MAGCAN-Opera Canada Publications

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Opera Canada

Opera Canada

Vol. LXI, No. 3

For 60 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

2 min.

Like most North Americans, I listened with some alarm, but had little notion of the dire implications this news would have. Let’s just stick to opera for now and do a little recap. In Canada, live performances still had a few months left, but by February the writing was on the wall. Here we are 10 months later and there has been little to no live opera on any Canadian stages, with some brave exceptions. We now consume almost all our opera content online—a sort of forced culmination of a digital trend in the performing arts that has been building for at least a couple decades. Yet, live opera did not disappear worldwide. With various hiccups along the way, full-scale, live productions returned in big opera centres like Vienna, Munich, Prague,…

2 min.
take note

DECEMBER Faculty of Music, University of Toronto Acclaimed American mezzosoprano Denyce Graves will be giving masterclasses to some lucky UofT voice students covering art song, opera and intriguingly, crossover repertoire on Dec. 1, 2 and 4 respectively. The classes are free to watch for future viewing: Calgary Opera The Yuletide Sessions virtual concert was created to “celebrate the beauty and tranquility of the holiday season” with CO’s emerging artists. Listen in for seasonal tunes blended with classical masterworks to bring some untraditional tradition into your home. (On Demand) Opera McGill, Montréal On Jan. 30th and 31st Opera McGill will webcast The Turn of the Screw live from Pollack Hall. Stephen Hargreaves conducts members of the McGill Symphony Orchestra and OM head Patrick Hansen directs Britten’s 1954 opera based on Henry James’ disturbing 1898 ghost story. JANUARY UofT…

3 min.
jonelle sills

Though Jonelle Sills isn’t exactly new on the scene, the Toronto-based soprano has had quite the list of firsts this year. Most notably, she was named among the CBC’s top 30 Classical Musicians under 30 in August, the same month Vancouver Opera announced she’ll be one of six participants in their Young Artist Program—pandemic schmandemic. In a year that has temporarily relegated opera performances in Canada to the rearview, the privilege of an invitation to perform with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, back in October, was especially cherished by Jonelle. Reflecting on that eclectically assembled program, titled Solace—wherein Jonelle sang Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and narrated Courtney D. Ware’s text in Portrait of a Queen by Carlos Simon—she describes the experience as “Everything I’ve ever wanted. Knoxville with an…

1 min.
speed round with jonelle sills

1 Dream Role? I don’t really have one… anything Puccini or Verdi 2 Favourite opera production? COC’s Rusalka 3 Favourite opera you’ve been in? Against the Grain Theatre’s La Bohème (shout out AtG!) 4 Current favourite song? “Getaway”—Mac Ayres 5 Administrative role in opera you’d like to try? Fundraising and development 6 Advice to yourself 4 years ago? Just keep going and minding your business and you’ll be fine. 7 Performance day ritual? Drink lots of water, move my body, exercise, be chill, don’t talk too much… 8 Opera singer you most admire? Angel Joy Blue…

7 min.
denise wendel-poray

STROLLING AROUND PARIS under lockdown during a late afternoon in mid-November, the only opera that comes to mind is Erich Korngold’s Die tote Stadt (The Dead City). My calendar is full of ghosts: at the Paris Opera, September—Marina Abromovic’s 7 Deaths of Maria Callas and October—a new Ring cycle staged by Calixto Bieito; November—an exciting series of operas at Theatre des Champs Elysees (TCE) not to mention a must-see concert with Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov—all canceled. I invariably go beyond the one-kilometer perimeter permitted from one’s domicile and walk from the Parc Monceau either south towards the Palais Garnier and the Opera-comique or west toward TCE. All the controversies from just a few months ago have since been silenced: Stephane Lissner’s dramatic departure from the Paris Opera, throwing the sponge at…

4 min.
erin wall

NOVEMBER 4, 1975 ——— OCTOBER 8, 2020 Sincerity. Simplicity. Authenticity. Honesty. All precious qualities to have in a performer. And when these are combined with a luminous voice, uncommon musicality, strong dramatic instinct, and a lovely stage persona, you have the makings of a treasured artist. These qualities defined soprano Erin Wall, the singer and the person. With her passing from metastatic breast cancer, we have lost one of our brightest stars in the operatic firmament. Wall left this world at the young age of 44, at the height of her artistic powers. News of her death brought forth an outpouring of grief and sadness in the music world, underscoring how beloved she was. Opera is full of tragic heroines who die young, but when it’s no longer makebelieve, the passing is…