Reviews

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At ‘Immersive Van Gogh,’ art plus light plus animation plus sound ups the emotional ante of the viewing experience

Imagine feeling enveloped by the famous Vincent van Gogh painting “The Starry Night” or the glorious colours of a giant version of his “Irises.” That’s part of what you can expect at the exhibit “Immersive Van Gogh,” which has turned a giant room that used to house the Toronto Star’s printing presses into a cavernous […]

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SCRUTINY | Les Ballets Trockadero Delight With Bravura Technique And High Camp

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo with guest artist Vanya Verikosa (aka Brooke Lynn Hytes). Winter Garden Theatre, March 8, 2020 “The Trocks Are Back in Town!” That of course is a reference to the all-male ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Founded in 1974, it’s now “of a certain age,” but remains scintillating […]

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Drag Ballet Troupe Treat Toronto With “Particular Pleasures”

Few things are as delightful as accomplished, stylish drag performance, and in an uncertain world, it’s a considerable relief that we can still count on Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo to deliver a flawless, high tone, high-test performance every time. With a well-established repertoire of ballet classics, the venerable all-male comic ballet troupe remains in excellent […]

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SCRUTINY | Lucas Debargue Dazzles Sold-Out Audience In His Toronto Recital Debut

Lucas Debargue, piano. Scarlatti, six Sonatas; Ravel, Gaspard de la nuit; Nicolai Medtner, Sonata in G Minor, Op. 22; Liszt’s After a Reading of Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata, S.109. Koerner Hall, Jan. 16, 2020. Every once in a while a young pianist emerges who can challenge established ideas of performance and interpretation. It is usually […]

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SCRUTINY | Diva Hibla Gerzmava Makes A Grand Entrance In Toronto Solo Recital Debut

Songs by Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Hahn, and Faure; arias by Donizetti, Verdi, and Bellini. Hibla Gerzmava, soprano; Ekaterina Ganelina, piano. Show One Productions. 7 p.m. Koerner Hall, Toronto, November 3, 2019. “She came, she sang, she conquered” may sound a bit like the PR hyperbole of an artist agency, but to those of us […]

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SCRUTINY | Russian Pianist Denis Matsuev Dazzles In Impressive Program Of Liszt And Tchaikovsky

Liszt: Sonata in B minor; Liszt: Mephisto Waltz; Tchaikovsky: Dumka “Scenes from a Russian Village” opus 59; Tchaikovsky: Grand Sonata in G major, opus 37. Denis Matsuev, piano. Koerner Hall, 8 p.m., Oct. 17, 2019. Renowned Russian pianist Denis Matsuev was back in Toronto Thursday night, but instead of coming to conquer the audience, as he so […]

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Boris Eifman delves into another Russian artist’s torment in Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA

Ballet and opera fans, be forewarned. You may never be able to look at such classics as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades quite the same way after witnessing celebrated Boris Eifman’s searing dance psychodrama, Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA. But that’s no reason to deny yourselves the thrill of experiencing the celebrated Russian choreographer’s unique blend of […]

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Love, possession & sacrifice in Gesher Theatre’s mystical, compelling The Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds

Company, with Israel (Sasha) Demidov (bottom left) & Efrat Ben-Tzur (top centre). Set design by Simon Pastukh. Costume design by Stephanie Graurogkayte. Lighting design by Igor Kapustin. Photo by Daniel Kaminski. Show One Productions presents the North American premiere of Gesher Theatre’s production of The Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds, inspired by S. Ansky and […]

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The Dybbuk

by S. Ansky, adapted by Roee Chen, directed by Yevgeny Arye Gesher Theater, Elgin Theatre, Toronto September 29-30, 2018; Gerald W. Lynch Theater, New York, NY October 3-4, 2018 Hanan: “If we are not together – the world will cease to exist” Gesher Theatre’s version of S. Ansky’s classic play The Dybbuk is visually arresting […]

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SCRUTINY | Mariinsky Orchestra Invades Toronto In A Night To Remember

The Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev (conductor) Denis Matsuev (soloist) at Roy Thomson Hall on Friday. Many of us had waited for months anticipating conductor Valery Gergiev’s return to Roy Thomson Hall Friday night to pilot the sleek-engined Mariinsky Orchestra through an all-Russian program.  Gergiev is not only arguably the foremost Russian conductor of our time, with […]

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