Opera Canada

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

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 2, Summer

About the House: The COC's Richard Bradshaw Often Jokes That the Battle to Build an Opera House Has Been like a 30 Years War. Can It Be That Final Victory Is Just One Year Away?
First it was happening, then it wasn't. Then, for a while, it was hard to tell whether it was happening or not. But now, it is definitely happening: the Canadian Opera Company's new home--named the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts--is rising...
A Midsummer Night's Dream; Left to Right: David Daniels (Oberon), Ofelia Sala (Titania), Brigitte Hahn (Helena) and Emil Wolk (Puck) in the Gran Teatre del Liceu Production
When the curtain rose on the third act of the Robert Carsen production of Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the audience in Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu broke into spontaneous applause. Against a royal-blue backdrop, the blissful lovers...
Atlanta Opera
The impact of Atlanta Opera's new production of Beethoven's Fidelio, a timeless story of political imprisonment, was heightened by being produced in a country that currently has both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisoners on its conscience. Using...
Calgary Opera
Berlin cabaret is etched forever in the modern mind as the soul of Weimar Republic Germany, with its unique culture of biting satire and tired, world-weary ennui. Calgary Opera lovingly recreated this environment in its final event in a season without...
Covering the Part: If You're Making Your Career as an Opera Singer, There's a Time When a Company Might Pay You Even When It Hopes You Won't Sing
OPERA HISTORY IS REPLETE WITH ACCOUNTS OF EVERY CONCEIVable variation on this archetypal opera theme: unannounced and perhaps hitherto undiscovered singer triumphantly fills in for ailing opera star--preferably at the last minute on an important opening...
David Agler
"I made my first visit to Wexford in 1996, as a conductor, and had a most happy and productive time. I remember thinking, 'What a fortunate man [then director] Luigi Ferrari is!' Well, I'm that fortunate man now, and after only six months in the post,...
Die Schone Mullerin: Schubert
DIE SCHONE MULLERIN Schubert Michael Schade, tenor, Malcolm Martineau, piano. CBC Records MVCD 1170 Canada's most renowned lyric tenor makes a superb showing in this long-awaited release with his regular partner, the British pianist Malcolm...
Gordon Gietz
Enter tenor Gordon Gietz's website and click on "Bio." Up flashes the prompt "Warning: Software has detected gross exaggeration and inflated operatic ego. Realty filters will now be engaged." The page abruptly vanishes, but there's just enough time...
Great Canadian Singers/L'art Lyrique Au Canada: 1950-1990
GREAT CANADIAN SINGERS/L'ART LYRIQUE AU CANADA 1950-1990 XXI-21 Productions XXI CD2 1443 (4 CDs) Some years ago, Montreal's XXI-21 Productions released a magnificent CD, Opera Souvenirs (XXI CD2 1420), with recordings by four great Canadian...
Hair-Raising Tales: Getting to the Roots of the Wig-Maker's Art
Imagine taking two or three 12-inch human hairs and knotting them through a hole in a piece of netting that looks like crinoline but feels much softer. Now imagine, with a tool much like a rug hook in hand, doing this repeatedly--knotting the hair...
Hansel and Gretel: Humperdinck
HANSEL AND GRETEL Humperdinck Mentzer, Murphy, Forst, Taylor, Orth, Christy. Milwaukee Children's Choir, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Andreas Delfs, conductor. AVIE Records (2 CDs) Many hard-core opera-goers remain allergic to...
Lysistrata, or the Nude Goddess: Laquita Mitchell (Myrrhine) and Joshua Hopkins (Kinesias) in the Houston Grand Opera Production
Lysistrata, or The Nude Goddess, the second opera by Mark Adamo, is loosely based on Aristophanes's classic Greek anti-war play about Athenian women who end a war with Sparta by denying sex to their men until peace is declared. Premiered March 4 by...
Megan Latham
Megan Latham is a full, lyric mezzosoprano with a voice that is rich, fruity, bold and ravishing in lustre. No wonder powerful forces have taken an interest in her--Marilyn Horne, for one. The Canadian Opera Company for another. At 33, Latham is...
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera's year-old Don Giovanni, so listless at its premiere, proved a much better show in revival during its third run this past April. Marthe Keller's production (with stage direction now credited to Gina Lapinski), in Michael Yeargan's...
Michele Capalbo
"I think I have Verdi DNA," says Michele Capalbo with a laugh. Those who have heard her sing might well agree, since the New York-based Canadian is making a splash as that rarest of birds, a Verdi soprano. Few singers would dare to make a professional...
New Productions/new Roles: In Filumena, Composer John Estacio and Librettist John Murrell Told a Regional Story That's Now Winning a National Audience
ON a February night in 2003 at Calgary's Jubilee Auditorium, the first performance of a new opera was reaching its finale. Soprano Laura Whalen sang her last, ecstatic notes, and her character--a heart-broken Italian immigrant in 1920s Alberta--said...
Notebook
With the 2004-05 season now at an end, opera enthusiasts can take a little break--although, of course, there's still a great deal on offer at the many summer festivals around North America and further afield. It's not a very long break, to be sure,...
Opera in Concert
Opera in Concert offered a production of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda that was a good college try at bel canto style. Music-director-cum-pianist Raisa Nakhmanovich emphasized the musical drama while correctly keeping the cabalettas slow, the cavatinas...
Opera Ontario
Opera Ontario's premiere of Mozart's first big hit, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, seemed to be getting into trouble before it began, when two Konstanzas dropped out before soprano Cheryl Evans was found, a mere five days before the first performance....
Orlando: Matthew White (Medoro) and Amy Burton (Angelica) in the New York City Opera Production
The New York City Opera continued its laudable Handel tradition with its new production of Orlando. (That's a qualified "new": like other NYCO productions, it was seen first at Glimmerglass, two summers back, with a largely different cast.) The team...
Pacific Opera Victoria
For its final production of the season, Pacific Opera Victoria came up with a Tosca that audiences won't forget in a hurry. When Tosca (Christine Riel) bumped off Scarpia (John Avey) with startling verisimilitude in Act II, for instance, I'm surprised...
Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Baritone Gerald Finley has just acquired a fine new role at Royal Opera, Covent Garden: Giorgio Germont in La traviata. Despite a dusting of grey on his hair, he still looked rather young for the part, but vocally and dramatically, it suited him perfectly....
The Cunning Little Vixen: The Pacific Opera Victoria Production
Pacific Opera Victoria's first-ever staging of The Cunning Little Vixen paid due obeisance to the spirit of Janacek's 1924 opera, and, judging from snippets of conversation overheard at intermission, opened a lot of Victoria eyes and ears to the composer's...
The Tradition of Canadian Opera
I am nervously sitting in Montreal's Place des Arts feeling every bit like an orphan waiting to see a father he has never met before. As a Canadian opera composer, I have come to experience Opera McGill's production of Louis Riel, hoping to discover...
Toronto Consort
Toronto Consort's concert production of Luigi Rossi's 1647 rarity Orfeo was given its Canadian premiere by a mostly stalwart group of singers and musicians. Rossi's gorgeous music is filled with a melodic cascade of arias, ensembles, choruses and charming...
University of British Columbia School of Music/Opera Division
In March, the University of British Columbia School of Music/Opera Division brought Tchaikovsky's Yevgeny Onegin to vibrant life. Under the direction of Opera School director Nancy Hermiston, the story, sung in Russian, became immediate, and its complexities...
Valerie Kuinka
Changing professions at 48 is a frightening prospect, but that is exactly what Valerie Kuinka is in the process of doing. She is an orchestral violist who is now building up a resume as an opera director. Instrumental music may have been her first...
Vancouver Opera
Mozart's Cosi fan tutte returned to Vancouver Opera after a 15-year hiatus, presented in a simple yet tasteful production that didn't vie for attention with the singers. Director Allison Grant kept the action firmly in the 18th century, and added some...
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