reviewed by Paula Citron
Masques of War
Frantisek Kotzwara’s The Siege of Quebec (1797) – completed by W.B. de Krifft
Claudio Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1624)
Igor Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat (1918)
Toronto Masque Theatre
Conducted by Larry Beckwith and Eric Paetkau
Directed by Derek Boyes and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière
Choreographed by Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière
Sung by Nathaniel Watson, Andrew Mahon and Terri Dunn
Danced by Marie-Adeline Choquet, Isabeau Proux-Lemire and Lacoursière
At Winchester Street Theatre
The premise of Toronto Masque Theatre’s artistic director Larry Beckwith is the true meaning of the word masque, which is a performance that fuses together all the arts and which Beckwith extends to include any era.
In the show Masques of War, the company presented Monteverdi’s mini opera Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Igor Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat. The opener was a delightful late classical instrumental froufrou The Siege of Quebec by Frantisek Kotzwara. Once again the stunning projected art work was by Caroline Guibault. The musicians, as always, were outstanding.
Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda was cleverly staged to have two dancers mirror the two singers. The excellent baritone Nathaniel Watson carried the narrative as Testo. The opera was poignant because the fusion of singing and dancing concentrated on the emotional. Derek Boyes was superb as the narrator in Histoire de Soldat, with conductor Eric Paetkau keeping a brisk pace.
Masques of War was TMT’s best production ever.