Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera Nuova

Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera Nuova

Article excerpt

Opera Nuova's Vocal Arts Festival culminated in double-cast productions of Offenbach's La Perichole and Les contes d'Hoffmann (Jun 25-Jul. 2), performed by the 46 participants in the nine-year-old training program at the University of Alberta's Timms Centre. The singers in the program are already well trained, and come to ON for the practical experience and guidance from seasoned pros that are not normally available in music-school programs. Along with the usual stellar group of coaches, this year including tenor Benjamin Butterfield, mezzo Marianne Bindig and baritone John Fanning, ON director Kim Mattice Wanat brought in the inimitable Stuart Hamilton, a French-opera specialist, to help prepare the singers.

The Hoffmann in director David Gately's A cast was Vancouver's Eric Olsen, who shared the role with Winnipeg's Frank Mutya. Olsen captured the manic-depressive spirit of the hedonist Hoffmann, and except for a few dry spots at the top of the tenor range, perhaps attributable to fatigue from all he had to do, Olsen sang the part with power and the requisite pathos. …

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