Browsing: Opera

As One might not be the only opera written for two vocal manifestations of the same character, but there cannot be many others. The risk involved in the undertaking lies not necessarily in the subject matter – the phenomenon of trans identity has been headline material for a while – as in the need to create drama without supporting characters. It says something about the virtues of this work of 2014 and the quality of its online Quebec premiere Friday under the auspices of the Orchestre classique de Montréal that two singers and a string quartet could hold the stage successfully…

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CALGARY, AB – Despite ongoing challenges for the live performing arts sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, today Calgary Opera announced its first entree into the realm of digital programming with a virtual holiday concert. Streaming digitally on demand from December 18, 2020 to January 3, 2021, The Yuletide Sessions: a holiday concert from home is a 50-minute original concert production featuring a program of seasonal favourites blended with beloved classical masterworks performed by members of the company’s 2020-21 Emerging Artist Development Program. Sure to become a gem in Calgary Opera’s collection, these special performances have been conceptualized and crafted especially…

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November 16, 2020 (Vancouver, BC) – As COVID closures impact arts organizations worldwide, one opera company is hosting a discussion about the future of their art form. On Tuesday, December 1st at 2:00 pm PST / 5:00 pm EST, Vancouver’s Opera Mariposa will present the online panel MAKING OPERA ACCESSIBLE: during the pandemic and beyond. The event tackles forms of discrimination like ableism and audism in opera, and how theatres can pave the way for safe reopenings that will welcome everyone – including those who are D/deaf, disabled, and at higher risk for COVID-19. Opera Mariposa is Canada’s only disability-led…

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Montreal, November 17, 2020 – Karina Gauvin, Montreal soprano, is Mécénat Musica’s first collaborative Artist in Residence. Karina Gauvin is a soprano of international renown, collaborating and vivaciously performing with the greatest symphony orchestras, opera companies and recital series around the world. Ms. Gauvin has recorded 50+ albums and among her distinctions has three Grammy nominations. The New York Times describes Ms. Gauvin as singing “with serene ease and radianceʺ. Opera News calls her the “queen of Baroque opera”. As collaborative Artist in Residence Ms. Gauvin will be performing with Mécénat Musica organizations and is also a donor under the Mécénat Musica program to keep…

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The future of performance is looking digital, at least in the short term. Last week the Opéra de Montréal unveiled an online double bill with piano accompaniment that made a good case for the viability of the format while leaving us less than fully convinced of the merits of the works themselves. First up was Francis Poulenc’s well-known La voix humaine, a solo opera of 1958 based on Jean Cocteau’s 1928 play of the same name. A jilted woman engages in a telephone conversation with her former lover. There are frequent interruptions caused by the (then) notoriously unreliable French telephone system. Whether…

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The baroque instrumental ensemble Les Boréades is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding by flutist Francis Colpron. But this is a celebration unlike any other. In spite of the continuing restrictions and uncertainties caused by the pandemic, Colpron wants to keep in touch with subscribers and fellow musicians while continuing to perform in concert. Digital technologies are a godsend, and the ensemble’s members are all set to use them. “For the time being, we’re looking closely at any opportunity to perform in front of cameras, so people can share the concert with us on their screens,” says the artistic…

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Some people say Rihab Chaieb is just right for Carmen. Others go further and say that the Tunisian-Canadian mezzo-soprano is Carmen. Although the title character of Bizet’s opera has her unfavourable qualities, Chaieb is not troubled by the comparison. “I think Carmen is mindful,” Chaieb says. “Whatever she’s feeling, she’s doing. What you see is what you get. So thanks, that’s a great compliment!”  One could hardly imagine a singer better suited to the most famous and alluring female character in opera. Her artistic ability and natural beauty combine with a sultry mezzo voice and the verve of a dynamic personality.  Her…

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The Orchestre classique de Montréal (OCM) is deeply invested in projects, as it has demonstrated in the past by promoting Canadian and Indigenous artists and composers. This year, the orchestra’s support for communities is once again in evidence. On Nov. 20, OCM followers can hear the Canadian premiere of the chamber opera As One to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day paying tribute to transgendered individuals who were persecuted or killed because of their identity. Come what may, the opera will be the season opener and broadcast online. It features two voices – one male, the other female – portraying…

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Tuesday, October 27 – In response to the context of the current health crisis, Chants Libres was obliged to postpone the creation of L’Orangeraie by Zad Moultaka and Larry Tremblay, which would have taken place this month at the Monument-National. Never failing to uphold its reputation for vocal innovation, the company is making a gamble and using this big, deserted hall to film Prélude à l’opéra. Inspired by several excerpts from L’orangeraie and guided by constraints put in place for the performing arts due to COVID 19, this digital event will be aired on the web in January 2021. The staging…

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On October 21, legendary soprano Virginia Zeani celebrates her 95th birthday. Born in Romania, she made her début in 1948 as Violetta in La Traviata at the Teatro Duse in Bologna. This role, which she performed a total of 648 times, led her to perform in the greatest theatres of the world, including the Palais Garnier in Paris, the Royal Opera House in London and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. With a repertoire ranging from baroque opera to contemporary works, she was chosen by Francis Poulenc to create the role of Blanche de la Force in the world…

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