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Romantics and Rascals

Updated: Oct 20, 2018

September 1, 2018 / Bonnie Sallans, Chair of QSCM

I am so excited!   Tickets are available now for our fall concert featuring Baritone Peter McGillivray and Pianist Petya Stavreva   in ROMANTICS AND RASCALS.  Inspired by the drama and the humour of love and desire, this program will appeal to the Romantic and the Rascal in us all.

The "Romantic" appears in Schumann's Dichterliebe, "A Poet's Love."   Heinrich Heine's poetry turns on the theme of unrequited love with poignant imagery and romantic pathos tempered by irony.  When Schumann set the poems to song he was separated from his beloved Clara. Neither were confident they would have a future together.  Schumann's writing not only illustrates and supports the poetic text, but comments on it. The music engages the poetry on equal terms, and they don't always fully agree. The result, when both singer and pianist are fully engaged with text and score, is an ensemble performance that is the essence of the piano-song. Known as Lieder or Art Song, this genre makes substantial demands on both pianist and singer.

The rich and flexible baritone voice of Peter McGillivray and the ultra-sensitive and highly refined pianism of Petya Stavreva promise an unforgettable performance.  Possessing a voice with intensity in tone and versatility in colour, McGillivray is superbly equipped to invoke the profound romantic intent of the Dichterliebe.  But he is also a gifted actor. His dramatic flair and comedic timing have made him a celebrated opera—buffa star across North America. Similarly, Stavreva, a highly sought after collaborative musician, owns an extraordinary ability to place the sound of the piano exactly where the soloist needs it to be.  The "Rascals" of the second half will require the full range of both.  Opera's most famous rake, Don Giovanni, a.k.a. Don Juan, and other notorious scoundrels will appear in the music of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Kurt Weill and others.

McGillivray, now residing in northern Ontario, spends most of his time travelling to perform lead roles with the Canadian Opera Company and other premier opera companies across Canada and the United States.  He has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Elmer Isler Signers in Toronto, and sung with Canada's flagship orchestras and those of Europe. An international prize winner, he is consistently praised by critics for his impeccable vocal delivery even as they are unanimous in extolling his demonstrated gift as a comedic actor.  See for details of his extensive performance resume.

It takes a remarkable pianist to support a singer of McGillivray's vocal magnitude and stage presence. Petya Stavreva is exactly that and more.  Stavreva performed in Stirling in 2013 while still a graduate student at Toronto's Glenn Gould School.  Since then she has completed her Master's Degree, (University of Texas), was Artist in Residence at Banff and currently studies at the doctoral level on full scholarship at the University of Western Ontario. She is a multiple prize winner in Canadian and European competitions, has performed widely and is much in demand as both soloist and collaborative pianist. An adjudicator for the Kiwanis Festival in Toronto and other major competitions, Stavreva was recently appointed to Royal Conservatory College of Examiners and maintains her own teaching studio.

McGillivray is fully established as an operatic principal. Stavreva is on the cusp of an outstanding career as a classical musician in Canada. QSCM is thrilled to bring these two fine musicians together. Multi-generational collaboration between artists is essential to a thriving performance culture that can make live performances of great classical accessible to all.

Spread the word and get your tickets soon! Bring a friend. A QSCM concert ticket costs only $15. This is possible because of the excellent support our community provides, proving once again that people in the Quinte region who already love classical music are ready to share and make it possible for everyone to experience great music.

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