Browsing: Opera

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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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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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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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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