Browsing: Vocal

[Originally published on Dec. 6, 2014] How a performance of Mozart’s Requiem marked my musical passage By Wah Keung Chan Last Sunday (November 30, 2014), I attended conductor Iwan Edwards’s Farewell at Concerto Della Donna’s final concert at a standing room sold out St. Georges Church. It was good to see Iwan on the podium again, having sung for him with the St. Lawrence Choir and the MSO Chorus many times in the 1990s. Midway through the first half, I suddenly remembered the first time I sang with him, 25 years earlier in 1989. It was days following the December…

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Nicole Paiement is one conductor not lacking for work in the opera circuit. Fresh from a run of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, staged by the Lyric Opera of Chicago last month, she moves on to our city to collaborate with the Opéra de Montréal in its January production of Written on Skin by George Benjamin. Next up for her are performances of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Poulenc’s La Voix humaine with the Dallas Opera from April 3 to 8. With Opera Parallèle, her own company based in San Francisco, she will be at the podium for three consecutive performances in…

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Baritenor. This is the intriguing if ambiguous word Hugo Laporte uses to describe the fach of the title role of Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, a French-language production which opens on Jan. 8 in the Théâtre St-Denis. “From what I understand, Broadway singers are often in this range and they call themselves baritones or tenors depending on the timbre of the voice,” he said in the Green Room of Meridian Hall in Toronto. The part of the “Phantom” (whose name is Erik, although he is never identified as such) demands two high As. This is the altitude also required by Rossini’s Figaro. Plus…

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Annamaria Popescu has both a harpsichord and a piano in her studio at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. “I require all my students to do early music,” says the mezzo-soprano and assistant professor, who will be one of the soloists in Handel’s Messiah as performed on Dec. 8 by the Orchestre classique de Montréal under Boris Brott. “And they start with Italian. Because if they start with Italian early music, they see the evolution. If they do a piece from the mid-1500s and from the 1600s and the mid-1700s, then when they do their Bellini song, they have a…

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Download PDFLa Scena Musicale’s Dec/Jan issue returns to a bilingual format. The cover features Hugo Laporte and Anne-Marine Suire in the upcoming production of The Phantom of the Opera in French translation in Montreal and Quebec City. Last month I promoted the idea that opera should start to be performed in the language of local audiences. They are already doing that in musical theatre. The issue also includes a special section on the recording industry. The demise of the classical music industry has been predicted for years, yet recordings are still coming out. Just the means of ­purchasing (CD, downloads…

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NEW YORK – It is possible to lose a sense of perspective after good night of Bruckner. The critic in me urges caution. Best live Fourth Symphony I have heard in months! My heart suggests something a little less guarded. Best in…well, quite a while. Certainly the performance ranks among the signal achievements in the history the Orchestre Métropolitain, which on Friday made its third stop on a four-city U.S. tour and, not incidentally, its debut at Carnegie Hall. You can imagine a new punch line to the old gag about how you get there: by having Yannick Nézet-Séguin as…

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Quebec City, November 21, 2019 – Music director Jonathan Cohen and Les Violons du Roy welcome mezzo‑soprano Christine Rice for a varied program of richly dramatic works. Together they will perform a selection of the most beautiful opera arias ever written by Rameau, Handel, and Purcell as well as Britten’s Phaedra, a dramatic cantata inspired by Jean Racine’s play. The concert Amours tragiques will be performed on Thursday, November 28, at 8 p.m. at Quebec City’s Palais Montcalm – Maison de la musique and Saturday, November 30, at 8 p.m. at Bourgie Hall, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Christine Rice…

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A big night for Opera! Montreal, November 15, 2019 – Wednesday, the Opéra de Montréal held the third edition of its TALENT gala, showcasing the National Auditions for the Atelier lyrique program, in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts. The benefit event, co-chaired by Stéphane Achard, Executive Vice-President, Commercial Banking and Insurance and Member of the Office of the President at the National Bank, and Jacques Marchand, Chairman of the Board of Directors of LCI Education, brought together close to five hundred music lovers to celebrate Canada’s emerging opera artists. The event raised a net of $360,000 for the Opéra…

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The Opéra de Montréal promised great singers for the 2019-20 season. They delivered in Eugene Onegin (with a cast led by Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis, read review) and now also in Lucia di Lammermoor, notwithstanding some opening night jitters and cast changes before rehearsals started. What you missed? No opening night jitters for Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl in the role of Enrico, controlling nasty brother to Lucia, replacing the originally cast of American baritone Lucas Meachem, who ditched the OdM to replace Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakhov in six performances of Don Giovanni at Chicago Lyric Opera. Dahl showed off…

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Founder of the St. Lawrence Choir, the FACE Senior Treble Choir, Concerto Della Donna, the Canadian chamber choir and the Choeur des Enfants de Montreal, Iwan Edwards is one of the premier choral conductors in Canada as well as an international figure by virtue of his years as chorus master of the OSM. La Scena Musicale has asked Edwards to reflect on his long career, starting in his native Wales and involving, surprisingly, expertise on the violin. by Iwan Edwards It was my good fortune to grow up in Wales, where music played such an important part in everyday life.…

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