The COC's Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre has wrapped up another incredible and diverse season! From September 2012 to June 2013, the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre hosted over 77 concerts featuring established and emerging artists in intimate vocal recitals, dynamic dance performances, thrilling orchestral concerts, classic and contemporary jazz and much, much more.
It's hard to pick favourites from such a varied and wonderful season, but here are some of our highlights!
China Court Trio – The Majesty of Imperial China - September 20, 2012
The China Court Trio – comprised of master musicians Wen Zhao on pipa, Xiao Qiu Lin on erhu and Yongli Xue on zheng – got the world music series off to a great start with an exploration of music from Imperial China, including settings of ancient poetry, court music and the world's earliest operas.
COC Ensemble Studio and Alumni – Madcap Moments: Highlights from Die Fledermaus - October 11, 2012
Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio, including tenor Christopher Enns, soprano Ambur Braid, mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, tenor Owen McCausland, baritone Cameron McPhail and soprano Sasha Djihanian, along with alumna soprano Ileana Montalbetti, gave a spirited performance of highlights from Johann Strauss II's hilarious operetta, Die Fledermaus.
Humber Groove Merchants – Bet you can't sit still! - November 14, 2012
Humber College's top R&B group were right - we couldn't keep still during this lively (and loud!) performance! Their renditions of hits by legends such as James Brown and Stevie Wonder had people dancing in the aisles.
COC Orchestra - A Wagner Celebration - January 31, 2013
We switched things up a bit to kick off the Richard Wagner's bicentenary celebrations. Artists of the COC Orchestra, led by COC Music Director Johannes Debus, performed Wagner's exquisite chamber work Siegfried-Idyll in a style based on its very first performance: on the stairs of Wagner's home to celebrate his wife's birthday.
Franz Josef Selig – Love's Dark Shore - February 12, 2013
Acclaimed German bass Franz-Josef Selig's heart-wrenching portrayal of King Marke in the COC's production of Tristan und Isolde wowed audiences. We were fortunate to hear him in an intimate and profoundly moving recital of lieder by Schubert and Richard Strauss. It was a truly memorable experience.
Ballet Creole – Tounkande - March 5, 2013
In an extended celebration of Black History Month, the exuberant dancers from Ballet Creole collaborated with master drummers in a unique showcase of the song, dance and rhythms of West Africa. Their powerful and energetic program warmed up a late-winter day!
Queen of Puddings Music Theatre – La selva de los relojes - April 30, 2013
After 20 years of developing and producing new Canadian chamber opera at the highest level, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre had its bittersweet final performance in the RBA. The memorable concert featured the world premiere of Toronto composer Chris Paul Harman's La selva de los relojes (The Forest of Clocks), inspired by the poetry of Federico García Lorca and sung by Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó.
What were your favourites?
Share your own highlights in the comments section and make sure to visit the Free Concert Series page in late-August for more details about the exciting performances we have lined up for the 2013/2014 season!
Photos Credits: (top) Nancy Walker and Kirk MacDonald. Photo: Karen Reeves, 2013; (middle) China Court Trio. Photo: Chris Hutcheson, 2012; (middle) (l - r) Soprano Ileana Montalbetti, tenor Christopher Enns, soprano Ambur Braid. Photo: Karen Reeves, 2012; (middle) The Humber Groove Merchants. Photo: Karen Reeves, 2012; (middle) Members of the COC Orchestra. Photo: Chris Hutcheson, 2013; (middle) Franz-Josef Selig, accompanied by Rachel Andrist. Photo: Chris Hutcheson, 2013; (middle) Ballet Creole. Photo: Chris Hutcheson, 2013; (bottom) Queen of Puddings Music Theatre's co-artistic director Dáirine Ní Mheadhra conducts mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó. All photos taken in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Photo: Chris Hutcheson, 2013
Posted by Kristin McKinnon / in Free Concert Series / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001