Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera in the News: Tracking Canadians at Home and Abroad

Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera in the News: Tracking Canadians at Home and Abroad

Article excerpt

COMPETITIONS & AWARDS

Canadians were extremely successful at the recent George London Foundation Competition, taking home a total of five awards. Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian won the George London-Leonie Rysanek Award and soprano Cheryl Hickman the George London-Kirsten Flagstad Award, each worth US$7,500. Encouragement Awards of $1,000 each went to soprano Measha Bruggergosman, baritone Joseph Kaiser and bass Robert Pomakov. Bruggergosman's award was given in honor of Lucy Purdy Posik by the Canadian Women's Club of New York, and is designated for a Canadian citizen, while Kaiser's award was given in memory of Robert Jacobson, the former editor of Opera News.

Tenor Ben Heppner received a Juno Award for his recording German Romantic Opera (RCA Red Seal 09026-63239-2), in the category of best classical album, vocal or choral performance.

Theatre Lyrichoregra announced the winners of the Cinquieme Concours d'interpretation de Musique Tcheque et Slovaque. First prize and the Special Jury Prize went to soprano Monica Pauline Huisman and second prize to baritone Sergei Stilmachenko. The third prize was shared by soprano Marina Shemesh and mezzo-soprano Olivia Saragosa.

Opera News chose Kalman's Die Herzogin von Chicago (Decca 466 057-2), conducted by Richard Bonynge and featuring baritone Brett Polegato, as one of the best complete opera recordings for 1999.

ARTISTS ON STAGE

This spring, soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who made a rare Canadian appearance at the Roy Thomson Hall Millennium Opera Gala on New Year's Eve, sang Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Elsa (Lohengrin) at the Vienna State Opera, where she has been singing regularly since 1991. Late this year, she will appear as Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg) in Munich, Tatiana (Yevgeny Onegin) in Vienna and Desdemona (Otello) in Hamburg. In January 2001, Pieczonka will be in Munich for Alice Ford opposite the Falstaff of Bryn Terfel. In May 2001, she returns to Toronto for a recital as part of the Roy Thomson Hall Vocal Series.

Baritone Gino Quilico is making a steady diet of Escamillo these days. He recently appeared in Act IV of Carmen opposite Jose Carreras (Don Jose) and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the title role at the Metropolitan Opera Pension Fund Gala. In September, Quilico will reprise the role in Munich, where he is also scheduled to sing Chorebe (Les Troyens) in June 2001.

Soprano Karina Gauvin will have a busy summer. She sings Pamina in Die Zauberflote with Opera de Quebec in June, and in July, she travels to France for Tamerlano with Les miens lyriques, before coming back to Canada to sing at the Elora Festival, Festival of the Sound, Domain Forget and Petronille. In August, she returns to Europe once again to sing at the Holland Early Music Festival in Utrecht. Engagements next season include a tour with Tafelmusik, a debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and a recording with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra.

Tenor Robert Breault joins Chautauqua Opera this summer for La Rondine. Other summer appearances include Purcell's Te Deum, Bruckner's Requiem and a solo recital at the Elora Festival. Next season, Breault sings Fenton in Falstaff with the Atlanta Opera, and will also sing in the world premiere of The Elephant Man.

Tenor Michael Schade will be singing Ulysse in a concert version of Faure's Penelope twice next year. In June 2001, he performs the role at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, and two months later, he will reprise the role at the Edinburgh Festival. Charles Dutoit will also appear at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. In September of this year, he conducts a concert performance of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex.

INfact, many Canadians figure prominently next season on the rosters of major opera houses around the world. Some of these appearances include:

* At the Metropolitan Opera, John Fanning sings in The Gambler and Der Rosenkavalier, John Relyea performs Masetto in Don Giovanni; Michael Schade sings Tamino in Die Zauberflote; Wendy Nielsen will appear as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte; Richard Margison sings Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos and Calaf in Turandot; Gerald Finley will perform Papageno in Die Zauberflote and Marcello in La Boheme; and Ben Heppner sings Florestan in Fidelio. …

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