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Opera Canada

Opera Canada

Vol. LX, No. 2

For 50 years, Opera Canada has been the exclusive voice of opera in Canada and Canadians in opera around the world. Each issue includes insightful features on artists and performing companies, exclusive interviews, performance reviews, lively commentary and news of Canadian creators in major opera centers at home and abroad.

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4 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
opera canada

FOUNDING EDITOR Ruby Mercer Volume LX Number 2 Edition 241 $5.95 PUBLISHER Opera Canada Publications operacanada.ca BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIR: David Giles Timothy Laceby Robert Morassutti Pam Morgan Linda Rogers DeeAnn Sagar David Speers Rev. Edward Jackman (Honourary) Gianmarco Segato (ex officio) EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Gianmarco Segato editorial@operacanada.ca ART DIRECTION AND DESIGN Fresh Art & Design Inc. CIRCULATION Subscriptions & Customer Service 1-800-222-5097 ADVERTISING & MARKETING ENQUIRIES 416-363-0395 publishing@operacanada.ca Cover Photo: Aviva Fortunata as Suor Angelica in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il trittico Photo: David Cooper…

3 min.

One of the fall’s more high profile opera events was the Toronto premiere of Canadian composer Julien Bilodeau and librettist Roger Waters’ Another Brick in the Wall, which played Meridian Hall (formerly Sony Centre) for five performances. ‘50% off’ ads were ubiquitous online throughout the run, and a cursory glance at Ticketmaster hinted ticket sales were not meeting expectations. Another Brick was a box office hit at its 2017 Opera de Montreal premiere. This spurred a successful remount at Cincinnati Opera the following summer, and Vancouver Opera will give it five showings in April. Yet in Toronto, this success proved more evasive. The risks of presenting a new, expensive, large-scale opera like Another Brick outside an established opera company season can’t be underestimated. Without the ballast of the subscriber base…

3 min.
in memoriam

His voice was immediately recognizable to millions of opera fans worldwide, but he was not a singer. For over 25 years Toronto-based Father Owen Lee was the pre-eminent radio voice providing insights, interpretations, and commentaries on operas for Metropolitan Opera’s radio network. His radio talks were so influential that the host company received more fan mail for him than for any other performer on their weekly live broadcasts. Long before he established himself as an international radio personality he had earned a formidable reputation as an essayist, contributing to the Met’s monthly magazine, Opera News, with a steady stream of articles, each of which provided penetrating insights into the operas being broadcast that month. His first article on Die Meistersinger in 1968 was so influential that it was reprinted in that…

1 min.
opera canada awards–‘the rubies’ 2019

On Nov. 4th, Opera Canada celebrated three indi-viduals who have dedicated their careers to forwarding the art of opera in Canada. Attracting fervent supporters from across the country, 2019’s Opera Canada Awards—‘The Rubies,’ were awarded to Liz Upchurch, coach, pianist, and Head of Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio; John Estacio, composer of such large-scale operas as Filumena and Lillian Alling, and Benjamin Butterfield, accomplished tenor and professor at University of Victoria School of Music. Congratulations to the honourees, who we are sure will wear their golden ruby musical note-pins with pride. Thank you to all our sponsors and patrons, including Marjorie and Roy Linden for their sponsorship of Liz Upchurch (with additional support from Stephen and Jane Smith), Pacific Opera Victoria for their sponsorship of Benjamin Butterfield, and Pamela Austin…

7 min.
artists on stage

To describe Catherine Daniel as a talented multi-tasker would be an understatement. She is a critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano with parallel careers as a supply teacher for the Toronto District School Board, a tutor and curriculum developer for a reading recovery company, a performer for outreach concerts at senior’s residences, a residence counsellor for the National Ballet School, and a creative artist with Canadian Opera Company’s Education and Outreach Department. Daniel grew up in a musical family in Edmonton; her father plays the bass guitar and her mother and sister also sing. They performed together at church, and Daniel immersed herself in singing at school events. At age 15, Daniel’s mother strongly encouraged her daughter to join the Schola Cantorum youth choir at Alberta College in Edmonton (now part of MacEwan University).…

7 min.
a new chapter

In Lucia Cervoni’s own words—and she apologises if it sounds corny—life sent her a message in 2017: ‘Why don’t you go freelance?’ She had enjoyed nearly a decade as a Fest (resident) singer at Theater Magdeburg in Germany, whose director, Karen Stone, had given her “every sort of dream role I could ever have imagined.” Indeed, when this magazine last caught up with her in 2011, it was clear that the Ontario-born mezzo felt her future would be in Germany; perhaps moving to other houses, but remaining within the Fest system. But when that ‘message from life’ came through, her fiance, now her husband, was living in Norway and a decision had to be made. In the end she bid farewell to the land of Strauss and Beethoven, joining him…