Month: November 2019

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Ancaster-based countertenor, composer and organist Zachary Windus awarded the TMC’s 2019 Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition

The fifth annual TMC Choral Composition Competition asked emerging composers to submit a sacred or secular a cappella work for the Christmas season. Submissions were reviewed by the three-member jury of TMC interim conductor David Fallis, Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra conductor Simon Rivard, and TMC associate conductor Ezra Burke. The winner of the competition receives the $1000 Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition and their work is performed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in concert. The 2019 winner is In Bethlehem upon that morn by Zachary Windus. 

Review: Thaïs
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Review: Thaïs

Ian Ritchie, Opera Going Toronto. Marshalling a prodigious display of orchestral and vocal resources, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra treated near sold out audiences to an all too brief two-night run of landmark concert performances conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Partnered by a phalanx of one hundred plus choristers courtesy the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir directed by David Fallis, a succession of enthusiastic soloists and ensemblists provided proof positive of the intensely emotional, grandly operatic tale’s abiding power to seduce.

A stellar cast and brilliant orchestral playing result in a remarkable performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra!
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A stellar cast and brilliant orchestral playing result in a remarkable performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra!

Dave Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Last night’s foréee into grand opera by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall was indeed very special. It is rare to attend concert versions of grand opera with full orchestra. (I haven’t been a fan of the scaled-down piano accompanied versions). TSO’s Interim Music Director Sir Andrew Davis led an outstanding cast in a dramatically and musically charged performance of Massenet’s Thaïs that kept me riveted for the full two and a half hours. That the performance was being recorded for the Chandos recording label meant that orchestra, soloists and chorus were all fully prepared to make it a memorable night.

Massenet’s Thaïs loses its impact in transition from opera to concert stage
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Massenet’s Thaïs loses its impact in transition from opera to concert stage

John Terauds, Toronto Star. Thaïs Grand Opera in Concert. 3 stars out of 4. The playwright George Bernard Shaw enjoyed playing music critic. He described French opera master Jules Massenet as “one of the loudest of modern composers.” The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, hosting a rare concert performance of an opera on Thursday night, proved Shaw’s point.