Browsing: Classical Music

He remembers that, in the staging of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle by Robert Lepage, when the women emerge from a bath covered in blood, teenage girls sitting close to the stage reacted very strongly. Oh, my God! “They were like in the cinema! Young people are more open-minded than their elders when it comes to contemporary opera productions,” says Grégoire Legendre, administrative and artistic director of the Opéra de Québec, who has announced his retirement. “A lot of people are very enthusiastic after a performance.” Most of the world’s opera houses face hardships owing to the aging and contraction of their…

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The vocal training of the Canadian baritone Gino Quilico, now 64, was unconventional by any standard. For one and a half years, starting at age 20, Gino studied almost daily with his late father Louis, Canada’s greatest baritone, working only on technique and not singing any repertoire. The lesson plan followed Louis’s Nine Laws immortalized in Jerome Hine’s bestseller Great Singers on Great Singing. Today, Gino is ready to share the wisdom he gleaned from an international career singing beside Pavarotti, Domingo, Alfred Kraus and Mirella Freni, and the lessons from his father in his own Six Rules. One might…

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by Susan Platts Jessye Norman: where can one possibly begin? Be it the soprano, mezzo or alto repertoire, the music of Strauss, Wagner, Berg, Berlioz or Cage, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the spirituals. She always had a commitment to the music and texts that was incomparable, embodying a palette of emotions that reached deep into the soul of the listener. My heart and soul are filled with an abundance of memories. It is deeply moving to have a platform to share them, as a tribute to this most amazing human being, who was a singer, performer and interpreter like no other.…

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Wallis Giunta is the real deal. The Irish-Canadian mezzo-soprano combines a flexible and precise coloratura with a captivating stage presence. Hers is a transcendental talent. An offbeat artist, she has been able to stay true to her idiosyncrasies by using them to grow and explore new frontiers. She is also something of an archetype for a new and difficult-to-categorize opera singer who has eclectic tastes and constantly seeks new ways to communicate with her audience. In October, the energetic redhead was making her debut with the Seattle Opera in the title role of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. She returns to Canada…

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It has been a while since we last heard soprano Pauline Vaillancourt in Montreal. In fact, it was back in 2000 when she shared the stage with actor Jean Maheux in L’Enfant des glaces, an “electr’opera” that she designed and staged (music by Zack Settel, libretto by Quevedo and de Nerval). It was the ninth production of Chants Libres, the lyric creation company of which the singer is artistic director. To get a chance to hear Vaillancourt sing, you would have to go to Europe since it is there that she has been working with the Italian composer Maurizio Squillante…

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by Martha de Francisco My first encounter with Jessye Norman was at the Musikverein Hall in Vienna in 1983, as we prepared to record Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic with the Vienna State Opera Chorus for CBS Masterworks. From the onset of “O Röschen rot” in “Urlicht” the musical impact of that magical voice and the depth of her performance made a lasting impression on me as a young musician and recording professional. It marked the beginning of my lifelong appreciation of Jessye Norman’s amazing artistry and it established the basis for a…

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Performances by the Tunisian-Canadian Rihab Chaieb are characterized by their dramatic and visceral intensity. She is a graduate of McGill University, the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She is also winner of the 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation vocal competition and winner of the third prize at the 2018 Operalia Competition. In October, the fiery mezzo-soprano was in rehearsals for her debut on Nov. 10 in the title role of Carmen at the Cologne Opera in Germany. It is surprising that she hasn’t performed this role before, as she has all the…

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Download PDF (English Edition) and PDF (French Edition)“At the core, we have a young girl who is trapped in the home of some guy,” says Canadian mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo of the plight of Rosina, the closely guarded young “ward” of the rapacious Dr. Bartolo who intends to marry her for her dowry in Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. “That’s just totally not a funny thing right now. So that’s the trick for me – how can I justify being comedic when there’s something so serious going on?” D’Angelo fairly brims with such trenchant observations and ideas about the role.…

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Download PDF (English Edition) and PDF (French Edition)Frédéric Antoun is one of the most internationally recognized Canadian tenors today. He is known for his versatility and fluidity in the high range and being able to perform anything from baroque to modern opera at a high standard. He is a regular at the prestigious Opéra de Paris and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, performing roles such as Fenton (Falstaff) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte). He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2017, interpreting the role of Raúl Yebenes in the opera The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès. A notable…

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Download PDF (English Edition) and PDF (French Edition) OPERA SPECIAL Back in November 2013, our survey of new Indie opera companies found eight fledgling organizations. Most have survived and are still thriving, but their example has inspired more young singers to band together. This year’s survey lists 36. Forty is the number of years Toronto’s Tapestry Opera has championed contemporary opera, and they are fledgling and Indie no more, as Arthur Kaptainis found out. Perhaps the only new organization shedding the fledgling adjective is 10-year-old Against the Grain (AtG), which has made recent news with a national tour of their…

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