All posts by Keira Grant

Review: Pub Operas (Tapestry New Opera Works)

Many people with whom I have discussed my love of opera have expressed surprise there are new operas currently being written, apparently believing that opera’s history stops abruptly at the end of the 19th century. This perception is especially tragic in light of the fact that Toronto is home to an opera company entirely devoted to new works. Tapestry New Opera Works current production, Pub Operas, was everything I hope to see in a new work. The work gently pushes the boundaries of musical and staging tradition, while still bringing richly textured, beautiful music to the listener’s ear. Continue reading Review: Pub Operas (Tapestry New Opera Works)

Review: Don Giovanni (Opera Atelier)

I suspect that one of the many reasons for Don Giovanni’s enduring popularity is the brilliance of the overture. In the first few bars Mozart, in his infinite genius, manages to capture all the themes of the piece. The overture is at once sensual, sinister and playful, three excellent adjectives to describe this opera. The orchestra did a wonderful job of setting the tone and exposing all of these themes before the curtain ever came up. Continue reading Review: Don Giovanni (Opera Atelier)

Review: Iphigenia in Tauris (Canadian Opera Company)

The Canadian Opera Company’s production of Iphigenia in Tauris by Christoph Gluck was a bold experiment in the use of minimalism in opera. I say bold because most seasoned opera-goers are more accustomed to over-the-top rather than understated. The curtains come up on a completely black stage, the only contrast added by black-clad dancers writing the names of the members of the House of Atreus on the wall in white chalk.

Continue reading Review: Iphigenia in Tauris (Canadian Opera Company)