Browsing: Vocal

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company announced today a new mainstage commission: The Old Fools bycelebrated Montreal-based composer Ana Sokolović and seasoned British librettist Paul Bentley. La Reine-Garçon, first announced in 2015, is moving forward as a co-commission with the Opéra de Montréal; it’s the first mainstage collaboration of its kind between the two major Canadian opera companies and at its helm are two exceptionalCanadian artists: Julien Bilodeau as composer and Michel Marc Bouchard as librettist. The Old Fools This opera in two acts was inspired by “The Old Fools” by renowned English poet Philip Larkin. The poem concerns Larkin’s fear…

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Montreal, December 11, 2018 – The Opéra de Montréal announces a new opera, La Reine-Garçon, with a libretto by Michel Marc Bouchard and music by Julien Bilodeau, which will be presented in Montreal and in Toronto in 2023. This work, the first to be co-commissioned by the Opéra de Montréal and the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, once again substantiates Montreal’s undeniably important role in creating a new opera repertoire showcasing our greatest homegrown talents. The popular and critical success of the opera Les Feluettes, which had its world premiere at the Opéra de Montréal in May 2016, confirmed Montrealers’…

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The thought of recording an album dawned on me after performing a Christmas music recital with pianist Lisandre Sévigny Di Quinzio. I enjoyed singing the music, and the audience was quite receptive. After talking to my accompanist, we agreed to be equal partners in this venture. Fundraising Recording a CD is an expensive proposition, far more than we could afford on our own. So we got a fundraising campaign together. We solicited financial contributions, regardless of the amount. In exchange, we offered various incentives to eventual benefactors. Happily, we met our goal, or just about. Repertoire We established three main…

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Il Divo, the male vocal quartet composed of singers Urs Bühler (Switzerland), Carlos Marín (Spain), David Miller (USA), and Sébastien Izambard (France) is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary with a worldwide tour and their new CD Timeless. We met the internationally acclaimed quartet right before their performance at Theatre St. Denis in Montreal. The ensemble, originally founded by British producer Simon Cowell, and now self-produced, delighted their fans with pieces from their new CD: Timeless. The recording is composed of a mix of pop and traditional standards from the 1930’s until now. It was released last August on Decca Gold with a #1 debut…

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Verdi: Otello. A Festive Staged Concert Event. Issachah Savage (Otello); Marina Costa-Jackson (Desdemona); Michael Chioldi (Iago); Derek Taylor (Cassio). Concert Stage Director: Rebecca A. Herman Lighting Design: Thomas Hase Austin Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Steven White Long Center for the Performing Arts Austin, Texas November 15, 2018 Austin Opera has been presenting fully staged professional opera to audiences in Central Texas for the past 31 years, averaging three productions per season and maintaining a remarkably high standard; it came as a bit of a shock, then, when the company chose to open its 2018-2019 season with Verdi’s Otello in a concert…

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On Saturday November 17, the St. Lawrence Choir performed its Slava! programme at the St Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. The programme featured the premiere of two works. Alelouya 2 by Armenian-born Petros Shoujouian, currently of Montreal, and Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal by Larysa Kuzmenko, a Toronto-based composer, pianist and Juno nominee. What you missed The St Lawrence Choir’s mixed voice ensemble under the direction of Phillipe Bourque could not have chosen a more fitting venue for their performance of their programme Slava!, which means “glory” in Ukrainian. The space itself did honour to the multitude of tonalities of…

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November 17, 2018 (Calgary, Alberta) – Following their announcement in August that current General Director and CEO Keith Cerny will be leaving the company, Calgary Opera announced today that the board of directors has selected two Canadians as its new leaders. Grammy® and Juno award-winning conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey will become the company’s Artistic Director, and veteran international arts executive Heather Kitchen will become the company’s administrative leader as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, beginning in January 2019. Tovey is no stranger to Canadian opera and classical music fans. From 2000 to 2018 he was the highly esteemed…

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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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