On Feb. 19, Toronto’s Aldeburgh Connection celebrated its 30th anniversary with a gala concert at Koerner Hall. Artistic directors Bruce Ubukata and Stephen Ralls invited a stellar lineup of Canadian vocal talent to sing a varied program of art song repertoire. Naturally, the music of Benjamin Britten, the éminence grise of the Aldeburgh Connection, was prominently featured.
CBC Music was there, and captured the concert on video. Starting today, we’re sharing the performances here at CBC Music.
A bit of background: pianists Ubukata and Ralls met at the Aldeburgh Festival on the east coast of England. This festival, co-founded in 1948 by composer Britten, tenor Peter Pears and writer/director Eric Crozier, became an annual destination for musicians of the highest calibre. Back in Toronto in 1982, Ubukata and Ralls established the Aldeburgh Connection, a concert series designed to carry forward the excellent standards of the Aldeburgh Festival on this side of the Atlantic, focusing on the rich art song repertoire.
Many of Canada’s leading singers have performed recitals with the Aldeburgh Connection over the years. One such singer is baritone Brett Polegato, who performed at the 30th anniversary gala concert.
Here, Polegato introduces the song he chose to perform, Britten’s A Song of Enchantment, with Bruce Ubukata at the piano:
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