Brott Music Festival

By Fraser, Hugh | Opera Canada, Fall 2015 | Go to article overview

Brott Music Festival


Fraser, Hugh, Opera Canada


Boris Brott, founding Music Director of the summer Brott Music Festival and the National Academy Orchestra coined the word "operatunity" for his first cautious step to bring opera back to Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe region after Opera Hamilton closed in January 2014 after an illustrious 34-year history. This was not, however, to be a full frontal assault on opera's absence by plunging into fully-fledged opera productions, but an initiative to blend opera into the National Academy Orchestra's teaching program.

After extensive auditions, the NAO offers emerging professionals a practical post-graduate course in the profession of music making. The resulting orchestra is so brilliant, it is hard to keep in mind that it is an atelier that is polishing the country's best young musicians with the help of mentors from many of Canadas finest orchestras. With a first-rate orchestra in place, Brott launched Brott Opera to the mix, bringing bass-baritone Taras Kulish on board as co-Artistic Director.

Seven of the 115 singers who auditioned were chosen to cast Rossinis II barbiere di Siviglia. This was a semi-staged, costumed production (set in the 1920s), directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, and it turned out to be a triumph. …

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