It is starting to get embarrassing. At best I sound like the
president of the Johannes Debus fan club, at worst like a stalking groupie, but
once again I’m in the thrall of his conducting prowess. The maestro’s musical
direction of Verdi’s Otello is simply
Otello (1887)is Verdi’s penultimate opera, and
arguably his greatest. Verdi, and his brilliant librettist Arrigo Boito, have
crafted a masterful rendering of Shakespeare’s tragic tale, distilling the play’s
events down to their stark basics. As a result, the text is a taut –Read More
Photo by Michael Cooper
This COC production of La
Bohème first saw the light of day in 2013.
While original stage director John Caird’s vision has its problems,
musically, both the singing and conducting in this revival are glorious.
Puccini operas need the big voices that produce goosebumps, and there are
several of note in this production. Italian maestro Paolo Carignani, to whom
Puccini must be mother’s milk, pulled out every dramatic nuance in the score to
give us a most passionate of readings.
While it was announced that –Read More
Photo by Andrew Alexander
The touring production of Lorena Gale’s Angélique (1995) is a class act. Originally presented by Montreal’s Black Theatre Workshop and Tableau D’Hôte, the classic play is performed with both earnestness and imagination. It has taken over two decades for this important play to make it to Toronto, but given the excellence of the production, the wait has been worth it.
Marie-Joseph Angélique was a 29-year-old slave who was
tortured and hanged in 1734 for burning down 46 buildings in –Read More
Photo by John Lauener
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Modern Times Stage
Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The
Cherry Orchard is near perfection.
Modern Times is one of my favourite companies in the city. I
particularly love director Soheil Parsa’s take on the classics. He goes right
to the heart of the matter, and you come away from a Modern Times production
completely satisfied because you have experienced the playwright’s intention in
the purist sense. Such is the case of Parsa’s The Cherry Orchard where Chekhov’s human comedy has –Read More
Theatre Review – Puzzle Piece Theatre/The Little Prince: Reimagined, translated and adapted by Richard Lam
Photo by Barry McCluskey
One of the delights of The
Little Prince: Reimagined is that it is a low-tech production. It is quite
amazing what you can create out of paper airplanes, and the clever use of
flashlights. This enjoyable children’s theatre features a paper puppet show of
Richard Lam translated and adapted the script from the
beloved 1943 novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He also composed the
light-hearted music, and appears on stage as the pilot and various other
characters. Kira Hall, with her adorable mop –Read More