Again this week, we’re reporting on some particularly intriguing season-opening concerts by Canadian orchestras.
On September 16, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (led by music director Anne Manson) goes for baroque in its season-opener at Westminster United Church, featuring lauded Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin. The program features arias from two Handel operas, Alcina and Giulio Cesare in Egitto, along with music by Mozart and American composer Pierre Jalbert. The MCO always programs intriguing pre-concert activities, and this time, it’s a special presentation by members of the Oratorio Seminar at the Desautels Faculty of Music.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra opens its 14/15 season at Koerner Hall from September 18-21 with a bang: the concert features Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, along with festive works by Vivaldi, Telemann, Corelli and Heinichen (many of which make use of the virtuoso brass players required for the Fireworks music). As fans of the orchestra will know, they’re hunting for a successor to long-time music director Jeanne Lamon. This program will be led by violinist and guest conductor Rodolfo Richter, concertmaster of the Academy of Ancient Music and B’Rock, professor of baroque violin at the Royal College of Music in London, and director of the Early Music Course and Festival at the Oficina de Música de Curitiba in Brazil.
The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is embarking on some fascinating collaborations leading into its September 20 opening concert with music director candidate Alasdair Willis and soloist Andre Laplante. On September 13, the HPO Strings will be featured at the James St. North Supercrawl, a festival that highlights homegrown creativity in Hamilton’s creative core. This year, the HPO teams up with a local rock band, Thought Beneath Film, to present “an exciting blend of rock and orchestral genres cross genre works from traditional orchestral repertoire to original works by Thought Beneath Film.” To tell the story of the project, the HPO has posted a lovely video interview with HPO bassist Rob Wolanski and Thought Beneath Film front man Brent Wirth. You can watch it here.