Opera Canada

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Articles from Vol. 54, No. 3, Fall

Atom Egoyan: A Master of Dark Relationships Takes on the Light Side with Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte
If not the cruelest month, last April was a decidedly tough one for director Atom Egoyan, who unexpectedly found himself dealing at a hectic pace with a heavy handful of seemingly unrelated creative projects. Still shooting his next movie, Queen of...
Barbara Willis Sweete
"I have always been stimulated when I hear music to see pictures and when I see pictures to hear music." Realizing this is what helped Barbara Willis Sweete move into a career that combines both. Looking back on her career, as she did in an interview...
Boston
If I had to nominate a Best First Opera by a Major Composer, right now, right after Boston Early Music Festival's blissful June staging, I'd with no hesitation cite Handel's Almira. He was just 19 when he wrote it, and its a mark of his compositional...
Britten in Canada: A Continuing Connection
"Canada is an extraordinary place. I am certain that N. America is the place of the future. I wish to goodness you would come across ... Seriously, do think about it, and if I see anything at all possible I'll let you know." Thus Benjamin Britten...
Calgary
For its seventh season, Calgary Opera's Emerging Artist Development Program in May mounted a double bill of little-performed chamber operas, Wolf-Ferrari's II segreto di Susanna (The Secret of Susanna) and Ravels L'heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour)....
Dairine Ni Mheadhra & John Hess
When co-Founding Artistic Directors Dairine Ni Mheadhra and John Hess announced in February that they were going to close Queen of Puddings Music Theatre as of August 31, it came as a surprise to some since the company seemed to be running at peak...
France: Aix-En-Provence
In opera history, Verdi's Rigoletto is today recognized as a revolutionary composition that all but erased the barrier between recitative and melody and eliminated the tradition of concerted finales. These are replaced by chains of duets of extreme...
Getty
Usher House PentaTone Classics 5186 451 Gordon Getty is the scion of the wealthy oil family, but now devotes himself to composing. This is his second opera, with his own libretto very loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's Fall of the House of Usher....
Joyce El-Khoury
Among the younger generation of Canadian singers, Joyce El-Khoury stands out as the proverbial complete package--great voice, great looks and a great stage presence. Her luminous lirico spinto is a voice type that's always in demand. Combine that with...
Les Illuminations, Op. 18, Variations, Op. 10, Serenade, Op. 31
Britten Channel Classics: CCS SA 32213 In a bow to the Britten anniversary year, this release brings together the composer's two best-known song cycles and his breakthrough Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, op. 10, for string orchestra.The...
Letter from Salzburg: William Littler Tells How a Toronto Creative Team Brought an Early Mozart Rarity to Life in the Composer's Hometown
Now that its salt mines have done their work, Salzburg today is dominated by an industry with a human face--that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born mere blocks from the complex of Festspielhaus venues called home by the Salzburg Festival. Not surprisingly,...
Letter from Santiago: Leonard Turnevicius Tastes the Opera Culture in a Country Better Known for Its Wines
Mention Chile, and wine will spring to most people's lips quicker than the word "opera." But just as Chilean wines have enjoyed something of a renaissance over the past three decades, so too, has the country's opera scene. And just as the seeds of...
Ligeti
LE GRAND MACABRE Arthaus: 101 643 This is the first video recording of the late Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti's only opera, composed in the 1970s and revised in 1996.The original German-language libretto was penned jointly by Michael Meschke...
Lotfi Mansouri: 15 June 1929-30 August 2013
When Lotfi Mansouri became General Director of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto in 1976, he set out to transform the company The smiling and ebullient Mansouri identified himself with opera in Toronto--he even had a license plate on his car that...
Rossini
II barbiere di Siviglia Arthaus: 102 305 Although this 1988 Schwetz-ingen Festival production has been available for years in other formats, this is its first DVD appearance. It features the young Cecilia Bartoli as Rosina, a year before her...
Saint Paul, Minn
The cast assembled by director-designer Thaddeus Strassberger for Minnesota Operas March staging Ambroise Thomas's rarely seen Hamlet sang brilliantly and showed impressive involvement in the complicated roles they were played. Most compelling was...
San Francicso
Unusually for a large house, all the characters in San Francisco Opera's June staging of Cosi fan tutte looked the part of the young people specified in the libretto. John Cox's sunny production and Robert Perdziola's scenery and costumes caught a...
Selena James
Once a student of Selena James, it seems, you are a student--and a friend--for life.The devotion her students feel for her is unmistakable. You can hear it in their voices. Here's one, the lyric coloratura soprano Eve-Lyn de la Haye: "Her lessons were...
The Final Take: Music Simone Osborne Can't Live Without
Only when soprano Simone Osborne took a breather during the summer did it hit her that she'd been in almost a dozen countries is about as many months. "I loved every minute, but it was nice to be on home ground," she says of a journey that had her...
The Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation For: Young Canadian Opera Singers
For almost two decades, grants from The Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers have helped young artists from coast to coast to develop their careers. Here's a celebration of the successful candidates in 2013. "I sang...
The Operas of Benjamin Britten a Personal Memoir
November 22, 2013, as all the world of music knows, is the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. No other composer of his time achieved comparable fame on the lyric stage: 17 operas, big and of which has failed to gain a place in the repertoire...
This Is a Year of Some Big
This is a year of some big opera anniversaries and we have happily embraced the opportunity to add our own voice to celebrate Verdi, Wagner and Britten. This issue brings a distinctive focus on Britten in a memoir by Stephen Ralls, former director...
United Kingdom: Glyndebourne
Michael Grandage's 2012 production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro for the Glyndebourne Festival, revived this year by Ian Rutherford, was a mixture of disappointment, promise and success. The biggest triumph was the orchestral contribution. In recent...
Vancouver
When the Sun Comes Out achieves real, sensual intimacy, something you don't often associate with a night at the opera. Billed as "Canada's first lesbian opera," the one-acter had its world premiere at Vancouver's Queer Arts Festival at the 250-seat...
Wagner
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Opus Arte: OA 1085 D Wagner at Glyndebourne may seem incongruous, but, based on recent successes, the history of the composer at the festival looks likely to continue. John Christie, Glyndebourne's founder, had...
Washington
The last time I boarded the Cotton Blossom--Edna Ferber's fictional Mississippi River steamer, as immortalized by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II in their 1927 Show Boat--it was a sluggish, noisy behemoth that landed not a second too soon. That...
Winnipeg
Manitoba Opera's ended its 40th season in April with epic spectacle, mystic songs and a particularly strong cast of leads in Verdi's Aida. Directed by Brian Deedrick, the subtly nuanced production included lively dance scenes depicting the rivalry...
Written on Skin
Benjamin Nimbus NI 5885/6 English composer George Benjamin made his major opera debut with this three-act work, following Into the Little Hill, a critically acclaimed 40-minute 2006 commission from Paris's Festival d'Automne. Both have librettos...
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