Browsing: Opera

Montreal, June1st, 2022 – What a grand beginning for Voice 2022! The first rounds of the Aria and Art Song divisions allowed the public present at Bourgie Hall — and those listening via our broadcasting platforms — to see the high calibre of the competitors. The audience unanimously welcomed their passion and joy. At the end of this spectacular first round, the Voice 2022 jury has now determined which competitors will advance to the Semifinal. Subsequently, a draw determined the order in which these competitors will take the stage. Semifinalists – ART SONG In order of appearance Friday June 3,…

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One of the Verdi’s best-known operas with many recognizable tunes, La Traviata tells the tragic love story of Parisian courtesan Violetta, who initially rejects the notion of love, but eventually falls for the handsome Alfredo, only to be forced to relinquish her life with him, in the name of saving his family’s honour. Conducted by Music Director Johannes Debus, this is a revival of COC’s 2015 production under director Arin Arbus, which stays true to Verdi’s original vision for the opera, and transports the audience back into the world of Paris’ elite in the mid-1800s. What you missed Egyptian-born soprano…

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Galileo presents two concerts Galileo has been based in Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent, southwest of Montreal, since its establishment in October 2010. Comprising 15 to 35 instrumentalists, this chamber orchestra bills itself as the only Canadian orchestra specializing in historically informed performance of symphonic repertoire from approximately 1730 to 1930. On April 19, at  Saint-Michel Catholic Church in Vaudreuil-Dorion, the orchestra presents its first concert under the direction of Daniel Constantineau with a program resolutely turned towards modernity: Beethoven’s Great Fugue, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, Webern’s Fünf Sätze (Five Movements) and Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2. On June 3, at  the Nativity Catholic Church…

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While its 2021 piano edition, won by South Korean Su Yeon Kim, certainly prevailed during the pandemic, it was only able to do so by pre-recording performance rounds in 16 cities throughout the world. This year, for the vocal edition, the Montreal International Music Competition (i.e. CMIM: Concours musical international de Montréal) can finally welcome back candidates on site, as well as live audiences to its halls. General and Artistic Director Christiane LeBlanc looks upon this reunion with great happiness. For her, the past two years have been synonymous with pitfalls, but also with extraordinary lessons for the future. …

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At long last many COVID restrictions have been removed almost entirely across Canada, yet opera lovers are apparently not quite ready to flock back to the Met Live in HD showings at their local theatres. At the theatre I attended—Cineplex VIP Don Mills in Toronto—for Verdi’s Don Carlos on Saturday, March 26, there were fewer than 20 people in attendance. But those who passed up the show missed a great day for Canadian singers. The entire cast led by American tenor Matthew Polenzani in the title role was outstanding, but Canadians Etienne Dupuis as Rodrigue and John Relyea as the…

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Author : (Gianmarco Segato)
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The music of George Frideric Handel has always been at the core of Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin’s repertoire. One of her earliest recordings, a 1999 Analekta disc of Handel arias with Tafelmusik under the direction of the late Jeanne Lamon, features two arias from Handel’s 1735 opera seria, Alcina. They provide a ­tantalizing early career glimpse of the present moment just as Gauvin has ­triumphed as Alcina in a new production built around her considerable talents by Czech opera director Jiří Heřman for Brno’s National ­Theatre. After its February 2022 première in the Czech Republic, the production travelled to Versailles…

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Author : (Gianmarco Segato)

Mother’s Day is the sort of manufactured holiday often cloaked in sentimentality and clichés. Long-stemmed red roses, exorbitantly overpriced brunches, ­cloying greeting-card poetry—all point to a skewed, idealistic view of motherhood. The commercialization of Mother’s Day does a disservice to the endlessly nuanced roles mothers play in all cultures, and the incredibly complex relationship their children have with them.  If Mother’s Day is all chocolates and ­bouquets, then opera’s mothers are contrastingly short-shrifted in another way, almost always portrayed as harridans and manipulators with a penchant for infanticide or suicide. But mostly they are distant, off-stage presences, usually only granted…

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Opera singers who boast contracts with big-name recording labels are rare these days, but American soprano Nadine Sierra can count herself among that select few. Her newly-released album on Deutsche Grammophon is entitled Made for Opera. Eschewing the more usual calling-card list of standard lyric soprano arias, Sierra takes a more curated approach, focusing on three iconic heroines, all of whom she has sung multiple times on stage. Verdi’s Violetta in La traviata, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Gounod’s Juliette from Roméo et Juliette are presented in most of their major arias and scenes. The Italian selections are injected with…

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Baritenor Michael Spyres, baritone-tenor; Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg; Marko Letonja, conductor. Erato, 2022 Tenor Michael Spyres is a name known to all opera buffs, his reputation hinging on a repertoire of light operatic fare. Critics rave about his performances of Italian arias by Donizetti and Bellini, but native French speakers give him high marks for his impeccable diction of lyrics in their own tongue. That said, the star vocalist has another ace in his deck. In his latest effort, entitled Baritenor and issued on the Erato label, he sticks to his usual range while dropping it a few steps into…

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Unreleased Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano, Maxim Vengerov, violin; Basel’s Kammerorchester (Switzerland), Muhai Tang, conductor Decca Classics, 2021 No one in the music world circumvented the pandemic, not even its most celebrated icons. Cecilia Bartoli, for one, spent her time away from the scene to dig into her own archives, the outcome of her searches resulting in the issuing of Unreleased late last year. “Unreleased is the result of many hours spent at home over a period of several months,” she explained. “While the restrictions […] have sometimes been difficult to bear, they have also offered us the opportunity to pause, breathe…

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