Opera Canada

Provides an educated, upscale audience with valuable information on exciting artists, recordings, and events.

Articles from Vol. 52, No. 2, Summer

Atlanta
Atlanta Opera's Cosi fan tutte (Mar.) was a night of impeccable singing from every member of the young cast. Soprano Keri Alkema sang Fiordiligi with a rich, secure sound and fine technique. Hugely talented, she seems to have burst onto the scene in...
Berkeley, Calif
Lorin Maazel's newly emergent Castleton Festival Opera went on the road to University of California, Berkeley, with Benjamin Britten's comic chamber opera, Albert Herring, in a lively staging by Laine Goerner with bright sets and costumes by Nicholas...
Calgary
Verdi's Aida closed Calgary Opera's current season Apr. 9-15 with a production that played to full houses and clearly pleased its audiences. Central to the success was the impressive set and costumes (courtesy of Edmonton Opera), anchored by an impressive...
Chants Libres at 20: Taking a Determined Stand on New Creation
IN May, Montreal-based Chants Libres cel- I ebrated its 20th anniversary with an eve-ning of staged scenes from the 13 works it has commissioned and produced since it was founded in 1990. It's an eclectic and challenging mix, from Ne blamez jowls les...
Collaborative Art: Show by Show, Toronto Masque Theatre Is Finding Its Own Way to Fuse Old and New
BY definition, a masque is a Renaissance or Baroque ceremonial court entertainment that fuses music, dance and theatre with pageantry and scenic splendor. Clearly, Toronto Masque Theatre, with a shoestring annual budget that has hovered between $105,000...
Dairine Ni Mheadhra
I'm sitting across the table from Dairine Ni Mheadhra (the name is pronounced Doyrina Knee Vara) in the Queen of Puddings Music Theatre office in Toronto's Distillery District and she suddenly looks a bit--to use a lovely term she likes herself--gobsmacked....
DVDs
DOCTOR ATOMIC ADAMS SONY: 88697 80665 9 MADAMA BUTTERFLY PUCCINI SONY: 88697 80662 9 SALOME STRAUSS SONY: 88697 80663 9 SIMON BOCCANEGRA VERDI SONY: 88697 80664 9 These Metropolitan Opera Live in HD releases all...
Edmonton
Edmonton Opera closed its 47th season with a Tosca (seen Apr. 9) that was as conventional a reading as could be. There were none of the eccentricities roundly condemned in Luc Bondy's Metropolitan Opera production. The New York Times critic Anthony...
Etienne Boucher
Put it down to quirky coincidence, but the day after Etienne Boucher graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal in 1999, someone asked him to help load the sets for Robert Lepage's production of Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, en route...
Etienne Dupuis
When talking to or about Etienne Dupuis, banish any preconceived ideas or perceptions about modern opera singers. In many respects Dupuis is the epitome of what a young, modern artist should be: an accomplished musician, the possessor of a gorgeously...
Gerald Finley
"I think it went just about as well as I could have hoped," is baritone Gerald Finley's take on the May 21 opening night of Glyndebournc's new production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Numberg when I call him o days later." Future performances may...
Germany: Berlin
A spring week in Berlin contained five productions that exhibited some constant factors: spectacular orchestral playing, for the most part; excellent choral work under the American William Spaulding; variable solo performances, as happens in any opera...
Halifax
This year's Opera Workshop at Dalhousie University (early Feb.) was a double-bill of Bohuslav Martinu's Comedy on the Bridge and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (ably prepared by Gregory Servant, Marcia Swanston and conductor Adam Burnett). Brent Krysa directed...
Hamilton
After an 18-year absence, the familiar double bill of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci returned to Hamilton Place (seen Apr. 21). This time around, Opera Hamilton's staging was a multimedia affair thanks to Ben Chaisson's...
Haydn Arias
Jane Archibald ATMA: ACD 22664 Nova Scotian soprano Jane Archibald has established a name for herself in Europe, and is now moving strongly into North America. Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos has become a signature role, earning...
Ileana Montalbetti
Surely it's all in the genes. While nurture has played a part in its eternal duel with nature, it's hard to see how talented young soprano Ileana Montalbetti could have avoided an artistic-life. Her mother, Barbara, is Artistic Director of Saskatoon...
Jane Archibald: A Dizzying Round of House and Role Debuts Halts Only for Her Marriage
Jane Archibald arrives for an interview after a day of rehearsals for the Canadian Opera Company's spring production of Ariadne auf Naxos full of energy and good humor. Two of her colleagues pass by and remind her to join cast and crew for post-rehearsal...
Joseph Rouleau: Hommage
Analekta: AN 2 9874-6 I confess I had some difficulty moving beyond the first of the three discs in this marvellous set, a tribute to one of Canada's most distinguished vocal artists and issued to mark the 60th anniversary of Jeunesses Musicales, the...
La Conversione Di Clodoveo, Re Dl Francia
CALDARA ATMA: ACD2 2505 Antonio Caldara, an older contemporary of Vivaldi who was born in Venice around 1670 and died in Vienna in 1736. composed an astonishing 80 operas, 38 oratorios and 100 cantatas, among other works. he had the distinction...
Leonard Turnevicius Tells a Tale of Three Houses in One City
Consider the prospect--500 performances of about 80 operas every year in three repertory houses within five kilometres of each other. If you're an opera buff, you might think that's the stuff of dying and going to heaven. But no, welcome to Berlin....
Mezzo on the Run: Rick MacMillan Catches Up with Allyson McHardy
"I always say that mezzos get to do even-thing: Baroque, modem, Rossini, a lot of coloratura, Carmen. We cover a wide range," says Allyson McHardy, a singer who really has, it seems, done just about everything in her still-short career, having appeared...
Montreal
L'Opera de Montreal succeeded in presenting good voices and great music in Strauss's Salome (seen Mar. 19), but alas, the staging by Sean Curran failed. This was perhaps the most unfortunate staging of Salome I have ever seen, the action supposedly...
New York
How nice it would be, with Robert Lepage and Co.'s Metropolitan Opera Ring at its halfway point, to have left the brand-new Die Walkure brimming with happy anticipation of Siegfried next fall! Though--thanks mostly to the singers--it's a more involving...
Notebook
One of the privileges of editing this magazine is that over the course of any given quarter between issues, I go to a lot of operas, concerts and recitals. One of the curses of limited space is that we can only cover opera for the most part, and so...
Picture Perfect
Toronto gallery Bau-XI in February mounted Opera Houses, an exhibition of works by New York photographic artist David Leventi. In attendance for the opening, he took the opportunity to add another house to his international roster by setting up his...
Seattle
Massenet's Don Quichotte is so charming, I cannot help but wonder why, like The Bartered Bride, it is staged so seldom. True, the title character is a bit of a nutter, lost in a fantasy world of chivalry and righting wrongs he's too old to do much...
Spain: Valencia
After the final performance of 1984 by Lorin Maazel (Mar. 6), I had a moment of hesitation. Leaving the spaceship theatre of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia set amidst Valencia's futuristic steel and glass "City of Arts and Sciences," there was the...
Strasbourg
The concluding chapter of David McVicar's production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle at Strasbourg's Opera National du Rhin (Feb./Mar) presented a last chance for many to watch the sun set on this much-acclaimed production. The challenge...
The Ballad Singer
Gerald Finley, Julius Drake Hyperion: CDA 67830 Gerald Finley is one of today's busiest and finest baritones. But Finley goes beyond a warm, focused voice, intelligence and expressiveness. The range of his career is truly impressive, illustrated...
Toronto
History has been slow to recognize the merits of La demenza di Tito, beginning with Empress Maria Luisa at the Prague premiere in 1791 describing Mozart's opera as "una porcheria tedesca" ("German hogswash") and continuing through to the early 20th...
United Kingdom: London
As conductor Sir Colin Davis laid out the slow introduction to Mozart's Die Zauberflote overture at Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Feb.), the instrumental strands appeared and came into focus as gently as evening stars. Thus the tone was set for an evening...
Vancouver
La traviata, Vancouver Opera's final staging of the season (opening Apr. 30) was a distinguished co-production with Glimmerglass Opera. Primarily known for his directorial innovations Jonathan Miller nevertheless chose to leave this Traviata in...
Verdi Scenes
Sondra Radvanovsky, Dmitri Hvorostovsky Debs: 3403 Here's an enjoyable disc that's self-recommending to admirers of the underrecorded soprano and just a little less so to the well-documented baritone's legion of fans. Captured live in June 2008...
Victoria
Pacific Opera Victoria's big drama on the opening night of Puccini's La boheme (Feb. 17) was offstage, when American tenor Gerard Powers flew in from New York at 1:30 in the afternoon to take over the role of Rodolfo from Canadian Luc Robert, down...
Waterloo, Ont
Director Michael Cavanagh had a refreshing take on Mozart's Die Zauberflote at Wilfrid Laurier University's Opera Laurier in March. This Arctic Flute, as a projection dubbed it during the overture, finds the explorer Pamino reaching the Arctic and...
Winnipeg
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better opera to close your season than Mozart's ever-popular Die Zauberflote. Manitoba Opera last staged it in 2001, but brought it back this past spring. Sung in German with English dialogue, director Michael Cavanagh...