All Concerts start at 2pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio
250 Front Street West, Toronto
 



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Since this is the season of revisiting old favourites, we could not possibly do without renewing our collaboration with the brilliant dancers of Opera Atelier (lead by the incomparable Jeannette Zingg). Off Centre devotees might remember the sparks that flew fifteen years ago, the last time an Atelier dancer took to the (tiny!) stage of the Arts and Letters Club, which we called home in the early years of Off Centre. Much has changed since then, but not our desire to continue integrating music and her sister arts. We are thrilled that this programme dedicated to the music of dance - from Weber's Invitation to The Dance to the waltzes of Ravel - will also feature Off Centre favourites accordionist Joseph Macerollo, baritone Olivier Laquerre and soprano Ilana Zarankin.

Dancers:
Elizabeth Kalashnikova, Lukas Malkowski, Cynthia Smithers, Nicholas Sullivan. Choreography: Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, costumes courtesy of Opera Atelier.

Programme Note:
Our brief history of the waltz, from 1775 to 1899, begins with lively Landler's. We work through the nineteenth century up to the elegance of the Belle Epoch, and finish with a short hommage à Fokine. Mikhail Fokine used Weber's Invitation to the Dance when he choreographed Le Spectre de la Rose for Nijinsky in 1911.

Choreographer's Biography:
Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer, Opera Atelier

Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg has choreographed and performed in 70+ productions since creating the company with Marshall Pynkoski, Co-Artistic Director and production Director, in 1985. Her training took place in Toronto, Paris, France, London, England and in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her role as choreographer and dancer, Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg has introduced modern audiences to the beauty of 17th, 18th and 19th century dance forms. Opera Atelier's productions, based in Toronto at the Elgin Theatre, have travelled to New York, Cleveland, the Houston Grand Opera, the BBC Proms in London, England, the Royal Opera House at Versailles, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Japan and Korea. She played the lead in Rhombus Media's production of Manuel De Falla's "Master Peter's Puppet Show". Also for Rhombus, Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg choreographed the dance ensembles for the Artists of Atelier Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and the Scapino Ballet of Rotterdam, and starred opposite Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in "The Sorceress." She has revived important historical dance works by Handel, Mozart, Lully and Rameau, in collaboration with world-class conductors including Andrew Parrott, Marc Minkowski and Hervé Niquet. She has choreographed and performed for the Handel Festival in Halle, Germany and the Salzburg Festival In Austria.

This concert is sponsored by: Jackie and Horatio Kemeny, Katalin Schafer


Following is the 'Invitation to the Dance' program for March 30, 2014

Carl Maria von Weber
(1786-1826)
  Invitation to the Dance (Aufforderung zum Tanz), Op. 65, J. 260 (1819)

Choreography by Jeannette Zingg
Opera Atelier dancers
Boris Zarankin, piano


Giuseppe Verdi
(1813-1901)

George Gershwin
(1898-1937)

 




Camille Saint-Saëns
(1935-1921)







Frédéric Chopin
(1810-1849)



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)






Manuel de Falla
(1876-1946)







 

 




Franz Schubert/
(1797-1828)
Johannes Brahms
(1833-1897)




Jacques Ibert
(1890-1962)

 




Frédéric Chopin





Joseph Canteloube
(1879-1957)

 

 




Astor Piazzola
(1921-1992)




Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 





Jacques Brel
(1929-1978)

 

"Sul fil d'un soffio etesio" (Nanetta) from Falstaff (III, ii)
Libretto by A. Boito

"By Strauss" (1936)
Lyrics by I. Gershwin

YOUNG ARTIST
Maeve Palmer, soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano


Si vous n'avez rien à me dire (1870)
Poetry by V. Hugo
Danse macabre (1872)
Poetry by H. Cazalis

Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano


Mazurka, Op. 17, No. 4 (1834)
Mazurka, Op. 24, No. 4 (1836)

Boris Zarankin, piano

"Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen" from Die Zauberflöte (I, ii) K. 620 (1791)
Libretto by E. Schikaneder

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano


Siete canciones populares españolas (1914-1915)
Folk texts
i. El paño moruno
ii. Seguidilla murciana
iii. Asturiana
iv. Jota
v. Nana
vi. Canción
vii. Polo

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Boris Zarankin, piano

INTERMISSION



from 20 Ländler für Pianoforte (arranged by J. Brahms), 1869
numbers 1, 2, 3, 20, 4, 8, 10



Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, piano four hands

from Quatre chansons de Don Quichotte (1933)
i. Chanson du départ de Don Quichotte (poetry by P. de Ronsard)
iii. Chanson du Duc (poetry by A. Arnoux)
iv. Chanson de la mort de Don Quichotte (poetry by A. Arnoux)

Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano


Mazurka, op. 33, no. 1 (1838)
Mazurkas, op. 63, no. 2 and no. 3 (1847)

Boris Zarankin, piano

from Chants d'Auvergne (Folk Texts)
La Delaissado (series 2, no. 4)
Lou Coucut (series 4, no. 6)


Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Elina Kelebeev, piano



Tango


Joseph Macerollo, accordion

"La ci darem la mano" (act I, sc. ii) from Don Giovanni (1787)
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte

Ilana Zarankin, soprano
Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Elina Kelebeev, piano




La valse à mille temps (1959)


Olivier Laquerre, baritone
Joseph Macerollo, accordion




Please join us for our next concert, 'Russian Salon: Composers Born In The Wrong Century' on May 4, 2014



Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Avant-Garde. The Twelve-Tone System. Modernism. Impressionism... Romanticism?? Just as the musical world was beginning to explode with compositional ingenuity, in Russia a handful of Romantic voices seemed to develop virtually untouched by these innovations, out of synch with the times: Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nokolai Medtner as well as lesser-known composers Alexander Grechaninov and Vladimir Rebikov. Helping us set the record straight on the most misunderstood Russian composers are Off Centre veterans baritone Peter McGillivray, mezzo soprano Erica Iris Huang, newcomers mezzo soprano Michèle Bogadnowicz, tenor Edgar Ernesto Ramirez and accordionist Alexander Sevastian, and pianists Elina Kelebeev, Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.


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Past concerts this season:


Sunday, October 20, 2013

In 1822, Schubert wrote in a letter to his friend Spaun, "our life together in Vienna is quite agreeable now. We hold readings at Schober's three times a week, as well as a Schubertiad". Throughout his short life, Schubert regularly attended a "reading society" where he first encountered the works of the great contemporary poets of his time. This season we delve into the song settings of two such poets: Goethe, whom Schubert idolized, and Heine, whose later poems full of deep feeling and revealing a bitter, disillusioned, cuckolded lover, appealed to Schubert in the final year of his life. Rising Canadian stars, soprano Jennifer Taverner and tenor Jeffrey Hill (in his Canadian debut!) as well as Off Centre favourite violinist Jacques Israelievitch join pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin in our 19th Annual Schubertiad.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Though scientists are still locked in disputes, it is believed that the oldest flute (primitive as it was) can be dated back to about 43,000 years ago! The human voice notwithstanding, this makes the flute the earliest known musical instrument. Jumping forward several millennia, virtouso flutist Carol Wincenc is one of the most respected and accliamed flutist performing today. Who better, then, to lead us in an exciting programme celebrating all things flute that ranges from Telemann to Poulenc and even further on to Canadian composer Harry Freedman? After a sixteen-year hiatus, Carol returns to Off Centre, along with special guests (and fellow flutists) Nora Schulman and Susan Hoeppner.



Following is the Tutti Flutti program for November 17, 2013:

Young artists
Felix Mendelssohn
(1809-18-47)
 
On Wings of a Song, Piano Four Hands
Kailas Chari and Vikas Chari

Interview of Carol Wincenc by Stuart Hamilton on stage

Readings by Patricia Hamilton

László Zempléni
(b. 1947)

Louis Moyse
(1912-2007)

Claude Debussy
(1862-1918)

Gabriel Fauré
(1845-1924)

Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)

Francis Poulenc
(1899-1963)

Harry Freedman
(1922-2005)

Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)


André Caplet
(1878-1925)

Giocchino Rossini
(1792-1868)

Francis Poulence
(1899-1963)
  Trio for Three Flutes
Carol Wincenc, Susan Hoeppner and Nora Schulman

From Four Pieces for Three Flutes, No. 1, 3, 4
Carol Wincenc, Susan Hoeppner and Nora Schulman

Syrinx
Carol Wincenc

Morceau de Concours in F for Flute and Piano
Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkis

Siciliano from Sonata No. 2 in E-flat Major
Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkis

Sonata for Flute and Piano
Carol Wincenc and Boris Zarankin

Toccata for Flute and Soprano
Carol Wincenc and Ilana Zarankin

Une Flûte Invisible
Ilana Zarankin, Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkins
Text Victor Hugo

Viens! Une Flûte Invisible Soupier
Ilana Zarankin, Carol Wincenc and Inna Perkis

Overture to Opera La Gazza Ladra, Piano Four Hands
Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin

Sonata Four Hands
Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin



 


 






[ Below are our past season concerts... ]










Sunday, April 28, 2013

Imagine Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as nothing more than a lowly harmony teacher. Imagine Ludwig van Beethoven as a gigging pianist struggling to make ends meet. These chilling scenarios would have left the world starved of some of the greatest music we know. For as long as artists have created, philanthropists have stood in the shadows behind them. The list of these complex relationships goes far beyond Tchaikovsky and Mme von Meck and Beethoven and the Lichowsky family - there is Stravinsky and Diaghilev, Ravel, Poulenc, and Mme de Polignac, and many more. Join us as we delve into these fruitful collaborations and celebrate Off Centre's own generous philanthropists, in a programme featuring bass baritone Peter McGillivray, mezzo soprano Lauren Segal, violinist Jacques Israelievitch, accordionist Joseph Macerollo and pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.

This concert is sponsored by JACKIE AND HORATIO KEMENY & TAKETO MURATA



[ Earlier this season... ]



Sunday, October 14, 2012

It is no surprise that the first "hearty meal" of our 18th season should be devoted to our beloved Schubert! Robert Schumann once described Schubert's magical ability to create great works of "heavenly length", and indeed his final piano Sonata (in B flat major) is just that - full of expansion, musical space and breath. Pianist Boris Zarankin's interpretation of his sprawling work has been praised for its power to "cause time to slow down and [even...] stand still as his fingers indulge the composer's creative ramblings". To sweeten your palate, for dessert we offer an array of favourite lieder performed by soprano Allison Angelo and tenor Lawrence Wiliford.

This concert is sponsored by the BMO FINANCIAL GROUP
and the IAN IHNATOWYCZ FAMILY FOUNDATION
 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last season, in an unprecedented twist of fate, we set our sights on sunny Italy and ended up in "The Big Apple": New York, New York. Our inaugural American Salon left us all wanting more - especially more of composer/pianist Jimmy Roberts! This year, Jimmy is joined by Met sensation tenor John Easterlin, sopranos Sarah Halmarson and Ilana Zarankin, baritone Vasil Garvanliev and violinist Marie Berard in a programme of Sondheim, Gershwin, and Berstein, among others!

This concert is sponsored by ANNA AND LESLIE DAN & KATALIN SCHAFER



Sunday, January 27, 2013

A couple of years ago we watched composers face off in our musical heavyweight championships - it was a very exciting match to watch but we thought this year our German Salon ought to be devoted to the more peaceful relationships between our favourite composers. With the help of Canadian superstar baritone Russell Braun, Off Centre newcomer mezzo soprano Rihab Chaieb, pianists Carolyn Maule, Elina Kelebeev, Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, we will be delving into the fruitful musical worlds born of the lasting friendships of Schumann and Brahms, Wolf and Mahler, and finally, Haydn and Mozart. Join us... "this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."I

This concert is sponsored by ROGER MOORE & CROWE SOBERMAN






Sunday, May 6, 2012

"There is no true love, save in suffering." Sounds Russian, doesn't it? These are actually the words of Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish essayist, poet, playwright and philosopher. Though Spain and Russia are geographically and culturally very far apart , there is a virtually identical saying about Russians who are "only happy when they are unhappy." Considered side by side, how does the music of each country complement the other? Soprano Joni Henson, baritone Peter McGillivray and mezzo soprano Leigh-Anne Martin (OFF CENTRE DEBUT) help us find out!


Sunday, March 25, 2012
Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life - Inaugural American Salon!
> Please note the programme change for our next salon.

The mystery of life is indeed sweetened with the fascinatin' rhythms of Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Kern and Barber. In true Off Centre fashion we've had to re-route our musical travel plans, and though we will not make it to sunny Italy as planned, we do still mean to journey South, in the great copmany of tenors Keith Klassen (OFF CENTRE DEBUT) and Rocco Rupolo (OFF CENTRE DEBUT), baritone Giles Tomkins, soprano Ilana Zarankin, and pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin.

Special guest: Jimmy Roberts - composer, pianist, entertainer from New York, composer of the second-longest running Off Broadway musical in theater history, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”.

 
View enlarged >>

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shostakovich's only Cello Sonata was composed in 1934, only two years before Lady Macbeth of Mtensk gave Soviet censors the opportunity to publicity denounced Shostakovich as an enemy of the state. Twenty five years later, while he was being hounded to join the Communist Party, Shastakovich composed the Satires song cycle, setting five dangerously satirical poems by Sasha Cherny. Again, the censors were up in arms. To save himself, he joined the Party - a questionable move that ultimately allowed Shastakovich to keep pushing the compositional "envelope". From there, our program reminds 100 years to Tchaikovsky's 1879 opera Eugene Onegin based on Pushkin's novel in verse. But who was Onegin? A careless, selfish cynic sacrificing the promise of young love and loyal friendship, or a man who could not recognize happiness because it was just too close? Uncovering the mysteries of a character who still resonates with audiences today are soprano Lindsay Barrett, mezzo soprano Erica iris Huang, tenor Ryan Harper, baritone Geoffrey Sirett (OFF CENTRE DEBUT), cellist Winona Zelenka, and our very own Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin at the piano.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Robert Schumann once described Schubert's sonatas as being of "heavenly length" and his B flat major sonata (written in the final year of his life) is truly a piece of heavenly contemplation. But Schubert also wrote intensely dense and concise lieder - those one-page wonders! - that show off a kind of 19th Century musical intensity and humour that we've come to think of as twittering. Soprano Charlene Santoni, baritone Vasil Garvanliev, and violinist Jacques Israelievitch, joining Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin in contemplation and in twittering.

Our Feb.5 Annual Schubertiad concert will also be launching Boris Zarankin's exciting new recording of Schubert Sonatas on the DOREMI label. Boris will be signinig copies of his new CD following the concert. View new album >>


 








Very shortly after Janacek's 1917 summer holiday in the Moravian spa-town of Luhacovice, he began setting the poems of Ozef Kalda - a railway official who had a knack for fiction writing - detailing a young farm boy's infatuation with a gypsy girl. Janacek himself was living a similar story - that summer in Luhacovice he had fallen in love - or perhaps lust? - with the young wife (he was twice her age!) of an antique dealer from Pisek. Though Kamila Stosslova did not return his affection, there are more than 700 letters that survive to chronicle the composer's unrequited affection. The Kalda settings eventually came to make up the celebrated song-cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared, considered to be one of Janacek's most sensual - even perverse - compositions. We leave this dramatic Czech 'glutton for punishment' (700 letters is a LOT of letters!) for another kind of music drama - this time, Italian "style"! We will regale you with excerpts and operatic gems from Verdi, Donizetti, Tosti and Rachmaninov.

The programme will include Rachmaninoff romances, Janacek's Diary of One Who Disappeared, Italian songs by Tosti, highlights from Verdi's Rigoletto, Donizetti's Lucia di Lamermoor and a four-hand arrangement of the ouverture from Rossini's L'Italiana in Algieri. To convey these tips on love, longing and lust, are tenor Colin Ainsworth, baritone Peter McGillivray, sopranos Rachel Cleland-Ainsworth and Lucia Cesaroni, together with pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin, soprano Sarah Halmarson and mezzo soprano Leigh-Anne Martin.

The first 50 ticket orders for this special Mother's Day concert, will receive an additional ticket, compliments of Inna and Boris.
Bring your Mom, bring a friend, the choice is yours.

* Based on a first come, first serve basis, applicable to new sales only, for the May performance only

> All Concerts start at 2pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto

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Have you ever wondered why it is that the most exotic countries of Europe are found along the edges of the continent? And yet, for all their richness, fullness of character and vibrancy, they are nothing alike in their music! Our Urgo-Finnic group - made up of Bartok, Arvo Part, Kodaly and Sibelius - is entranced by mysterious Asia, while the Spaniards - Albeniz, Granados and Rodrigo - embrace the Gypsy presence and the sounds of ther North African neighbours. Inviting you on this colourful journey are sopranos Joni Henson and Teiya Kasahara, baritone Olivier Laquerre, accordionist Joseph Macerollo and pianist Ricker Choi. The concert will be hosted by Julia Zarankin, who will introduce the Spanish, Hungarian, and Finnish cultures, what unites them and what makes them different. Canadian actor Fiona Byrne will be reading poems by the great Spanish poet Garcia Lorca. Fiona recently starred as Natalya in Soulpaper Theatre’s ‘A Month in the Country’, and is a regular at the Shaw Festival.

This concert is sponsored by Horatio and Jackie Kemeny.

> All Concerts start at 2pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto


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We've uncovered a new mystery of history! Within a three year span at the end of the first decade of the 19th Century, a "Mighty Four" was born - Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt! We promise not to overwhelm you with these Romantic composer heavyweights - lighter fare on our teatime menu will be provided by our winded musicians, and will include Brahms' lyrical Op. 40 Horn trio. Creating this bearable lightness of being are sopranos Allison Angelo and Eve-Rachel McLeod, mezzo soprano Erica Iris Huang, violinist Marie Berard, clarinettist Katie Norman and Joan Watson on the French horn.

> All Concerts start at 2pm at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto

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To begin our 16th season, we travel to Russia and celebrate the music born out of the infamous oppression and censorship of the Communist regime. This is the Russia of composer Dmitri Shostakovich, and of the poet Alexander Blok – creators who ultimately found salvation only in their art. Our programme will feature the rarely performed Shostakovich masterpiece “Seven Romances of Alexander Blok” – a late work that exemplifies the complexity of the time: the songs are as simple and touching melodically as they are charged with intense suffering. Shostakovich reminds his listener that this is as much the time of optimistic marches, of the promise of brotherhood and paradise on earth as it is of the Gulag and of concentration camps.

To earn money and to appease the authorities, Shostakovich turned to writing music that would appeal to the masses – and appeal, it did! One melody found its way to the silver screen in the 1943 Hollywood film “Thousands Cheer” and it is no wonder: even his “popular” music is inspired. Alongside Shostakovich, we have programmed another great Soviet confectioner of melody: Isaak Dunayevski. Virtually unknown to the Western world, he was the most successful film composer of his time and his prolific output is full of memorable tunes.

The scope of the Communist totalitarian regime - and the bright Red colour that often heralded its infamous oppression and censorship - reached far beyond the geographical borders of what we now recognize as Russia and permeated the musical output of the entire Eastern Block. Off Centre celebrates the music of the Red composers - Shostakovich, Dunayevski, among others - who found salvation in their art. As we begin our 16th season "of contrasts", who but Franz Schubert could lead us out of this Red tyranny and subjugation into freedom and redemption? Join tenor Ryan Harper, baritones Vasil Garvanliev and Giles Tomkins, soprano Ilana Zarankin, violinist Jacques Israelievitch, cellist Winona Zelenka, and our very own pianists Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin in a programme of tears and laughter.

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