Browsing: Vocal

Toronto – Tickets are now available for Hearing Hadrian: An Opera for Our Time, a conference on Sunday, October 14, 2018.  Just one day after Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, with libretto by Daniel MacIvor,receives its world premiere, the Canadian Opera Company will host a day-long series of panels and guest speakers dedicated to exploring the themes found in the opera and its broader operatic context. Hearing Hadrian aims to bring the long-buried relationship between the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his lover, Antinous, to the forefront of public knowledge and discussion; it also examines Hadrian’s place within the larger context of 21st-century…

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Canadian Operatic Overview The coming opera season is once again full of surprises, including many made in Canada. From the depths of the Nigredo Hotel to the majestic summit of Mount Everest; from an American post-World War II boxing ring to the Parisian salon of Gertrude Stein; from a lonely Roman emperor to a First Nations woman confronted by the disappearance of her people –; the subject matter is eclectic, to say the least. Hadrian Canadian Opera Company of Toronto, Oct. 13 To -27 Composed by Rufus Wainwright on a libretto by Daniel MacIvor, this opera recounts the story of…

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New York, NY (September 6, 2018)—The Metropolitan Opera will open its 134th  season on Monday, September 24, with a new production of Saint-Saëns’s biblical tragedy Samson et Dalila, conducted by Sir Mark Elder and starring Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna, last seen together at the Met in acclaimed performances of Bizet’s Carmen. Laurent Naouri co-stars as the High Priest opposite Elchin Azizov as the Philistine King Abimélech and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the Old Hebrew. Making his Met debut, Tony Award-winner Darko Tresnjak directs the first new Met production of the opera in 20 years.  The opening performance will be simulcast…

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Rigoletto and Das Rheingold The Opéra de Montréal kicks off the season with Verdi’s tragic Rigoletto. This italian classic, inspired by Victor Hugo’s Le roi s’amuse, will be performed on September 15, 18, 20 and 22. Two Canadian singers are featured in this production: baritone James Westman and the soprano Myriam Leblanc play respectively the bouffon Rigoletto and his daughter Gilda. The Duke of Mantua will be sung by the tenor Rame Lahaij while the assassin Sparafucile and his sister Magdalena will be portrayed by the bass Vartan Gabrielian and Canadian mezzo Caroline Sproule. This is the perfect chance to…

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At a time when many are wondering if there is a future for the classical singing recital, we are currently experiencing a golden age for this genre, which offers incalculable rewards. After Holzmair, Le Roux and Goerne, who were at the forefront of this new golden age, four baritones of different traditions now dominate the recital scene. The greatest lyrical artist of his generation – not just a singer but a true vocal artist – Gerald Finley was born in Montreal. As comfortable in opera as in concert or recital, Finley demonstrates a remarkable ability to tell more than twenty…

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Maureen Forrester, contralto In February 1955, Maureen Forrester, with pianist John Newmark, made her Paris recital debut at Salle Gaveau. A New York recital debut followed in November 1956; her Carnegie Hall debut under conductor Bruno Walter in 1957 launched an international career. Forrester became associated primarily with German Lieder but was also celebrated in the English and Canadian repertoires. Indeed, she created works by a horde of Canadian composers, including Charpentier, Papineau-Couture, Fleming, Glick, Morawetz, Schafer and Coulthard. Forrester sang art-song recitals throughout the world, from Europe and North America to Russia, Australia and Asia. At the peak of her…

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Since the beginning of the century, soprano Karina Gauvin and contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux have demonstrated their affinity for the vocal recital and their need to integrate this form of expression into their artistic lives. These two remarkable artists have presented recitals (often jointly) not only in Canada but especially on the largest international stages. Their vocal talent, mastery of style, linguistic coherence and literary knowledge have won them world renown both in concert halls and on recordings. Will the inspiration and the example of Gauvin and Lemieux lead to another generation of recitalists from Quebec and Canada? It is the…

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It all started in 1985, during dinner. Ted Perry, founder of the British independent label Hyperion Records, asked the celebrated collaborative pianist Graham Johnson what he would most like to record. Johnson’s answer was simply, “All of Schubert’s Lieder.” Perry agreed immediately. Schubert set more than 700 texts, most as songs for solo voice, but also for vocal ensemble. Almost all are accompanied by piano. Ironically, it took 18 years for Schubert to compose his Lieder (1810-1828), the same time that it took Hyperion (1987-2005) to record and distribute 37 compact discs featuring more than 60 individual singers. Johnson was…

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Composed in 1827 by Franz Schubert, Winterreise is a landmark in the annals of classical music. So much so that that this 24-song cycle for voice and piano based on poems by Wilhelm Müller has been recorded an estimated 200 times. The words convey the wanderings of a man befallen by an unrequited love. The cycle, however, deals less with the man’s states of mind than the images of loneliness conjured by the winter scenery, or the people that cross his path, like the hurdy-gurdy player, a fellow wanderer whose company he solicits. Winterreise is truly one of the great…

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I am lucky to have been able to work at what I love around the world for almost 20 years: performing with wonderful singers and instrumentalists. I also teach master classes on this profession that might be considered “in the shadows,” since it’s not about playing a recital or being a soloist with an orchestra. However, my profession is most certainly that of a pianist. I don’t “accompany” or “collaborate.” I play the piano. Chamber music and sharing with other musicians, on stage or in studio, is a different art than that of being a soloist. Although it’s the same…

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