Magazine article Opera Canada

Ambur Braid

Magazine article Opera Canada

Ambur Braid

Article excerpt

Twenty-nine, tall, beautiful, with an easy and Infectious laugh, not to mention a stunning voice, the Terrace, BC-born soprano Ambur Braid has "star quality" written all over her. A member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio for the last two years, Braid has had opportunities other young singers might only dream of. If her Queen of the Night and Semele last season made audiences sit up and take notice, this season's deliciously dangerous Adele in Die Fledermaus and fearsome, scenery-chewing Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito had them searching for superlatives. Now about to graduate from the Ensemble, New York's high profile Columbia Artists Management has snapped her up, and she already has contracts to reprise her Queen and to sing her first Konstanze and Violetta. She is, as they say, well on her way.

In a world where young singers need to stand out, Braid is ... well, different. To begin with, her voice type is rare--a dramatic coloratura of flexibility and brilliance, one that spans three working octaves ("two of my audition arias go up to a high G") and has unusually full middle and lower registers. Think Joan Sutherland, Edda Moser and June Anderson to find a voice like hers.

And Braid has the dramatic flair to match--and brings it to everything she does. As a demented Vitellia, she stunned the audience with an interpolated G above high C before plunging into mezzo depths. It takes a certain chutzpah and technical assurance to embellish Mozart. In Grade 6, she legally changed the spelling of her first name because she didn't like the "e" in Amber. She's on the record as saying that she prefers Wozzeck to Butterfly because the Puccini "puts me to sleep--you can win me over more with visceral human action than with a melody." Within the past two years or so, her outlook has attracted a lot of media attention through radio interviews and profiles in newspapers and magazines. And how many young opera singers have tales to tell about opening for the Tragically Hip and Tony Bennett? …

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