbers are directly integrated into the drama, furthering the plot and also providing social commentary. The music you’ll hear at this concert is sophisticated and affecting and I’m delighted to be performing these amazing songs with star vocalists Chilina Kennedy and Ryan Silverman, the glorious voices of the Amabile Choirs of London, Canada, and, of course, your Toronto Symphony Orchestra!”

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN

  • Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) wrote eleven musicals in seventeen years, an astonishing accomplishment.
  • Although Rodgers and Hammerstein had collaborated on writing songs for Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), State Fair (1945), and Allegro (1947), the first musical they produced entirely on their own was South Pacific (1949). They would produce, or co-produce, every one of their musicals from then on.
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s casting process was a cottage industry unto itself. They held weekly Thursday morning audition sessions from which they would recruit fresh talent, who would first be sent out on road tours or be members of Broadway choruses before they became lead performers. For example, Shirley Jones worked in the choruses of South Pacific and Me and Juliet before she undertook the female lead role in the Oklahoma! film.

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to the ‘Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein’ (Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 8 p.m. )performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and the ‘Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein (Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 8 p.m.)’ Ticket Giveaway is Monday April 17, 2017.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/best-rodgers-hammerstein

Ticket Giveaway: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’: James Ehnes (Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00pm)

Known for his virtuosity and probing musicianship, violinist James Ehnes has performed in over 35 countries on five continents, appearing regularly in the world’s great concert halls and with many of the most celebrated orchestras and conductors.

In the 2016-2017 season James continues his cross-Canada recital tour in celebration of his 40th birthday, performs the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas in Stresa, Montreux, Los Angeles, Liverpool, and Amsterdam, and joins the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on a tour of China and the National Arts Centre Orchestra on a tour of Eastern Canada. James also holds artist residencies with the Melbourne Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Scotia Festival, undertakes two tours with the Ehnes Quartet, and leads the winter and summer festivals of the Seattle Chamber Music Society, where he is the Artistic Director.

Superstar violinist James Ehnes performs a concerto that Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis wrote especially for him. Festival curator Owen Pallett offers his latest piece, Songs From an Island.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘New Creations Festival’ has snapped up James Ehnes to highlight their ‘New Creations Festival’ with light in these dark winter months.

As part of the performance night, be sure to enjoy Harry Stafylakis: Shadows Radiant (TSO Co-commission) [2′], Aaron Jay Kernis: Violin Concerto (World Première/TSO Co-commission) [25′], Owen Pallett: Songs From An Island (World Première/TSO Commission) [15′] and Nico Muhly: Mixed Messages [11′].

Thank you to our friends at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for gifting Thirty Four Flavours with a pair of tickets to the ‘New Creations Festival’: James Ehnes (Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00pm) performance!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me you why you want to win the Symphony tickets.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and the ‘New Creations Festival’: James Ehnes (Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00pm) Ticket Giveaway is Monday March 6, 2017.

Limited tickets available.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/james-ehnes

Review: ROM Friday Night Live (#FNLROM): Afro Fête celebrates Black History Month (Friday February 3, 2017)

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New year and new jams at #FNLROM!  On Friday February 3, 2017 we celebrated Afro Fête as part of Black History Month with a jam-packed night of vibrant music, food and activations.  The evening featured live entertainment, DJs and special performances in the Museum’s stunning galleries.

The #FNLROM Afro Fête Performances did not disappoint with the likes of Exco Levi & High Priest.  Jamaican/Canadian musician Exco Levi paid tribute to the founders of reggae music with a modern twist of poetry and sound. This four-time Juno award winner has performed in multiple tours and reggae festivals around the world.

We also enjoyed Ammoye.  Rooted in the reggae music of her native Jamaica, Ammoye effortlessly glided from reggae and dancehall to gospel, soul and R&B. Over the years, Ammoye has been performing at events and festivals around the globe, and has shared the stage with Ziggy Marley, Freddie McGregor, Romain Virgo and Beenie Man.

The Afro Lounge was off the hook!  We ordered some West African street eats, grabbed a drink, and played a game of Ludo. Complete with a dressing room in the back, showcasing exclusive pieces from the Chinedesign summer collection inspired by the Museum’s current Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana exhibition.

Who Killed Colin Roach? We also explored the interconnections between race, justice and the state in this film by Isaac Julien.  Well worth a visit!

See you in the spring!

#FNLROM:

Afro Fête Tickets: $5 for ROM Members, $15 for Adults, and $13 for Students.

#FNLROM is a specially ticketed event for adults 19+.

For information and future tickets, visit rom.on.ca.

Holiday Stocking Stuffer: The Twelve Days of Christmas with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra – December 9 & 11, 2016

The malls maybe busy and we maybe run off our feet on our weekends – what better time is it to carve out some much needed early family and friends time before the holiday rush kicks in?

I encourage you to pick up tickets to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. It is truly an event for the whole family.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a festive family concert! Sing along with your favourite carols and songs as part of The Twelve Days of Christmas—a hilarious live-action pageant, narrated by Canadian actor and improv comedian Colin Mochrie, that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. If it isn’t already, the TSO’s annual family Christmas concert is sure to become your new holiday tradition!

These concerts feature the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Earl Lee, with the Highland Creek Pipe Band, Resonance Youth Choir and Tha Spot Holiday Dancers.

Program:

JAMES STEPHENSON: Holiday Overture

MOZART/arr. Aubrey Winter: Allegro from Toy Symphony in C major

STEVEN REINEKE: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

LUCAS RICHMAN: Hannukah Festival Overture

KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ: Music from Frozen

JOHN RUTTER: Candlelight Carol

TRADITIONAL/arr. Mitch Clarke: Frosty the Snowman

TCHAIKOVSKY: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker

TCHAIKOVSKY: Trépak from The Nutcracker

ANDERSON: Sleigh Ride

DELVYN CASE: Rocket Sleigh

RICHARD HAYMAN: The Twelve Days of Christmas

FINNEGAN, PLOYHAR, LUCK: Rudolph’s Christmas Medley

Tickets can still be purchased and they are reasonably priced at $26! True stocking stuffer pricing that will keep your wallet happy as well as you and your loved ones.

https://www.tso.ca/concert/twelve-days-christmas

Review: Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in Concert’

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Original Score composed by Howard Shore Composer Howard Shore brings J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary imagination to vivid life with his Academy® and GRAMMY® Award–winning score to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  By the way, Howard Shore is Canadian!

Shore’s music expresses Peter Jackson’s film as an immense symphonic work—a uniquely developed vision drawn from centuries of stylistic tendencies. The music of The Lord of the Rings is counted among film music’s most complex and comprehensive works. This unique performance sets the score to the film, but allows the music to bear the narrative weight, creating a wholly new and dramatic live concert experience.

Shore’s score not only captures Fellowship’s sweeping emotion, thrilling vistas, and grand journeys, but also echoes the very construction of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.    Styles, instruments, and performers collected from around the world provide each of Tolkien’s cultures with a unique musical imprint. The rural and simple hobbits are rooted in a dulcet weave of Celtic tones.  The mystical Elves merit ethereal Eastern colours.

The Dwarves, Tolkien’s abrasive stonecutters, receive columns of parallel harmonies and a rough, guttural male chorus. The industrialized hordes of Orcs claim Shore’s most violent and percussive sounds, including Japanese taiko drums, metal bell plates and chains beaten upon piano wires, while the world of Men, flawed yet noble heirs of Middle-earth, is introduced with stern and searching brass figures. In operatic fashion, these musical worlds commingle, sometimes combining forces for a culminated power, other times violently clashing…and always bending to the will of the One Ring and its own ominous family of themes.

The music’s vast scope calls for symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, children’s chorus, and instrumental and vocal soloists singing in the Tolkien-crafted languages Quenya, Sindarin, Khuzdul, Adûnaic, Black Speech, as well as English. Original folk songs stand alongside diatonic hymns, knots of polyphony, complex tone clusters, and seething, dissonant aleatoric passages. It is purposeful, knowing writing, as contained in execution as it is far-reaching in influence; for within this broad framework resides a remarkably concise musical vision.

Shore’s writing assumes an earthy, grounded tone built on sturdy orchestral structures and a sense of line that is at once fluid yet stripped of frivolous ornamentation.

Says Howard Shore, “This is the first time that the complete score to The Fellowship of the Ring will be performed live to projection in Toronto. My first score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience.”

—Doug Adams is a Chicago-based musician and writer. He is the author of the book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.

Review:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

It was pretty fitting that we took in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in Concert’ last night as the end of the year creeps towards us. The 3 night sold out performance captured Howard Shore Academy Award ®– Winning Score at its essence and perfectly ‘lit’ the Roy Thomson Hall space with a musical respite from the damp weather outside.

There was a definite excited energy in the air as we took our seats above Roy Thomson Hall. We had a perfect view.  The space was filled and there were a few die heard fans in full Arwen gear in front of us.  We made sure to pick up our cocktails and popcorn prior to the performance.   It’s great that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra encourages guests to indulge on treats from the concession stand for evening performances.  It is a truly cultural experience watching a film and having the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s musical wares wash over you.

The nuances that Conductor, Ludwig Wicki, brought to the table last night amplified every note that may have gotten lost as we watched ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ on the big screen in the past.  From the lovely Kaitlyn Lusk’s soprano solos and the Canadian Children Opera Company’s subtle but eloquent odes to the landscapes and intimate scenes between characters – the emotion was at its height last night.  There were tears, laughter, sighs of relief and ‘yes!’ in unison but the audience members.   We were in union last night.  Alastair Thorburn-Vitols the boy soprano was gentle in his intent with his performance but he was sure to provide the goose bump texture for the evening.   The evening was rich, diverse and beautifully curated.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s deep bass made us cringe at numerous points throughout the performance. In those moments we constantly were made aware that the collective group of musicians, conductor and singers are true athletes.  A three hour performance with one intermission – we felt emotionally and physically raw.  Sure, these musicians are professionals – but how do they do it?  Not only were they able to evoke, provoke and keep up with a consistent momentum and still ‘slay’ us – they did it with joy, verve and it was gobsmackingly good.  The audience repaid the musicians with an epic prolonged standing ovation which was well deserved.

Music from the soundtrack that we visited in our travels together with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the Shire and abroad included of:

PART I

Prologue: One Ring To Rule Them All

The Shire

Bag End

Very Old Friends

Farewell Dear Bilbo

Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe

A Conspiracy Unmasked

Three is Company

Saruman the White

A Shortcut to Mushrooms

Strider

The Nazgûl

Weathertop

The Caverns of Isengard

Give Up the Halfling

Orthanc

Rivendell

The Sword That Was Broken

The Council of Elrond Assembles

The Great Eye

Intermission

PART II

The Pass of Caradhras

The Doors of Durin

Moria

Gollum

Balin’s Tomb

Khazad-dûm

Caras Galadhon

The Mirror of Galadriel

The Fighting Uruk-hai

Parth Galen

The Departure of Boromir

The Road Goes Ever On…

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is definitely on to something here.   Last night was an excellent example of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra not only illuminating the beauty of Howard Shore’s score but also raising the bar on entertainment in the city of Toronto.  The audience lay in awe as we left Roy Thomson Hall last night and brimming with gratitude for an art that is hardly fading thanks to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s efforts and gracious talent.

https://www.tso.ca/

The Frick Collection: Guido Cagnacci’s ‘Masterpiece the Repentant Magdalene’ (October 25, 2016, through January 22, 2017)

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Often times we get lost in the glamour and beauty of the collections from the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art that we forget about the off the beaten path works that are just down the street that can offer just as much creative inspiration when you are on holiday.

Have you ever heard of The Frick Collection?  The Frick is known for its distinguished Old Master paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts.

The collection was assembled by the Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and is housed in his former residence on Fifth Avenue. One of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions, it provides a tranquil environment for visitors to experience masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Goya, and Whistler. The museum opened in 1935 and has continued to acquire works of art since Mr. Frick’s death.

A collection that inspired me during my visit to The Frick Collection was from Guido Cagnacci.  His ‘Masterpiece the Repentant Magdalene’ is swoon worthy and a true exhibition of a great master series.

Guido Cagnacci (1601–1663) is among the most eccentric painters who worked in seventeenth-century Italy. His works, mostly religious in subject, are known for their unashamed, often unsettling, eroticism. Even though his pictorial style was influenced by some of the greatest Italian baroque painters—the Carracci, Guercino, and Guido Reni—his figurative language always remained individual and highly recognizable. The unconventionality of his work led to his being almost entirely forgotten during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After exhibitions in Rimini and Bologna in 1952 and 1959, respectively, Cagnacci was rediscovered by Italian art historians and writers, but he still remains unjustifiably little known outside of Italy. Cagnacci’s ambitious Repentant Magdalene, a large canvas acquired in 1982 by the Norton Simon Art Foundation in Pasadena, CA, is considered a masterpiece of seventeenth-century Italian art.   Accompanying the exhibition in the museum’s East Gallery will be the publication The Art of Guido Cagnacci by Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator. Principal funding for the exhibition is generously provided by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.

Trained between Bologna and Rome, Cagnacci spent most of his life producing idiosyncratic pictures for religious and aristocratic patrons in his native Romagna, an area of northeastern Italy between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. He worked in different cities of the region, in particular, Rimini and Forlì. For nearly ten years, in the 1650s, he was based in Venice, after which, in 1658, he moved to Vienna, where he died in 1663. Cagnacci was known for his unconventional lifestyle. In 1628, he was caught after unlawfully eloping with an aristocratic woman, and he was often described as living with attractive young women disguised as male apprentices. 

 Highly theatrical in composition, The Repentant Magdalene is based on contemporary literary sources and religious plays. It depicts an event from the life of Mary Magdalene, the courtesan who converted to Christianity and gave up her sinful life after her encounter with Christ. Shown in her room after meeting with Jesus in the Temple, Mary is on the floor at the center of the composition, her long blonde hair cascading down her side, her face reddened by high emotion, her body barely covered by a white sheet around her waist. She has discarded her worldly possessions, throwing away her luxurious clothes and jewels, which are scattered all over the floor, creating an astonishing still life. Her sister Martha has found her in this state. Simply dressed, Martha sits on one of the cushions on the floor, consoling Mary. Behind them, two servants are leaving the room after having found their mistress in such a state. To the left, two allegorical figures are depicted: a standing angel, its hair blown by the divine wind that ruffles its evanescent wings, banishes a levitating devil, complete with horns and tail, who approaches the window in an attempt to flee the room. These fighting figures represent Virtue and Vice locked in combat as Mary chooses to follow her virtuous new Christian life.

The Repentant Magdalene was probably painted in the early 1660s in Vienna for Emperor Leopold I. By 1665, however, the canvas was in Italy, in the collection of Carlo II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, at La Favorita, his villa outside of Mantua. The Gonzagas were closely related to the imperial family, so this may have been a diplomatic gift to them, or an acquisition from Leopold I. In 1711, it entered the possession of the Bentinck family in England, first at Bulstrode House and then at Welbeck Abbey, where it remained until 1981, when it was sold at auction.

The next time you are in New York, make some time to check out The Frick Collection.  Its boutique beautifully curated works will give you a lot to reflect upon in the days that follow.

http://www.frick.org/

Review: National Museum of the American Indian in New York

Like the U.S., Canada has it’s own historical connections with our First Nations roots. But there is also a history that is so dark and painful that even now deacdes later our First Nations people are experiencing the grief, loss and devastation inflicted upon them by Canada’s first European settlers.

When I visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian I was wary of what I may see and experience.  Instead, I immediately felt an instant emotional connection.  The beauty of the arts, costume and honour of America Indian culture is a beautifully curated in an inclusive and diverse manner.  The space also serves to kindly educate the public locally and abroad about what it means to be an American Indian and how important it is to dwell upon as one of America’s own First Nations.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan, the George Gustav Heye (pronounced “high”) Center, opened in 1994 in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, one of the most splendid Beaux-Arts buildings in New York. The museum features year-round exhibitions, dance and music performances, children’s workshops, family and school programs and film screenings that present the diversity of the Native peoples of the Americas and the strength of their cultures from the earliest times to the present.

The museum is a branch of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The National Museum of the American Indian was established by Congress in 1989. The Heye Center in New York opened in 1994; the Cultural Resources Center, six miles from the National Mall building in Suitland, Md., opened in 1999; and the National Museum of the American Indian opened in September 2004.

Exhibitions

The museum’s permanent exhibition “Infinity of Nations: Art and History from the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian” showcases some 700 objects from Native North, Central and South America. Objects include an exquisite Olmec jade head, a rare Anishinaabe man’s outfit and a remarkable Charles and Isabelle Edenshaw (Haida) spruce root hat. This unparalleled assemblage of American Indian cultural material represents the tremendous breadth of the collections and the richness of Native art.

In addition, the museum hosts a selection of changing exhibitions that present and reaffirm the Native voice. The schedule includes exhibitions developed by the museum from its collections, installations of contemporary Native art and significant traveling exhibitions from other institutions.

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Cultural Arts

The museum hosts Native musicians, dancers, artists and elders in presentations of their art and cultural heritage and in informal programs that invite them to share directly with museum visitors the life ways and world views of Native peoples. Programs include dance presentations, hands-on workshops, storytelling programs and annual events, including the Children’s Festival and the Native Sounds Downtown concert series.

Film and Video Center

The Film + Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to presenting the works of Native Americans in media. An international leader in the support and presentation of indigenous film and video projects, the Heye Center hosts the Native Cinema Showcase, an annual presentation of films held at the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico. Screenings and discussions with filmmakers are also periodically held in the museum’s auditorium.

MUST SEE’s

‘Circle of Dance’ exhibit (October 6, 2012–October 8, 2017) Consistent across time and cultures is the use of the body to communicate and express—to tell stories, participate in the cycles of nature, mourn, pray, and celebrate. Throughout the Americas music and dance have always been an essential part of the spiritual, cultural, and social lives of Native peoples.

During your time at the National Museum of the American Indian, please check out their amazing and informative tours.  Specifically the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Tour.  Tour highlights include a discussion of the history of the site, architect Cass Gilbert, and sculptor Daniel Chester French; viewing the Collectors Office with Tiffany woodwork; Reginald Marsh murals; and the 140-ton Rotunda dome by Rafael Gustavino.  It is a free tour and a great way to go a little bit deeper into what the museum has to offer on site.

Calendar of Tours:  http://nmai.si.edu/calendar/?trumbaEmbed=mixin%3d452896&filter1%3d_166522

http://nmai.si.edu/