Opera Canada

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

Articles from Vol. 51, No. 4, Winter

Alain Coulombe
We often hear stories of singers who come to their careers by happenstance, or at the urging of friends, relatives or colleagues. That was the path followed by Alain Coulombe, the much-in-demand bass who hails from the historic town of Matane in the...
Arias
ARIAS Marie-Josee Lord ATMA: ACD2 2649 Although something of a star in Quebec, Marie-Josee Lord is not so well known in English-speaking Canada. Haitian by birth, she was six when a Quebec family adopted her. She came to singing relatively...
Carmen
CARMEN Bizet DG: 073 4581 The Metropolitan Opera is currently in its fifth season of live, high-definition broadcasts from Lincoln Center, and they are now seen in movie theatres in more than 40 countries around the globe. Fortunately for...
Charlotte Corwin
Inspiration and influences are major themes in the emerging career of soprano Charlotte Corwin. During her formative years as a member of Montreal's Concerto Delia Donna female chamber choir, choirmaster Iwan Edwards, who also trains the Montreal Symphony...
Creative Moves
Soprano Barbara Hannigan is passionate about performing contemporary repertoire. We asked her to keep track of her latest creation--Pascal Dusapin's Passion Most dancers plan for retirement as they near 40.1, on the other hand, made my dance...
Don Giovanni
Any expectations of hearing a Sturm und Drang-era authentic performance of the revival of the Salburg Festival's 2008 production of Don Giovanni were dashed from the outset on Aug. 9. In the pit, Yannick Nezet-Seguin drew out a very full-bodied sound...
Edmonton Opera
Edmonton Opera opened its 47th season on Oct. 23 with Puccini's La boheme in pretty much the same production as the opera's last outing here just over. Eric Fennell's Rodolfo this time didn't have as much projective power to fill the Jubilee Auditorium's...
Francois St-Aubin
Francois St-Aubin designed the costumes for the Metropolitan Opera's current production of Der Ring des Nibe-lungen. Born in Joliette, Quebec, in 1961, he studied stage design at the National Theatre School in Montreal, where, encouraged by his teachers,...
Given the Subject Matter
Given the subject matter of this magazine, it's always about creators and creativity. But I'm particularly pleased with the way the three central features in this issue illustrate this, in part because in two of the articles the creators are also the...
Italienisches Liederbuch
ITALIENISCHES LIEDERBUCH WOLF Catherine Rabbin, Daniel Lichti, Leslie De'ath Analekta: 2 9956 Written in two creative outbursts and published in two volumes, Wolf's collection of 46 exquisite songs, many of which are no longer than 20 measures...
Jessica Muirhead
In the half dozen years since her professional debut, Jessica Muirhead has established herself among the most promising young lyric sopranos. Her lovely voice, with a crystal-clear, shimmering timbre, is smooth and even throughout its range and backed...
John Tessier
Tenor John Tessier likes to say his career has been a slow and steady progression. Slow and steady it may be, but it also glitters. He has sung opera and oratorio on every continent except Africa, and is booked solid for the near future. Not bad for...
La Cenerentola
ROSSINI DG: 073 4577 EIina Garanca made her Met debut as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2008. La cenerentola followed a year later. Yet she does not consider herself a Rossini singer. "It's a challenge for me to make those little notes...
Le Deserteur
LE DESERTEUR MONSIGNY Naxos: 8.660263-64 This intriguing new release makes a strong case for the rehabilitation of French composer Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny (1729-1817). Although this performance of his 1769 "drama in three acts" is somewhat...
Let Beauty Awake
LET BEAUTY AWAKE Joshua Hopkins, Jerad Mosbey ATMA: AACD2 2615 If you are a fan of songs in English, this disc is for you. The title is taken from Ralph Vaughan Williams' popular Songs of Travel, which opens the recital. Songs by Canadian...
Letter from Valencia: Wayne Gooding Takes Stock of How Spain's Third Company Is Faring after Five Seasons
Of the 41 UNESCO World Heritage Sites recognized in Spain, the old Mediterranean city ofValencia currently boasts just one. La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange Market) is a lovely late-15th-century pile, recognized as a prime example of Spanish Gothic...
Letter from Verona: Leonard Turnevicius Takes in the Spectacle of the World's Biggest Open-Air Opera Stage
In the 1st century AD, gladiators duelled here; in Medieval times, hordes gathered to watch heretics burn; during the Renaissance, prostitutes lived under its arches; Napoleon enjoyed bullfights here, then turned the structure into a POW camp; Rossini...
L'Opera De Quebec
L'Opera de Quebec staged its first Il trovatore Oct. 23. Verdi's sombre opera was directed by Valerie Kuinka, vigorously and authoritatively conducted by Daniel Lipton and performed by four first-rate singers in the leading roles. The cast moved...
Lyric Opera of Chicago
British Commonwealth nations cast a long shadow over Lyric Opera of Chicago's first production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (seen Nov. 5), with a Scottish conductor (Rory MacDonald), Australian stage director (Neil Armfield) and designers...
Metropolitan Opera's
Ugly (the basic set looked like a beach-town boardwalk painted gray), noisy (the elaborate stage machinery that allowed the set to rise and fall, bend and flex) and dramatically inert (everything that went on in front of and within it), the Metropolitan...
Michigan Opera Theatre's
Brimming with loopy slapstick and campy humor, Michigan Opera Theatre's The Mikado, which opened the company's 40th-anniversary season at the Detroit Opera House on Oct. 16, was sometimes a little too cute for its own good. Director Michael Scarola...
Minnesota Opera
Minnesota Opera is on a roll. For its season-opener in September, the company offered a thoughtful, evocative retelling of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, following that up on Oct. 30 with a light-hearted, elegant production of Rossini's La cenerentola....
Ne Me Refuse Pas
NE ME REFUSE PAS Marie-Nicole Lemieux Naive: V 5201 Although the gifted 35-year-old French-Canadian contralto has had great success with such operas as Verdi's Falstaff Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, she remains best known for her exemplary...
Opera Erratica
Opera Erratica and the Classical Music Consort presented the third edition of its Underground/Opera series in a large metal shed behind industrial buildings on a west Toronto street on a steamy Aug. 24. A first cultural edition it certainly was, merging...
Opera Hamilton
Opera Hamilton opened its 31st season with Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (seen Oct. 21). A welcome return for Figaro and friends after an eight-year absence, the production also marked company debuts of four lead singers, conductor Gordon Gerrard and...
Opera in Concert
Alexander Pushkin wasn't able to revise his mock-epic Ruslan and Lyudmila as composer Mikhail Glinka requested because the poet was killed in a duel occasioned by allegations of his wife's infidelity. That's one reason why the libretto for Glinka's...
Opera National De Paris
There was no little grumbling about the season-opening productions at the Opera National de Paris. At the Bastille, there were no new productions, only revivals of two Willy Decker productions, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Wagner's Die fliegende...
Otello
Otello Verdi LSO Live: LSO0700 (CD) Arthaus Musik: 101 505 (DVD) Met Opera: 811357012185 (DVD) Here's a wonderful trio of recent Otellos, all three showcasing Canadian artists and spanning almost half a century. The Arthaus Musik DVD...
Pacific Opera Victoria's
Pacific Opera Victoria's La cenerentola (seen opening night Sept. 30) was not what you would call subtle. It did not plumb the subtext of the Cinderella fairytale for deep profundities or startling revelations. On the contrary, it was loud; it was...
Period Pieces: After a Quarter Century, Marshall Pynkoski Reflects on the Evolution of Opera Atelier's Approach to Performing Style
I am, as I write this, engrossed in technical rehearsals for the new production of Handel's Acis and Galatea that will celebrate the opening of Opera Atelier's 25th-anniversary season. I have been at the Elgin Theatre with set designer Gerard Gauci...
Pierre Boutet November 6, 1925-October 27, 2010
Tenor Pierre Boutet died in Quebec City in October, a few days before his 85th birthday. Born in that city in 1925, he began vocal studies with Emile Larochelle. By 1947, he had completed his musical training, first at Columbia University in New York...
Rossini Opera Festival
Toronto native Yves Abel led a lithe and spirited account of La cenerentola at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy (seen Aug. 14). Leading the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Abel's tempi were quick when required, yet adroitly paced...
Salzburg Festival
For the Salzburg Festival's remount of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette in the Felsen-reitschule (Aug. 10-30), Polish tenor Piotr Beczala sang Romeo to the returning Juliette of Anna Netrebko. She was far and away the largest voice on stage, seemingly proving...
Santa Fe Opera
Santa Fe Opera has always been a favorite destination of Canadian singers, with four singing this year in major roles. Top honors went to baritone Joshua Hopkins, who did double duty in both Die Zauberflote and Albert Herring. Wearing a baseball cap...
Summoning a Shady Character: For His First Opera, Conductor and Composer Bramwell Tovey Brings the Scion of a Famous Canadian Family to Musical Life
Since moving to Canada to lead the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in the late 1980s, Bramwell Tovey has made an enormous contribution to the country's musical life. Besides his work leading that orchestra and establishing the city's singular New Music...
Teatro Real
As Jenny Smith, Measha Brueggergosman was stunning in her premiere in Madrid's Teatro Real in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, the opening night (Sept 30), seen in cinemas across Europe. Her height and stage manner reinforced a deep-felt interpretation...
Thais Massenet
THAIS MASSENET Decca: 0743355 Although popular up to World War II, Massenet's exotic Thais virtually disappeared from the operatic stage afterwards. After a 1939 staging at the Metropolitan Opera, it was almost four decades before a new production...
The Final Take: Music Nathalie Paulin Can't Live Without
After a busy year that has taken her to Washington and New York (for Opera Lafayette's presentation of Gluck's Armide), Ottawa (Massenet's Manon for Opera Lyra Opera), Rotterdam (Poulenc's La voix humaine and Debussy's L'enfant prodigue conducted by...
The Little Opera Company's
The Little Opera Company's witty revival of Mozart's The Impresario (Der Schauspieldirektor) proved an ideal way to while away a summer's eve on Aug. 11. The five-member cast performed to a capacity crowd in Winnipeg's St. James Anglican, Western Canada's...
UBC Opera Ensemble
The rebirth of the University of British Columbia's Old Auditorium has been hailed with great enthusiasm. Stephen Quigley of Colborne Architects, working in close collaboration with Nancy Hermiston, UBC Opera Ensemble's Director restored this grande...
Vancouver Opera
The excitement simmered in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre lobby before the show erupted into a rolling boil of applause at the final curtain. The hugely anticipated world premiere of Vancouver Opera's Lillian Ailing (Oct. 16). resourcefully directed by...
Wexford Festival Opera
After last year's deeply disappointing season, this year's Wexford Festival Opera (Oct. 12-Nov. 5) showed the festival once again in roundly chiming form. The season opened with a rousing triumph, both for Wexford and for the evening's 215-year-old...
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