Magazine article Opera Canada

The New American Art Song

Magazine article Opera Canada

The New American Art Song

Article excerpt

DANIEL OKULITCH

GPR Records

Ottawa-born bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch has made quite a name for himself over the past decade, sparked first by his appearance in Baz Luhrmann's 2002 Broadway staging of La boheme. He has since headlined a host of major companies, including La Scala (Theseus in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Washington National Opera (Swallow in Peter Grimes, and has created a number of roles in new operas, among them Seth Brundle in Howard Shores The Fly at Los Angeles Opera and Inspector Gert Osterland in Thomas Pasatieri's Fran Margot with Fort Worth Opera. In 2006, he took on the lead role in Jake Meggie's Dead Man Walking at Calgary Opera.

Heggie is one of the four composers featured on his debut disc, a recording with a unique twist--all four composers take part as accompanists in their works, and they each turn in very solid performances. Heggie, in particular, is an astonishingly good pianist and his three songs are notable for their clever and imaginative accompaniments: purring and mewing sounds in Gavin Geoffrey Dillard's poem "In the Beginning," for instance, a light-hearted take on the Genesis story ("In the beginning was the cat and the cat was without purr"). …

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