Superstar soprano Miriam Khalil lights up the Auditorium on Thursday
(THUNDER BAY) The TBSO unleashes its first serious classical concert of the season—A
Taste of Greatness—with superstar soprano Miriam Khalil. It’s a concert to sure please even the
most demanding classical music fan.
The evening opens with the music of Rameau’s Entrance of Polymnie, a gentle and
melancholic piece that was the opening to his opera, Les Boréades. The opera, the last one of
his five tragédies en musique and never performed in his lifetime, has since been described as
“sublime” and “hauntingly beautiful”, which it surely is.
Next, Miriam Khalil takes the stage to bring Mahler’s brilliantly emotive and intimate
Rückert Lieder to life. Mahler was heir to two great traditions, the tradition of the symphony and
the tradition of German song, which he blended in his Rückert Lieder with remarkable success.
The songs are deeply personal and are about love, loss and longing, perfectly suited to Khalil’s
sultry and soaring voice.
This is Khalil’s second visit to Thunder Bay as guest soloist. Her previous visit was in
2017 in a splendid performance of a Night at the Opera with Ernesto Ramirez and the TBS
Chorus. Khalil has been praised by Musical Toronto magazine as a “skilled, versatile artist” with
a “signature warm lyrical voice”, but perhaps more accurately by Opera Going Toronto as “dark,
dangerous and alluring”. The Globe and Mail writes Khalil has the ability to make “her fine
soprano express every emotion with exactness and feeling”. With all that combined with
Mahler’s brooding Lieder, she’ll break your heart on Thursday evening.
The evening’s program ends with Beethoven’s spectacular Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”.
This is the Beethoven symphony that changed music forever—written as the great master
himself was going deaf, never to hear his own masterwork. Its shattering dissonances and
rhythmic dislocations in the first movement wrench the audience awake, leading them into the
expressive grandeur of the funeral march, the awesome horn writing of the scherzo, onward to
the enormous expressive range—from comic to tragic to lyrical to heroic—in the fourth
movement. Here is a set of variations that in one fell swoop reinvent the symphonic finale. You
have to experience it yourself to understand its significance to the world of music.
The concert starts at 7:30 sharp Thursday evening at the Auditorium. Tickets at the
TBCA Box Office (684.4444), online at tbso.ca/events or at the door. If you love classical music,
this promises to be the peak musical experience of 2018.
– 30 –
Photo cut line (Photo supplied by the artist)
Vivacious Toronto-based soprano Miriam Khalil comes to the main stage in Thunder Bay.