News

PENTATONE: The 63rd Grammy Awards nominations are revealed!

November 25, 2020


We are proud to announce that our releases of Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition and LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood are nominated for the 63rd Grammy Awards which will be held in January 2021.

Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition with the Oregon Symphony and Carlos Kalmar is nominated for the Best Orchestral Performance.

These Pulitzer-winning pieces are excursions in an essentially conservative style by established figures.” – The Sunday Times

Oregon Symphony and Carlos Kalmar continue their acclaimed Aspects of America series with this second instalment, featuring three symphonic works that were all awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Walter Piston’s Symphony No. 7 (Pulitzer Prize 1961) is a pastoral and jubilant glorification of nature, while Morton Gould’s Stringmusic (Pulitzer Prize 1995) was composed for star cellist Rostropovich, and showcases all possible sounds and colors of the string orchestra. In his Symphony No. 4 “Requiem” (Pulitzer Prize 1944), Howard Hanson explores the mysteries of life and death in an American musical idiom that simultaneously reveals the composer’s Nordic roots. 

LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood with Matt HaimovitzDevon GuthrieNancy AndersonElise QuagliataAvi SteinJulian WachnerNOVUS NYChoir of Trinity Wall Street is nominated for the Best Classical Compendium.

“A wonderful crosssection of Woolf’s vocal writing that bodes well for the new opera.” – The WholeNote

The composer-portrait album, released in January, encompasses 25 years of dramatic vocal and choral works and hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces by the innovative American-Canadian composer. LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood (PENTATONE Oxingale Series) features performances from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson. 

We are also honoured to announce that Blanton Alspaugh is nominated as Producer of The Year for the production of  Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition and LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood. Jesse Lewis is nominated for the production of Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek: Proving Up (Opera Omaha, International Contemporary Ensemble and Christopher Rountree).

Broadway World | LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood Nominated for 2021 GRAMMY Award

by BWW News Desk Nov. 25, 2020

Today, LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood has been nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. The composer-portrait album, released in February, encompasses 25 years of dramatic vocal and choral works and hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces by the innovative American-Canadian composer. LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood (PENTATONE Oxingale Series) features performances from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson.

This new Grammy nomination coincides with the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking, Grammy Award-winning OXINGALE RECORDS. Launched in 2000 by cellist Matt Haimovitz and composer Luna Pearl Woolf, the label embraces both mind and heart, melding genres and boldly navigating between the worlds of classical, new music, Jazz, crossover and opera.

Releasing their first recording of the Bach cello suites in 2000, they boldly took the music of Bach into then-unimaginable venues for classical music, like punk palace CBGB, sparking what would become the alt-classical genre. Cutting-edge collaborators over two decades have included DJ Olive, David Sanford, John McLaughlin, Vijay Iyer, pianist Christopher O’Riley, the Miró Quartet, and conductor Dennis Russell Davies, among many others. January 2015 marked the debut of the PENTATONE Oxingale Series, a new partnership with the Amsterdam-based label, renowned for its discerning artistic quality and superior audiophile technology.

My Scena: Grammy nomination for LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood

Nov. 24, 2020.

LUNA PEARL WOOLF: Fire and Flood, a Pentatone Oxingale Series recording, has been nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. The composer-portrait album, released in February, encompasses 25 years of dramatic vocal and choral works and hauntingly re-imagined Leonard Cohen masterpieces by the innovative American-Canadian composer. Luna Pearl Woolf: Fire and Flood features performances from the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Novus NY conducted by Julian Wachner, cellist Matt Haimovitz, soprano Devon Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata and Broadway actress Nancy Anderson. 

Noted among a new generation of politically conscious and artistically progressive composers, Luna Pearl Woolf’s music is praised by The New York Times for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth.” Opera Going Toronto called her recent Dora Award-winning opera, Jacqueline, “brilliant, wrenching… profoundly moving.” (Read more about Luna Pearl Woolf here.)

Of the album, The New York Times contributing writer Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim writes, “Luna Pearl Woolf trains a zoom lens on the collective experience, plunging us right into the midst of destruction and anarchy only to pull back, in one swoop, to a clear-eyed plane of compassion.”

The album includes the dramatic To the Fire, with text from the Book of Ezekiel; Missa in Fines Orbis Terrae, composed for the choir and organ of St. James Cathedral, Toronto; and the inventive One to One to One, inspired by the towering redwood sculptures at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Also featured is Après moi, le deluge, concerto for cello and a cappella choir written in the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One of Woolf’s most frequently-performed works – including in New Orleans and at Carnegie Hall in New York – it was described as “by turns blazingly ardent and softly haunting” by The New York Times. (Watch the video for Apres moi, le déluge here.)

Finally, Woolf reconfigures Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows and Who By Fire in haunting new arrangements. Combining the three women’s voices and Haimovitz’s cello, Woolf captures Cohen’s deep-voiced essence in a kaleidoscopic expansion of the original songs’ colors and timbres. (Watch the video for Cohen’s Everybody Knows here.)

This new Grammy nomination coincides with the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking, Grammy Award-winning Oxingale Records. Launched in 2000 by cellist Matt Haimovitz and composer Luna Pearl Woolf, the label embraces both mind and heart, melding genres and navigating between the worlds of classical, new music, jazz, crossover and opera. Releasing their first recording of the Bach Cello Suites in 2000, they took the music of Bach into then-unimaginable venues for classical music, like punk palace CBGB, sparking what would become the alt-classical genre. Cutting-edge collaborators over two decades have included DJ Olive, David Sanford, John McLaughlin, Vijay Iyer, pianist Christopher O’Riley, the Miró Quartet, and conductor Dennis Russell Davies, among many others. January 2015 marked the debut of the Pentatone Oxingale Series, a new partnership with the Amsterdam-based label, which is renowned for its artistic quality and audiophile technology.

Read it at My Scena

Ludwig van Toronto: THE SCOOP | Tapestry Opera Shines With 13 Nominations At 2020 Dora Awards

By Michael Vincent June 8, 2020

Tapestry Opera, Shanawdithit
Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon’s production of Shanawdithit. (Photo: Dahlia Katz)

Even with a COVID-19 lockdown, the 41st Dora Mavor Moore Awards are taking the “show must go on” maxim to heart with an all virtual presentation this year. 

Announced today, the 2020 Dora Awards has released a total of 243 nominations across six divisions.  

Leading the pack in the Opera Category is Tapestry Opera with a whopping 13 nods. Tapestry’s Shanawdithit (co-produced with Opera on the Avalon), accounting for eight nominations, and Jacqueline with five.

Continue reading “Ludwig van Toronto: THE SCOOP | Tapestry Opera Shines With 13 Nominations At 2020 Dora Awards”

Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts: Nominations Announced for 2020 Dora Awards – Virtual Edition

June 8, 2020

18 productions receive nominations in General Theatre Division with Soulpepper’s The Brothers Size in the lead with 

10 musicals receive nominations in Musical Theatre Division with Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre’s Caroline, or Change in front with 8

20 shows receive nominations in Independent Theatre Division with Coal Mine Theatre’s Marjorie Prime in prime spot with 6

10 operas receive nominations in Opera Division with Tapestry Opera’s Shanawdithit on top with 8

17 dance performances receive nominations in Dance Division with National Ballet of Canada’s Angels’ Atlaswith Chroma & Marguerite and Armand in the lead with 6

8 presentations receive nominations in Theatre for Young Audiences Division with Young People’s Theatre’s The Mush Hole and Théâtre français de Toronto’s Les Zinspiré.e.s : Infiniment Éveillé.e.s in tie for top spot with 6 each

Toronto (June 8, 2020) – At an online media announcement – pre-taped in front of Meridian Hall with physically distanced protocols in place – streamed June 8 on the Dora Awards YouTube channel, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA)announced 243 nominations for the 41st annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards which recognize excellence in professional theatre, dance and opera in Toronto. 

With 85% of productions registered for the Dora Awards successfully produced during the 2019-20 season, TAPA previously announced that the award show would be going virtual this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the 2019-2020 season was truncated, there were still 135 producing companies that presented 160 eligible productions.

The 2020 Dora Awards – Virtual Edition, written by Emmy, Gemini and Dora-nominated Diane Flacks and directed by award-winning theatre director, actor and writer Ed Roy, will be presented on the Dora Awards YouTube channel (as well as on other TAPA social media outlets) beginning at 7:30pm on June 29, where 46 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Silver Ticket Award and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award will be bestowed. 

Continue reading “Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts: Nominations Announced for 2020 Dora Awards – Virtual Edition”

American Record Guide: Review of ‘Jacqueline’

June 1, 2020

Thank you to American Record Guide for a fabulous review of Jacqueline.

“Woolf’s tonal palette is wide, from the exuberance and self-confidence of the glory years to the poignant regret, then defiant anger, of the decline; all are leavened by flashes of humor, though the humor grows ever darker and more caustic. The music matches the emotional range of the subject matter handily. It’s spare and angular, with lots of wide intervals and unexpected changes in pitch and tempo, but still anchored in tonality and lyrically expressive.

“It’s odd that a piece about disease and a disrupted life should have its premiere run just a few weeks before theatres and concert halls shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but one can only hope the enduring influence of Du Pré will in due course bring this opera the wider audience it deserves.”

– Photo by Dahlia Katz

Tapestry OperaRoyce Vavrek, Marnie Breckenridge, Cellist Matt Haimovitz, Michael Mori, Camellia

Schmopera: Review | Jacqueline: Come for the music, stay for everything else

By Michael Zarathus-Cook February 23, 2020

Tapestry Opera continues their 40th anniversary season with Jacqueline, a commission for Canadian librettist Royce Vavrek and American composer Luna Pearl Woolf; the end result, directed by Tapestry Artistic Director Michael Mori, is something of a living retrospective of the life and times—and plight—of seminal cellist Jacqueline du Pré. A living retrospective because one-half of the two-person show is cellist Matt Haimovitz, who in his teens enjoyed a relationship with an ailing du Pré, at the invitation of her husband and music partner Daniel Barenboim. His presence on stage and behind his instrument added a silent narrative to the work, adding equal parts gravitas and relatability. There’s an ambiguous line of separation between his performance from the fact of the personal memories he was sharing through music.

Marnie Breckenridge and Matt Haimovitz in Jacqueline, Tapestry Opera, 2020. Photo: Dahlia Katz.
Continue reading “Schmopera: Review | Jacqueline: Come for the music, stay for everything else”

Opera Going Toronto: Jacqueline Review

By Ian Ritchie February 22, 2020

Above: Marnie Breckenridge as Jacqueline, Matt Haimovitz as The Cello Photo: Dahlia Katz

Jacqueline du Pré, legendary golden-haired young cellist, unrivalled heir apparent to Casals and Rostropovich, inhabited a life transformed by multiple narrators after her death in 1987 into an almost mythical saga. A relentless surge of rumours and anecdotes still swirls around her memory. Stories of locked practice rooms from childhood. Of utter nervelessness as a fearless teenage prodigy on show at the Royal Festival Hall. Of her alleged feverish affair with sister Hilary’s husband. Of her willing surrender to her own husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim’s taxing, single-minded plans for her spectacular latter day career.

Almost five decades after forced to abandon the world of performance, a cruel, agonizing decision imposed by the relentless progress of Multiple Sclerosis shockingly diagnosed at the age of twenty-eight, fascination with Du Pré’s legacy has continued to peak with each passing decade. Two books, one by Hilary and brother Piers later adapted to film, the still controversial biopic, Hilary and Jackie; a West End play, Duet for One; plus a new upcoming ballet, The Cellist, currently in development by London’s Royal Ballet, have, if not spawned, then certainly solidified Jacqueline du Pré’s status as an enduring 20th century classical icon. Her music and spirit live on both in recordings and streaming video, her playing a passionate denial of all that is mortal and evanescent, her presence dazzlingly resurrected on the World Wide Web.

Continue reading “Opera Going Toronto: Jacqueline Review”

Definitely the Opera: Jacqueline: Tapestry Opera’s new production

February 21, 2020

Marnie Breckenridge and Matt Haimovitz in Jacqueline. Photo by Dahlia Katz

Would the much too short and music-filled life of the late cellist Jacqueline Du Pré make for a good opera? Yes, it turns out: this Wednesday, Feb 19th, Tapestry presented Jacqueline, a chamber biopic opera composed by Luna Pearl Woolf and written by Royce Vavrek in which two performers play the title character. Soprano Marnie Breckenridge and cellist Matt Haimovitz covered, respectively, the verbal, physical side of the musician and her cello and cello-playing. This doubling worked extremely well. Haimovitz, silent and serious but always alert to Jacqueline’s demands and confessions, remained stationary on the soloist podium, while Jackie moved free-range till the very last act. Occasionally I found myself wondering if perhaps a dark mezzo would have been a better voice to have for du Pré to match the cello timbre, but the contrast too makes sense. She is light if chromatic, with musical lines spiky and not exactly beautiful; very playful, spirited, often silly. The musical line on Haimovitz’s cello on the other hand has gravitas; it seems to come out in one smooth, seemingly endless line, and has a dark beauty and no sense of humour.

Continue reading “Definitely the Opera: Jacqueline: Tapestry Opera’s new production”

Paula Citron: Tapestry Opera/Jacqueline

By Paula Citron February 21, 2020

Libretto by Royce Vavrek, music by Luna Pearl Woolf, dramaturgy and direction by Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Betty Oliphant Theatre, Feb. 19 to 23, 2020.

Photo by Dahlia Katz
Photo by Dahlia Katz

By anyone’s standards, the world premiere of the new opera Jacqueline is a triumph. The work explores the life and career of British cellist Jacqueline du Pré (1945-1987) in a daring and innovative manner, and is a feather in the cap of Tapestry Opera, the company that took a chance on presenting the piece.

The sad facts about du Pré’s life are well known. At the height of her career, she was considered among the greatest cellists of all time, but as a sign that the gods can be cruel in the extreme, du Pré was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and had to end her public performances when she was just 28. In all, her career lasted just a brief twelve years, but her recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto is considered so perfect, that other cellists at the time took the work out of their repertoires. The recording has never been out of print.

The opera, by composer Luna Pearl Woolf (American-born, but who lives in Montreal) and libretto by Canadian Royce Vavrek, is in four movements, which are titled Star Birth, Super Nova, Meteorite, and Impact, and so mirror the structure of the Elgar concerto. At key moments, Woolf has even embedded into the score, quotes from the concerto, which is particularly affecting. Impressionistic in style, Vavrek’s scenario skips back and forth through time periods, touching on du Pré’s youth, virtuosity, fame, conversion to Judaism, marriage to pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim, the loss of her career, and her struggle with MS. And here’s the adventurous part – Jacqueline is a two-hander. American soprano Marnie Breckenridge sings the role of du Pré, while American cellist Matt Haimovitz performs the role of her cello.

Continue reading “Paula Citron: Tapestry Opera/Jacqueline”