Magazine article Opera Canada

Toronto

Magazine article Opera Canada

Toronto

Article excerpt

The annual Toronto Summer Music Festival concluded its season with an opera showcasing young artists auditioned from across the country. The singers in the opening cast (Aug. 16) of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia were very good, while director Michael Patrick Albano created enough genuinely funny stage business to keep things moving along nicely. There were, however, some problems with exits and entrances on Fred Perruzza's revolving set depicting Dr. Bartolo's house. The characters seemed to wander in and out at will and rarely used the front door.

TSMF is the brainchild of conductor Agnes Grossmann and features, besides the student opera, an excellent series of recitals by faculty members who are mentoring young artists on the cusp of professional careers. All the opera performers certainly had enormous promise, with not a weak link in the ensemble.

Baritone Gene Wu (Figaro) was a crowd-pleaser with the charm to match his robust voice, but he tended to rush his music. Cory Knight (Count Almaviva) is a quintessential light lyric tenor and sang very prettily. …

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