|I apologize for the brief hiatus in news. October was packed and flew by so quickly! I had High Holidays and Sukkot services at Beth Sholom Synagogue, followed quickly by their Pentecost counterparts at Holy Family Church. It’s always interesting to me how the two religions interweave and singing at both places of worship has opened my eyes to even more holidays and customs. I have to say that sleeping in an outdoor sukkah hut in mid-October is much less appealing in chilly Toronto than in sunny Tel Aviv, but perhaps it’s the process more than the outcome that counts.
Meanwhile at Holy Family, we had two extra masses to mark the beginning and end of the 40 Hours of Devotion as well as extra services for All Saints and All Souls days. We sang two works by Ildebrando Pizzetti in our All Souls service, including a Requiem with a 12-part split (for which we hired 5 extra singers). You can hear excerpts from our performance of the Requiem on the Toronto Oratory’s YouTube page. I also hosted by second meditation and soundbath evening with my friend Linda Lonseth. We really enjoy co-creating these events “on the spot” and playing with our various instruments and voices in new ways. We’ll be hosting another event on Saturday, November 16th, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this one takes us!
I’ll also be working with Maestro Álvaro Lozano Gutiérrez in the coming weeks as part of the Opera for All fall workshop. Our final concert with the OFA chorus will be on Saturday, November 23rd at the Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto. This year, I recorded the guide tracks for the chorus, so I’ll get to hear my work paying off as they bring operatic favorites to life like Rossini’s comic “Duetto di Due Gatti” and the dramatic “Guerra, guerra” from Bellini’s Norma. I’ll be singing the beautifully tragic “Dido’s Lament” from Purcell’s famous opera Dido and Aeneas.
I’ve also been working on Vivaldi’s Gloria, with the Etobicoke Centennial Choir which features our soprano soloist and me in a beautiful duet and arias throughout the work. We’ll also be joined by guest artists on strings, oboe, and trumpet for the Gloria and the Father John Redmond Concert Choir will add their voices to our set of traditional carols. We gained many new and talented members this year and the choir is sounding the best that I have ever heard it.
In other news, my husband and I fulfilled one of our long-term goals of adopting a cat friend. Yesterday, we brought a beautiful and affectionate tabby cat home from the local Humane Society and she’s been “helping” me to type this newsletter. I’m looking forward to letting her explore the whole house next week (one room at a time, we were told). I know she’ll become the reigning queen soon, she’s already claimed the office as her own.
Wishing you a warm and cozy month!