Corona Serenades: Q & A with Bradley Christensen, baritone (New-Zealand)

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Meet Bradley Christensen, baritone (New-Zealand), new singer for Corona Serenades


How has Covid-19 affected you? 

Professionally, this has been a frustrating time. I’ve had numerous engagements cancelled, which for any artist, has had a big financial impact. Add to this the unknowing of when concert-life opens up again has doubled my concern. However, in saying that, it has been interesting to see the discussions that are happening surrounding the distribution of artistic creations, not just during this pandemic, but going forward. The conversations on a variety of topics can only be good for this art form.

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I have been keeping busy however. This time in isolation presented me with an opportunity to write a thesis proposal for a doctorate in musical arts, which has since been approved. So, lots of reading and writing for me.

On the personal side, COVID-19 has meant I have been able to spend nearly every minute with my wonderful wife. She is a high-school teacher, and during the year, we hardly get to see one another. My singing is generally evening work, or I am away on a contract, which makes it difficult to line up our schedules. And as for her, well…as a teacher, she works both day and night! So…I generally feel alone. No I’m kidding! Sadly, we were supposed to have our honeymoon this summer after two years of marriage (again, schedules haven’t lined up), but that will have to be postponed!

I really can’t complain though. There are major issues that need addressing around the world right now, so in the grand scheme of things, luckily, I haven’t been greatly affected by COVID.

What are your 5 favorite operas?

Oooh, good question!

  1. Marriage of Figaro. It’s the first opera I saw, and I think it’s genius!
  2. La bohéme
  3. At this point, it gets tricky. I have favourites for differing reasons, such as because of a production I was in. One of these is actually a Canadian opera by John Estacio, called Ours. It’s about a Newfoundland regiment during WW1. Great music, and a really emotional story. A must see!

What are your dream roles?

  1. Eugene Onegin
  2. Valentin (Faust)
  3. Billy Budd

And oh so many!

What movies, books, TV shows would you recommend?

TV Shows = Money Heist (soooo good), Lucifer, Avatar

Books = the stories by Louise Penny or Arthur Conan Doyle. Wow it seems I like mysteries 🙂

Why have you signed on to work with the Corona Serenades project? 

Music is such an important part of life. It can provide comfort, bring joy, and during this time, a personalized video is such a lovely touch.

Repertoire: 

– Sibilar gli’ angui d’Aletto (Rinaldo) – Handel

– Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja (Die Zauberflöte) – Mozart

– Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo (Cosi fan tutte) – Mozart

– E fra quest’ ansie (Pagliacci) – Leoncavallo

– Kogda by zhizn’ domashnim krugom (Eugene Onegin) – Tachaikovsky

– Tickling a Trout (Albert Herring) – Britten

– Lord, God of Abraham (Elijah) – Mendelssohn

– Some enchanted evening (South Pacific) – Rogers and Hammerstein

Special requests encouraged! For a more extensive list, see website.

Biography

Equally comfortable on both concert and operatic stages, New Zealand born baritone Bradley Christensen has continued to earn praise for his “most well-rounded instrument…focused, rich, and sympathetically communicative” (Natasha Gautier, Ottawa Citizen).

Bradley obtained his Masters in Music from the University of Toronto in 2015, receiving the University of Toronto – Faculty of Music Vocal Performance and Pedagogy Graduate Award. In 2016, Bradley was invited by The Royal Conservatory to hold one of seven positions in their prestigious Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program. Bradley furthered his artistic development as a young artist with Opera on the Avalon, Highlands Opera Studio, and Opera North.

Bradley maintains a busy schedule on both concert and operatic stages. Highlights for the concert stage this past year include: performances of Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 with Orchestra Toronto, and the North York Concert Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Guelph Chamber Singers.

In opera, this past year included his debut with Opera Atelier in the role of High Priest in Mozart’s Idomeneo.  Other highlights for the season included: Marcello with Fraser Lyric Opera in Puccini’s La Bohéme, The Creature with Ager Productions in Ager’s Frankenstein, Aeolus with Schola Cantorum in Purcell’s King Arthur, Max/Escamillo with Loose Tea Music Theatre in Carmen: #allwomen, and Captain Corcoran with Toronto Operetta Theatre in Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S Pinafore.

Bradley is also a keen recitalist, having performed in the Canadian Opera Company Concert Series, the Concerts @100 Series, the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, and with the Pocket Concert Group.

Awards include the Sondra Radvanovsky scholarship, awarded by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists as one of 10 ‘Singing Stars: The Next Generation’; the Pears-Britten singing scholarship (University of Auckland); the Marie D’Albini scholarship in singing (University of Auckland); and a travelling scholarship to study in Italy in 2007 (University of Auckland). Bradley has also been a top 10 finalist in the New Zealand Aria Competition, the LEXUS Song Quest and the Rochester International Voice Competition.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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