Browsing: Vocal

The familiar setting is Bourgie Hall, festooned with microphones, lamps, music stands and cleared of audience chairs. Yannick Nézet-Séguin stands on a podium near the rear, facing forward, score to one side. Horns, trumpets and timpani are on the stage, other players on the floor. Everyone is moderately distanced but unmasked. There might be some techies in the balcony but no public as that word is normally understood. All of this in keeping, we are assured, with provincial guidelines on recording. “It’s what I like to call a jam session,” YNS said in a spoken introduction to the Friday afternoon…

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Musicians don’t perform only because it is their passion: it’s also how they earn a living. The coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on the music industry and many institutions are under threat of closure. Performers have seen their work schedules scratched out from mid-March forward. Some are out of work until 2021. Soprano Aline Kutan and pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone discuss how their lives have been affected and how they carry on from home. Initially, the confinement came as a welcome break, an opportunity to take a step back from a hectic schedule for both musicians. After driving back…

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It was a shocker in an age of shocking stories. Fifty-five members of the Skagit Valley Chorale in Mount Vernon, Washington, met at the local Presbyterian church on March 10 for a rehearsal. Three weeks later, 45 had tested positive for COVID-19. Two were dead. Despite the availability at the door of hand sanitizer and a general moratorium on handshaking and other forms of physical contact. Despite the testimony of several members that no one was heard to cough during the two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal. Nor is the Skagit Vallet story the only documented case of choral super-spreading. The Amsterdams Gemengd Koor (Amsterdam Mixed Choir)…

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By Adrian Rodriguez and Eva Stone-Barney La Scena Musicale launched the Corona Serenades in early April as a means of connecting people through music in a time when many felt isolated. The idea for Corona Serenades came from La Scena Musicale founding editor Wah Keung Chan and tenor Adrian Rodriguez, who modeled the project on La Scena Musicale’s successful Singing Valentine service, which has been running annually for over a decade. Corona Serenades provides personalized videos of professional singers singing from their homes around the world. With a roster of approximately 25 singers from over six countries, Corona Serenades can…

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Andrew Gray couldn’t have chosen a better city than Montreal when, in 2010, he decided to leave the U.K. to start a new chapter in his already flourishing career. In fact, the “city of a hundred bells” boasts a well-established choral tradition, with two symphony orchestras, a ballet company and hundreds of vocal ensembles of all levels. It was in this rich musical landscape that Gray won his first official position as conductor of the Montreal Children’s Choir, which he left in 2015 to take over artistic and musical direction of the Montreal Choral Institute (MCI) and its ensemble, the…

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Almost a decade ago, La Scena Musicale founder Wah Keung Chan created an unusual alternative to chocolates, cards and flowers: Singing Valentines. On Feb. 14 we conducted the 10th edition of this annual fundraising initiative. It was a great success for many reasons. Our six singers with their repertoire of 34 songs delivered 40 Singing Valentines to individuals in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Toledo, Ohio. When Jo-Ann Davies of Montreal called in her request for a Singing Valentine, she was clearly excited about the opportunity. “Andrew Carter on CJAD 800 was really pumping up this as a special gift, and I…

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Chants Libres came into being in 1991, at a time when contemporary opera didn’t have much good press in Quebec. Many singers dreaded damaging their vocal cords with new techniques, while musical theatre was eclipsing lyrical voices. This didn’t prevent soprano Pauline Vaillancourt from founding a company that, 30 years later, has carved out a top place for itself in the world of contemporary music. Let’s look back at three decades of Chants Libres. Catching up after a lagging behind During Nuit blanche on Feb. 29, more than 400 people enjoyed a program presented by Chants Libres and its partners…

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New York, NY (July 11, 2020) – The Metropolitan Opera announced its entry into live pay-per-view concert events today, unveiling a lineup of 12 concerts from summer to fall featuring some of opera’s biggest stars in striking locations across Europe and the United States. The live events will be shot with multiple cameras linked by satellite to a control room in New York City, where the host of the programs, soprano Christine Goerke, will be situated. Gary Halvorson, the Met’s award-winning director of the company’s Live in HD cinema transmissions, will direct each of the programs. Featured artists are Roberto Alagna, Piotr…

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Last Sunday, La Scena Musicale and CORONA Serenades celebrated Father’s Day with a special virtual broadcast through Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, a couple of songs were not included. We have therefore recompiled all the songs into a Father’s Day Concert featuring only the performances (duration: 30 mins). Here is the link to the concert. Repertoire: — Hugo Laporte, baryton/baritone, La mort de l’ours, Félix Leclerc — Valérie Poisson, soprano, Tu che di gel sei cinta  (de l’opéra Turandot), Giacomo Puccini — Anne-Marine Suire, soprano, Cheek to Cheek, Irving Berlin — Yara Zeitoun, soprano,…

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The dangers of choral singing has been in the news since the beginning of the pandemic. Arthur Kaptainis’s article Choral singing: a long road back went viral. especially the French translation in Quebec and Europe. Today, Canada’s Professional Choir leaders respond to the dangers of singing in the following letter. June 23, 2020. To Whom It May Concern: We are writing in response to the articles published by the CBC on June 16, No singing or dancing allowed even as Ontario patios, places of worship reopen, and June 20, Choirs reimagine themselves as singing proves an effective way to spread…

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