Movies, TV & Music
Opera Canada

Opera Canada Vol. LIX, 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

in this issue

3 min.

The heatwave that has affected Canada and Europe this summer brought soaring temperatures to the two opera festivals I attended in August: Festival d’Opera de Quebec and the Bayreuther Festspiele in Bavaria, Germany. You can read my review of Quebec’s new, Metropolitan Opera-destined Robert Lepage production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at operacanada.ca. I am still buzzing from my first pilgrimage to Bayreuth, location of Richard Wagner’s former home, Wahnfried (now a museum) and the Festspielhaus he built for the express purpose of presenting his own works. My ‘neophyte’s view of Bayreuth’ will appear in 2018’s final issue, but first, a few thoughts. The effort to mount even a single Wagner opera is epic—most companies would be happy to present one every few seasons. In Bayreuth, I saw Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von…

3 min.
opera in the news

HONOURS AND AWARDS Musique 3 Femmes has announced the winners of a new prize honouring emerging Canadian women composers and librettists. The $25,000 Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes Award recognizes all-female creative teams who demonstrate “extraordinary promise in the field of opera creation” with a cash prize as well as performances and workshops of their compositions in cities across the country. Founded in 2018 by former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and COC Ensemble coach Jennifer Szeto, soprano Suzanne Rigden and mezzo-soprano Kristin Hoff, Musique 3 Femmes is a Montreal-based not-for-profit organization which seeks to support and foster female leadership in the field of classical music. The new award is their first project, aimed at addressing the need for better representation of women’s voices in opera creation and direction. The winners of the…

3 min.
jessica strong

When reading Canadian soprano Jessica Strong’s resume, one is struck that at the relatively young age of 31, she has already sung so many major roles: Elvira, Micaela, Amelia Grimaldi, Alice Ford, Lina, Donna Anna and Vanessa to name just some. Whether bel canto or contemporary, Strong tackles her roles fearlessly, with beauty of tone and dramatic commitment. This spring, she received critical acclaim for her portrayal of the vocally and dramatically challenging role of Marta in Oper Frankfurt’s revival of the Holocaust opera Die Passagierin by Mieczyslaw Weinberg. Anyone who has seen her on stage would not be surprised. She possesses a gleaming, full lyric soprano of beauty, volume and flexibility. After completing her undergraduate degree at University of Manitoba, Strong we went on to University of Toronto for a…

3 min.
douglas begoray

Walking into the opera costume department of Malabar Limited is like entering into an ostentatious and intricate lair. As Victorian-style dresses sway from hangers above and embroidered suits with tassels dance as the wind blows through the door, the shop immediately transports every customer onto an imaginary theatrical stage. With their ability to leave a lasting impression on audiences, costumes are among the most important design elements for any theatrical production, says Douglas Begoray, Rental Manager at Malabar’s Opera Department. Boasting a stock of over 10,000 costumes at their downtown Toronto, Little Portugal warehouse location, Malabar has been the go-to rental company for such leading Canadian companies as Opera Atelier, Canadian Opera Company and Manitoba Opera, outfitting casts for some of the repertoire’s most popular titles including La traviata, La Cenerentola…

4 min.
adam fisher

It’s the very early days of spring in Toronto, which means fluctuating weather conditions. Today is no exception, with the bright sunny morning turning into a chilly afternoon filled with flurries. Adam Fisher pulls up to the coffee shop on his bike, cheeks flushed but smiling. He mentions that it seemed warm when he left the house and shrugs. The charm and affability he portrays onstage are apparent from the start. Some people are born knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives; others come to it later on. That day came for the singer while he was a percussion major at Kwantlen College in BC, after touring the Pacific Northwest for three years with a death metal band as their drummer. That’s right, Fisher began his…

10 min.
letter from paris

Autumn Opera national de Paris’s (ONP) 17/18 season opened on Sept. 9th, 2017 with a vintage production: Jorge Lavelli’s The Merry Widow from 1997 featuring a glamourous new cast headed by Veronique Gens (Hanna Glawari) and Thomas Hampson (Danilo). Though Lavelli conceived his staging of Lehar’s Belle Epoque operetta for the gilded Palais Garnier, this reprise was adapted to the stage of the post-modern 2,723-seat rotunda built by Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott. Known prosaically as the Opera Bastille, it is rumoured to be the progeny of a very operatic imbroglio concerning mistaken identities. Ott, a Canadian resident who was completely unknown at the time, won the coveted competition in 1983, apparently because the jury (for whom the original 756 submissions were anonymous) chose his design project thinking it was that of…