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Opera CanadaOpera Canada

Opera Canada Vol. LIX, 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.

MAGCAN-Opera Canada Publications
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4 Issues


access_time1 min.
opera canada awards–‘the rubies’ 2018

On Oct. 22, some of Canada’s most fervent opera fans and supporters gathered in Toronto to celebrate 2018’s Opera Canada Awards—’The Rubies’ honourees. This year, the coveted 18-karat gold and ruby musical note pins were awarded to Wayne Gooding, opera educator and former Editor of Opera Canada; Dominique Labelle, soprano and vocal pedagogue, and Alexander Neef, General Director, Canadian Opera Company and Artistic Director, Santa Fe Opera. Each year, ‘The Rubies’ celebrates the talent and accomplishments of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Canadian opera world as artists, builders, administrators and philanthropists. Thanks to all of our generous sponsors and patrons, especially title sponsor BMO Financial Group, for making our sold-out gala a night to remember! See our ‘Rubies’ profiles of Wayne, Dominique and Alexander at…

access_time2 min.

As might have been expected, last issue’s cover story dealing with the absence of Canadian opera productions in the burgeoning world of online and cinema livestreaming attracted a fair amount of comment. It was the first time Opera Canada shared one of its long form features with our online audience—a practice we’ll continue in the future. The story also prompted Opéra de Montréal General Director, Patrick Corrigan, to point out our omission of his company’s tradition of transmitting popular operas titles such as La Bohème, Madama Butterfly and Carmen live to Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. Union cooperation made these one-off screenings financially viable for the company as they were viewed as free, public events. This is still very different, however, from the ongoing live stream and HD cinema programs discussed…

access_time4 min.
marta herman

There are clusters of Canadian musician-expats in just about all of Germany’s major cities today. The young Torontoborn mezzo-soprano Marta Herman moved away right after university and immediately forged a stable career in the German fest system. She auditioned for Canadian young artist [YA] programs after finishing her studies, but to no avail, and moving to the US was never really in the books as she found the American opera circuit a bit alienating. Polish relatives just across the German border as well as the relatively close distances between European opera centres provided even more incentive to cross the ocean. “I always knew that if I didn’t get into any of the YA programs [at home], I would go overseas,” she says. Oper Frankfurt invited her into their YA roster,…

access_time4 min.
jeremy dutcher

Listening to Jeremy Dutcher’s Polaris Prize-winning album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, what’s most striking is how symbolic the first song is of his overall approach to the music. “Mehcinut” begins much like any number of art songs do, with piano and voice stripped bare. But as the song progresses, an original wax recording of his great-great-grandfather singing is integrated, with Dutcher playing piano underneath. The music builds to a crescendo, and what the listener is left with, as the song finishes, is the beauty and power that result from the integration of Dutcher’s Indigenous heritage and classical training. It hasn’t always been easy to find a balance between the two worlds, though. Dutcher admits he felt kind of like a chess piece while studying classical voice at Dalhousie University. “I didn’t really know how…

access_time4 min.
tracy cantin

Meeting soprano Tracy Cantin, one is struck by her personal warmth and ready smile, her peals of melodious laughter never far away. When we chatted in May, she had every reason to be happy. It was just days after her triumph in Anna Bolena at Canadian Opera Company, jumping in for an indisposed Sondra Radvanovsky. For a young singer to make a COC debut replacing a superstar must have been daunting, but Cantin was up to the task. Her Anna was youthful and sympathetic, her tone gleaming and sweet. Cantin received a well-deserved ovation: “When I came out for my solo bow, the audience was spectacular. I was so thrilled.” Covering Sondra seems to be a good-luck charm for Cantin, who had previously replaced her, again as Anna, at Lyric…

access_time7 min.
“my yearning, my obsession”

Canadian director Robert Carsen is acclaimed for his international productions as well as stagings on home turf. His 1997 Metropolitan Opera production of Eugene Onegin opened the 18/19 Canadian Opera Company season. This autumn he turned his attention to Die tote Stadt for Komische Oper Berlin (KOB), a work with a fascinating history and an enthusiastic renaissance. The 1920 opera by Erich Wolfgang Korngold enjoyed immense popularity in its time, though it was later banned by the National Socialists in Germany for its Jewish origins. Based on the novel Bruges-la-mort by Belgian symbolist author Georges Rodenbach, it features a libretto by the then 22-year-old Korngold and his father under the name of “Paul Schott.” The spectre of WWI casts long shadows across both the novel and the opera, as does the…