Classical Juno Award nominees, and other news

Lots of news on the classical and dance scenes in the past couple of days, so here’s a little roundup:

The Juno Awards announced their 2017 nominees. Classical artists in the running include pianists Charles Richard-Hamelin, Louis Lortie and Jan Lisecki; Tafelmusik and les Violons du Roy; the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras; the New Orford String Quartet; Daniel Taylor’s Trinity Choir and Toronto’s Tapestry Opera; and composers Ana Sokolovic, Andrew Staniland and Christos Hatzis. You can see all the nominees on the Juno website.


Pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, runner-up at the 2015 Chopin competition, is up for a Juno Award for his live Analekta recording of works by Chopin, Beethoven, and Enescu.

Next up, Canada Scene announced that Compagnie Marie Chouinard will perform the choreographer’s wildly imaginative take on Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights at the NAC in July, part of the 2017 edition of the Festival. The company will also present Chouinard’s In Museum at the National Gallery.


Stamps aren’t normally my thing, but I was pleased to see Canada Post release a colourful new series paying tribute to Canadian Opera. The five stamps feature two international stars, baritone Gerald Finley and soprano Adrienne Pieczonka;  John Estacio’s Filumena and Harry Somers’ Louis Riel (to be revived in Toronto and Ottawa later this spring); and the late Irving Guttman, known as the “father of opera in Western Canada.” Canada Post launched the series on Monday; by Tuesday evening the website was saying the collection was sold out. I’m not sure how common that is for stamp series, or what the overlap is between collectors and opera fans. If anyone has an idea, I’d love to know!canadian-opera-souvenir-sheet-ofdc

Finally, I’m following up on something luthier Guy Harrison posted on his blog yesterday. According to Harrison, VIA Rail will be adding special storage closets to cars travelling the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto routes. These will allow cellos and other larger instruments to be carried onboard. Right now, those instruments have to be checked, meaning many musicians choose to drive instead. I’ve contacted VIA for confirmation and more details. I’ll let you know what I hear back.

Music review: Jeffrey Carl shines in uneven Rigoletto

Rigoletto | Pellegrini Opera | At Dominion-Chalmers | Reviewed Saturday night | It will take more digging to determine whether Opera Lyra’s disappearance has had any impact on ticket sales for the area’s smaller opera groups. But certainly a respectable audience turned out to see Pellegrini Opera’s Rigoletto, presented with chamber orchestra, minimal set design and basic costumes, at Dominion Chalmers Saturday night. Read more at Ottawa Citizen Arts…