Browsing: Vocal

November 13, 2018 – TORONTO – Iconic American singer, opera star and activist Jessye Norman will be awarded the Twelfth Glenn Gould Prize at a celebratory award ceremony and concert in her honour on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., presented by The Glenn Gould Foundation and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The Glenn Gould Prize Celebrates Jessye Norman features the COC Orchestra led by COC Music Director Johannes Debus and the Toronto debuts of esteemed Swedish dramatic soprano Nina Stemme, South African lyric soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, tenor Rodrick Dixon,…

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This past weekend (Friday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 11), I attended four vocal music performances (three operas and one oratorio) which shows that Montreal is a vibrant city for voice lovers. Friday: Opera McGill presented a hilarious Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten. Sadly, this comic opera is not produced enough nowadays. This score is worth discovering. The highlight was the simple yet very effective stage directing by Patrick Hansen. The second cast was generally good. Unlike some previous Opera McGill productions, there were no surtitles and many of the jokes were lost as many of the words were not…

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Last Saturday, November 10, Opéra de Montréal premiered Der Rheingold, the first instalment from Wagner’s tetralogy Der Ring des Nibellungen. It marked the first time that this work is staged in the history of the opera company. What you missed The highlight of the show was the performance by Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg. The native from Saskatchewan struck gold with his dramatic stage presence and his steely voice. He incarnated Alberich in body and voice, colouring every sound to match the meaning of the words he was singing. A good example was the contrast in his vocal and physical attitude…

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Last Saturday, November 10, Mundia Productions presented Mozart’s Requiem and the Piano Concerto #20 in d minor k.466 performed by the Orchestre philharmonique du Nouveau Monde conducted by Michel Brousseau, along with the participation of the Société philharmonique du Nouveau Monde choir and guest pianist Vasyl Kotys. What you missed If we were able to travel 1000 years forward, my guess is that Mozart’s Requiem would still be performed somewhere in a distant galaxy. This work is a masterpiece that is worth attending anytime we have the chance. The highlight was the performance from Société philarmonique du Nouveau Monde choir.…

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What you missed The first time Wagner’s Das Rheingold is staged in Montreal is a success. As a whole, this is Opéra de Montréal’s best production in the last two and a half years, riveting from beginning to the end. The production from Minnesota Opera worked quite well, mixing multimedia projections with placement of the orchestra on stage, an elevated bridge for the gods and using the pit for the Rhein and the underworld. The singing was excellent with some reservation. Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg’s commanding portrayal of Alberich along with an imposing voice is worth the price of admission…

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SOPRANO SARA SCHABAS GOES TO NEW YORK  RECEIVES IRCPA’S “CAREER BLUEPRINT” AFTER NEW SINGING STARS PERFORMANCE AT ZOOMER HALL Soprano Sara Schabas of Toronto has been named recipient of a valuable “Career Blueprint”.  The announcement was made Monday night at Zoomer Hall in Toronto after the concert New Singing Stars, featuring 11 young professional singers, presented by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (http://ircpa.net), and broadcast live on The New Classical FM with host Jean Stilwell. As a result of receiving the Career Blueprint, Ms. Schabas, 28 (www.saraschabas.com), will spend three days at the National Opera Center in New…

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In the glamorous world of opera most singers aspire to be the next star. Students rush to sing big arias such as “Nessun Dorma” or “Casta Diva” with the hopes of becoming the next Pavarotti or the next Callas. However, American tenor David Cangelosi recognized early in his career that he wanted to sing opera. Instead of chasing the primo uomo roles, he decided to put his acting talent and vocal intelligence to the service of secondary roles. His decision proved fruitful. Cangelosi is one of the few opera singers to remain relevant today after over 20 years of singing…

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PRAGUE – Very strange. The knights and nobles were dressed in stylized medieval tunics and standing in orderly semicircles. When Lohengrin arrived, an alluring image of a swan appeared between two handsome panels of intertwining ivy. When Lohengrin did battle with Telramund, the combatants wielded realistic broadswords. This was a production from Bayreuth? Yes, from the Bayreuth of 1967, before the title character of Wagner’s opera was understood to be an electrician, as in the Lohengrin unveiled this past summer, or the citizens of Brabant were understood to be rats, as in the version premiered eight years earlier. We have…

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin makes his first appearances as Met Music Director with a new production of La Traviata Diana Damrau sings Violetta, opposite Juan Diego Flórez as Alfredo and Quinn Kelsey as Germont  Michael Mayer’s new production will be seen around the world as a part of the Met’s Live in HD series             New York, NY (November 7, 2018)—The Metropolitan Opera’s new production of La Traviata, opening December 4, will be the first opera conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the Met’sJeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. Soprano Diana Damrau, who made her acclaimed role debut as Violetta at the Met during the 2012–2013 season (with Maestro Nézet-Séguin on the podium),…

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REVIEW: of The Anchoress, a world premiere of a new musical monodrama/song cycle composed by David Serkin Ludwig with text by Katie Ford, performed by soprano Hyunah Yu, accompanied by saxophone quartet PRISM and ancient-instrument ensemble Piffaro; on Wednesday, October 17, at the Perelman Theatre of Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and on Thursday, October 18, at New York City’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music (the latter performance reviewed here); and INTERVIEWS: with composer David Ludwig and poet Katie Ford. The impulse to retreat from the world in search of spiritual insight or purity has manifested throughout human history. Twenty-one centuries of Christianity…

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