Opera Canada

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Articles from Vol. 45, No. 5, December 15

Alexandra Deshorties
IN January, soprano Alexandra Deshorties makes her debut with Houston Grand Opera as Elettra in Idomeneo, the next step in a recent long run of Mozart. In September, she made her San Francisco Opera debut as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte (with further...
Artistry & Academics: Canadian Universities with Opera Training Programs
A good part of the reason why Canada has such a deep pool of vocal talent these days is that we also boast a rich network of teaching and training institutions. For our first accounting of educational resources for opera professionals, here's a coast-to-coast...
Artists on Stage
Chicago Opera Theater continues its tradition of showcasing young Canadian talent in its 2005 season. Soprano Nathalie Paulin will sing Mary Magdalene in Handel's La resurrezione (Mar. 2-12); soprano Laura Whalen and mezzo Allyson McHardy will star...
Austria: Salzburg
The Salzburg Festival's production of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier made a case for the point that money can't solve all your problems. An all-star cast including Canadian Adrianne Pieczonka (the Marschallin), Angelika Kirchschlager (Octavian),...
Awards and Appointments
Tyrone Paterson has been appointed Music Advisor and Principal Conductor of Manitoba Opera for a three-year term. He is currently in his seventh season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Lyra Ottawa and will continue in that role....
Beyond the Music Diploma: Where Young Artists Go for Apprenticeships and Professional Development
Each year, talented young singers emerge from music schools across the country, eagerly clutching their diplomas and all set to star in major roles on the first opera stage they can find. But, if they don't know it upon graduation, they soon find out:...
Brahms Lieder
BRAHMS LIEDER Marie-Nicole Lemieux Michael McMahon, piano; Nicolo Eugelmi, alto viola. Analekta AN 2 9906 [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Both of these young Canadian singers are still in the first stages of their careers, despite much winning...
Calgary
Calgary Opera has no performing home for its 2004-05 season while the Jubilee Auditorium is being renovated. Meanwhile, the company has had to come up with alternate ways to put on opera. Since Edmonton's auditorium is also under renovation, the two...
Central City
Central City Opera's unique ambience is often over-emphasized by visiting East Coast critics, who still marvel that opera is being produced in a former Colorado mining town. They overlook the fact that it is a first-rate regional company (fourth oldest...
Chicago
The total effect of Das Rheingold was subdued despite fine singing by almost everyone in the cast. Conductor Andrew Davis adopted a chamber-music approach, reminiscent of that favored by Herbert von Karajan. The freshly laid-out musical themes of the...
Cleopatra
CLEOPATRA Scenes and arias by Graun, Hasse, Handel and Mattheson Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano; Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Jeanne Lamon, music director CBC Records SMCD 5233 The brilliant young Armenian-born Canadian soprano, Isabel Bayrakdarian,...
Cooperstown
Glimmerglass Opera's production of Puccini's La fanciulla del West was a dramatic triumph, but a musical irritation and a visual disaster. Director Lillian Groag deserves praise for the passionate reality of the character interpretations, the relentless...
Der Ring Des Nibelungen: Christian Franz in the Title Role of the Opera Koln Production of Siegfried
Five seasons in the making, Der Kolner Ring finally came together in two complete cycles of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. The production is jointly credited to Canadian Robert Carsen and Patrick Kinmonth, who also designed the sets and costumes....
Die Drei Pintos
DIE DREI PINTOS Weber/Mahler Holzer, Furlong, Zechmeister, Marilley, Shaw, Svab. National Philharmonic Orchestra of Melarus, Paolo Arrivabeni, conductor. Naxos 8.660142-43 (2 CDs) This charmer of a comic opera, 68 years in the making, marks...
Erin Wall
IT is opening night at the famed Chicago Lyric Opera. A glittery, capacity audience is waiting. The prima donna is ill, and you are asked to take her place. It is a scenario most aspiring artists can only dream about, but it happened to soprano Erin...
Forging the Ring: For a Project as Big as Siegfried, the COC Needs to Be Totally Prepared before Rehearsals Begin
IT'S 32 years since the Canadian Opera Company's last and only staging of Wagner's Siegfried, though for all the differences between how the opera played in September 1972 and how it will be in January 2005, the interval might as well be measured in...
Hamilton
Buffalo buffa might soon be a cult opera genre, if Opera Ontario's Don Pasquale, set in the Wild West, becomes the rage. The production was a jolly romp that had the punters guffawing loudly as Ernesto lamented the loss of his love, Norina, in a deliciously...
Ireland: Wexford
Wexford Festival Opera didn't make its reputation by dishing out the tried and true, but when departing artistic director Luigi Ferrari chose as his valedictory production Walter Braunfels's Prinzessin Brambilla, he went out on what, even by Wexford...
King Arthur; Left to Right: Barbara Bonney, Isabel Rey, Birgit Remmert and Michael Schade in the Salzburg Festival Production
You had to be a little concerned when the Salzburg Festival announced it would be staging Purcell's King Arthur. After all, Salzburg doesn't specialize in Baroque repertoire--at least, not like Rene Jacobs' neighboring Innsbruck Alte Musik Festival....
Laura Pudwell
The versatile mezzo-soprano, Laura Pudwell, 44, calls herself a working singer, and with good reason. Between criss-crossing Canada, foraying south of the border, performing as a regular member of Toronto Concert and maintaining her teaching schedule...
New Productions/new Roles: For Her New CBC Records Release, Isabel Bayrakdarian Does Familiar and Unfamiliar Takes on Cleopatra
Tuesday, September 28, 2004. Fans, family and friends of soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian make their way to L'Atelier Grigorian record store in Toronto's upscale Yorkville district. The golden tinge to the late afternoon sunlight seems to fit the occasion....
New York
Richard Wagner's Die Walkure returned to the Metropolitan Opera for six performances this fall, all under the baton of the company's principal guest conductor, Valery Gergiev. The final three of these performances starred Canadian soprano Adrianne...
Notebook: On Old Theatres
Rattling across Lisbon on the number 14 tram, a visitor climbs the Rua Serra Pinto past an austere building, vintage 1792. It is the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, where Maria Callas made one of her most famous recordings. The night was March 27, 1958,...
Otello: Ben Heppner in the Title Role of the Metropolitan Opera Production
Canadian tenor Ben Heppner returned in triumph to the Metropolitan Opera this fall with a towering portrayal of Verdi's Otello. While there have been many finely sung Otellos in recent years (notably that of Placido Domingo), it is hard to imagine...
Peter Strummer
Peter Strummer was born to sing. And what he was born to sing was opera. In fact, the bass-baritone says, "When still in the womb and throughout my formative years, all I heard was operetta and opera." The Strummer family's story is a tragic one....
Renaud Doucet & Andre Barbe
The duo of director and choreographer Renaud Doucet and set and costume designer Andre Barbe is well know both in Canadian and European operatic circles. Since they met in 2000, at the Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, they have collaborated...
San Francisco
Canadians were on stage for all three productions at San Francisco Opera this fall. Thomas Glenn, a young tenor in the company's Adler program, led off with a fine account of Gastone de Letorieres in La traviata, with Ruth Ann Swenson, Rolando Villazon...
Santa Fe
A revival of Beatrice et Benedict at Santa Fe Opera won kudos from critics and audience alike. Last seen locally in 1998, this whimsical, stylized production by Antony McDonald was pleasing to the eye. It was sung in English in a very good translation...
The Handmaid's Tale: Stephanie Marshall (Offred) in the Canadian Opera Company Production
IN Toronto, as in many other cities, the performing arts seem to take turns being "where the action is." Opera currently enjoys that distinction in the capital of Ontario, with a new opera house under construction, Canada's first complete Ring Cycle...
Toronto
The Canadian Opera Company followed its superb production of The Handmaid's Tale with a truly awful staging of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, sabotaged by sets by Christine Jones, which almost turned 18th-century Scotland into a land of corrugated...
Vancouver
Vancouver Opera struck gold with their first production of Der Rosenkavalier. Going back to the philosophy that opera companies should open their seasons with work that grabs the public's attention, Vancouver certainly obliged. The incandescent...
Vocal Resources: What Singers Get from a Teacher and a Coach
AT FIRST GLANCE, "voice teacher" and "vocal coach" appear to be unnecessary distinctions. There are no "piano coaches" or "violin coaches," so what purpose is served by these dual functions in the realm of singing? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Simply...
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