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Opera CanadaOpera Canada

Opera Canada Vol. LVIII, No. 1

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.

MAGCAN-Opera Canada Publications
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4 Issues


access_time3 min.

(PHOTO: PETER LAM)“On the business of opera, there were sessions on how to get the younger generation into an opera house, on how to involve ethnic or other distinct communities in the urban centres that support major companies, and, of course, on how to beat the cash crunch many companies face. All the discussions led to the same bottom line: if opera cannot find a broad and supportive audience, it won’t have much of a future.”Baldly stated, you might think these words, citing as they do some current hot buttons in the opera business at home and abroad, summarize the conclusions of a recent conference or think tank. But I’m quoting myself, and the words were written almost a quarter century ago after I attended my first Opera America annual…

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opera in the news

Asitha TennekoonOpera Canada Publications is pleased to announce the appointment of Gianmarco Segato as Editorial Director, effective Jul. 24th. He succeeds Wayne Gooding, who in August retires after a 25-year association with the organization, as editor since 1993. After an extensive national search, Gianmarco joins the organization as the 5th Editorial Director to lead the magazine during almost 60 years of continuous publishing. David Giles, Board Chair of Opera Canada Publications, said of the new appointment: “The Board and I are confident that Gianmarco is the right person to lead the magazine through its next exciting evolution.”Prior to taking up the appointment, Segato spent 10 seasons with the Canadian Opera Company, most recently as Adult Programs Manager. In this position, he wrote extensively for the company’s publications, delivered and programmed…

access_time7 min.
letter from banff

Banff and its environs can be beautiful to the point of distraction. I learned this on day one of a visit to the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity just before Canada Day this year: it only took a quick walk through the woods into town, toward the pedestrian bridge across the rushing Bow River. Hotels and houses in quaint mountain styles, a good number graced with a blue heritage plaque and accompanying story. Side streets named after animals—buffalo, beaver, otter, bear, wolf and elk all present—are quiet, while busyness gravitates toward the many biking and walking trails around town and the main drag, Banff Avenue, packed day and night with people of all backgrounds and accents. Through the pines, in the distance, snow-dusted massifs of the Rockies, and blue…

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kirsten mackinnon

(PHOTO: JIACHENG XIONG)Important competitions can boost careers, as witness the experience of Canadians who have won the annual Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, starting with Teresa Stratas in 1959. The latest is 26-year old Kirsten MacKinnon, the 17th Canadian to reach the top at the Met as a winner of the 2017 Auditions in March. “I had a few moments of unbelievable nerves, then I settled down to enjoy the experience,” she said on the morning after her win. “It was so special—nothing beats singing on that stage with orchestra.”A hefty prize of US$15,000 came with the Met win, which she intends to put to good use covering all the bases in a burgeoning international career: “It’ll go towards lessons, coaching, health and travel expenses, housing, and performance attire.” The…

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alexander prior

(PHOTO: DIANA UNT PHOTOGRAPHY)The Edmonton Symphony has been the go-to orchestra for all Edmonton Opera productions for decades, but in the 14 years that I’ve been covering the opera, the conductors in the pit have been guests. That changed with the production of Elektra that closed the 2016/17 season. Leading Strauss’s revenge tragedy was the ESO’s new Chief Conductor, Alexander Prior.Prior has had a taste for opera since his youth, and now that he is a conductor, that interest is blossoming into a serious professional career both in Europe and North America. The 24-year-old, who received degrees in composition and conducting from the St. Petersburg Conservatory, has already led orchestras in productions throughout Europe, including Rigoletto with Frankfurt and Braunschweig State Opera, Carmen at the Royal Danish Opera, La traviata…

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chris dunham

(PHOTO: BRENT CALIS PHOTOGRAPHY)As a teenager growing up in Niagara Falls, Ont., baritone Christopher Dunham worked at a little pizzeria, spending his tip money going to kitschy local museums to see wax figure celebrities. Today, he spends his spare time cooking gourmet meals rather than pizzas, and sings with real life stars in the opera world.Dunham dabbled in rock and roll and musical theatre in high school. In his graduating year, his father suggested that he take singing lessons, and his teacher introduced him to snippets of opera. Dunham continued those private singing lessons when he went on to study sciences at the University of Western Ontario. “After my first year, I had discovered that leaving biology lectures was all well and good, but when I left my voice lessons,…