Opera Canada

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

Articles from Vol. 44, No. 1, Spring

A Guide to Jon Vickers on DVD
Canadian tenor Jon Vickers (born 1926) was one of the most remarkable singing actors of the 20th century. His performances, marked by a unique blend of dramatic insight, impeccable musicianship and intense commitment, were often overwhelming in their...
Alcina. (United States: San Francisco; Opera in Review)
A string of stagings new to San Francisco Opera closed the autumn, defining clearly the combination of superior musical values and strong production concepts that mark the new directorship of Pamela Rosenberg. The Stuttgart production of Alcina, realized...
A View from the Bridge: Isabel Bayrakdarian (Catherine) and Kim Josephson (Eddie) in the Metropolitan Opera Production. (Opera in Review: New York)
William Balcom's A View from the Bridge, which premiered at the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1999, opened at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2002. The bridge in question is the Brooklyn Bridge, which frequently loomed in back projection over the action....
Boris Godunov. (CDs)
Mussorgsky London, Mitukova, Shumskaya, Shulpin, Ivanovsky, Archipova, Grigoriev. Chorus and orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre. Alexander Melik-Pashaev, conductor. Sony Classical S3K 52571 (3 CDs). ** I wish I could be more enthusiastic about...
Canadian Themes and Variations: In the Second of Two Articles, Eric Domville Assesses Some Distinctively Local Additions to a Universal Art
IN my previous article, I tried to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of current funding, production strategies and educational initiatives among our opera companies. In other words, my subject was the context of Canadian opera. In this...
Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci: John MacMaster (Canio) and Christiane Riel (Nedda) in the Opera De Montreal Production. (Opera in Review: Montreal)
L'Opera de Montreal finally got around to presenting the familiar double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and / Pagliacci in November, having coupled each opera with other partners in the past. It was a successful production, if heavily weighted in favor...
Create & Command
The highest faculty of a conductor, wrote George Bernard Shaw, is to establish "a magnetic influence in which an orchestra becomes as amenable to the baton as a pianoforte to the fingers." In the second of a two-part series, Paula Citron discovers...
Debut: Robert Pomakov
Bass Robert Pomakov has listed Don Giovanni's numerous sexual conquests many times singing Leporello's famous "catalogue aria" at auditions, but this month he gets his first chance to follow the Don all the way to his hellish end. A great fan of Mozart's...
Editor's Notebook
What a small difference a decade makes to the roster of most frequently produced operas by Canadian and American companies. Or so it seems from an interesting article in a recent issue of Opera America's magazine, Newsline. According to the statistics,...
Filumena: Gaetan Laperriere (Emilio Picariello) and Laura Whalen in the Title Role of the Calgary Opera World Premiere. (Calgary)
Filumena, by John Estacio and John Murrell, opened at Calgary Opera to a highly positive reception. An Albertan story brought to operatic life by two Albertans, the new work captured the imagination and played to full houses. The plot is based on...
Grand Tradition: Paul Frey
Even in a profession replete with idiosyncratic life histories, the story of heldentenor Paul Frey is among the most remarkable. Who would have guessed that a hockey-loving young man, at 16 already driving a truck and singing Elvis tunes to amuse himself...
Hansel Und Gretel. (Canada: Calgary)
With a clever set designed by Terry Gunvordahl, effective, detailed stage direction by Elizabeth Bachman and generally fine singing from a well-chosen cast, Calgary Opera's production of Humperdinek's Hansel und Gretel played to near-full houses. Calgary...
Janacek's Jenufa. (Canada: Toronto; Opera in Review)
Naturalism and abstraction, traditionally opposites in the staging of opera, came together with surprising success in the Canadian Opera Company's February remounting of its acclaimed 1995 production of Janacek's Jenufa at Toronto's Hummingbird Centre....
La Damnation De Faust. (CDs)
Berlioz Verreau, Roux, Rubio, Mollet. Choeur Elizabeth Brasseur/Choeur Enfants RTF, Orchestre Lamoureux, Igor Markevitch, conductor. Deutsche Grammophon463 673-2 (2 CDs). **** There are a couple of very good reasons for noting this non-opera...
La Fille Du Regiment: John Tessier (Tonio), Elizabeth Futral (Marie) and Thomas Goerz (Sergeant Sulpice) in the Vancouver Opera Production. (Vancouver)
Vancouver Opera's November production of Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment looked as good as it sounded. It was also funny, but maybe too funny. There's licence for comedy in the opera, which incorporates spoken dialogue, but there was so much of it...
Lakme. (Canada: Hamilton)
Opera Ontario continued its exploration of less-familiar repertoire with a smartly minimal production of Delibes' Lakme. Known largely for the Act I barcarole for Lakme and her serving girl, which famously became the television calling-card for British...
Lindy. (International: Australia; Opera in Review)
SYDNEY Opera Australia presented a world premiere as the last offering of its 2002 season at the Sydney Opera House. Entitled Lindy, Moya Henderson's musically interesting, and often eloquent and moving, work tells the true story of Lindy Chamberlain,...
Love Duets. (CDs)
Handel LeBlanc, Taylor. Arion, Stephen Stubbs, conductor. ATMA ACD2 2260. ***** We often think of the love duet as a 19th-century operatic device, but of course it is not. Nevertheless, I can't recall coining across another recording such as...
New Productions/new Roles: Measha Bruggergosman Signs Liu in the Cincinnati Opera Presentation of Turandot
Though increasingly prominent on opera and concert stages, soprano Measha Bruggergosman still wants "one last kick at the educational can." In early March, she faced a week of comprehensive exams to win a place in the New York Julliard School of Music's...
Nonpareil. (United States: New York; Opera in Review)
The Metropolitan Opera's early winter season found two of the Three Canadian Tenors--Michael Schade and Richard Margison--in the forefront of activity. Schade, a Mozartian tenor nonpareil, returned to the Met in one of his greatest roles, Don Ottavio,...
On Stage: Aline Kutan
When Aline Kutan replaced Sumi Jo in Michigan Opera Theater's 2002 performance of Lakme, she was lavished with the kind of reviews most sopranos would kill for. Critics struggled to find superlatives to describe her coloratura brilliance. Despite this...
Paris: Carl Morey on the City of Light's Rich and Varied Opera Scene. (Touring Opera)
I once saw a production of La Boheme at the Paris Opera in which it seemed a nearby street had been wheeled on stage for the scene in the Latin Quarter. Paris can be like that: a vast stage set on which tourists and residents play out their roles according...
Semiramide. (Canada: Toronto; Opera in Review)
Opera in Concert closed 2002 with a well-prepared and very dramatically sung performance of Rossini's Semiramide. First performed in Venice in 1823, Rossini wrote this exotic opera seria with his first wife, the singer Isabella Colbran, in mind for...
Thais. (United States: Chicago; Opera in Review)
Massenet's Thais is a difficult opera to bring off successfully. Its pseudo-Orientalism and pseudo-sexiness, along with a well-worn plot (reformation of a prostitute), can appear outmoded and easy to deride. Yet Lyric Opera of Chicago indeed brought...
The Land of Smiles. (Canada: Toronto; Opera in Review)
With each successive production, Toronto Operetta Theatre comes more and more of age, and the polished production of The Land of Smiles was one of the company's best efforts thus far. The operetta was well sung and looked gorgeous, thanks to David...
What I Think About: Repertory versus Stagione Opera
By their T-shirts shall ye know them. And in case this piece of folk wisdom brings confusion to the ear and eye, consider the merchandise differences between the boutiques of Canadian and American opera companies and those of an old-world house such...
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