Reviewed by Paula Citron
Glenn Gould Opera School
Bizet’s Le docteur Miracle
Performed by Jennifer Taverner, Danielle MacMillan, Zachary Finkelstein and Maciej Bujnowicz
Ravel’s L’heure espagnole
Performed by Leigh-Anne Martin, Todd Delaney, Andrew Byerlay, Zachary Finkelstein and Maciej Bujnowicz
Directed by Brent Krysa
Royal Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Uri Mayer
Mar 23 and 25, 2011
Now that the Glenn Gould Opera School has Koerner Hall, they have an orchestra pit and wonderful acoustics. Unfortunately, they don’t have wing space or a proscenium arch, but designer Michael Gianfrancesco compensated with an acoustic wall with doors, and it works.
The school presented two French one-act comic operas and they were mostly well-sung and well-acted. Conductor Uri Mayer led his young musicians in professional playing. Director Bent Krysa may have been a bit over the top in busyness, but it was a fun night of opera.
The rarity was Bizet’s faux Offenbach Le docteur Miracle written when he was 18, which was joined by Ravel’s sly L’heure espagnole.
The stand-out singers for me were the mezzo-sopranos – Danielle MacMillan in the Bizet, and Leigh-Anne Martin in the Ravel. The first has a deep plumy sound, while the latter is clear and bright.
Also showing promise are Jennifer Taverner with her pretty, soaring soprano, and Todd Delaney, whose baritone should darken and deepen nicely.