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Opera Canada

Opera Canada

Summer 2021

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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MAGCAN-Opera Canada Publications
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min

As we go to press, one Canadian company has revealed its 21/22 plans: Opéra de Montréal goes live again in Jan. 2022, largely with pandemic-postponed productions. Calgary Opera also returns live in Jan. 2022 but has made the disappointing decision to cancel Fidelio, scheduled for an October run. So, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I wonder what greater forces must be at play that cause a company to cancel performances a full five months out? Although the current covid situation seems dire, things are changing rapidly as more Canadians are vaccinated and we can only hope that by the fall, we’ll be in a better place. Meanwhile in Europe, the mere glint of improvement has already resulted in a return to live opera. A quick perusal of…

2 min
take note

JUNE Pacific Opera Victoria On June 10th and 11th, Pacific Opera Victoria unveils a digital two-night premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Phaedra and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Conducted by the company’s Founder and Artistic Director Timothy Vernon, this dynamic double-bill features mezzosoprano Allyson McHardy, tenor Colin Ainsworth, Alana Despins on horn, and musicians of the Victoria Symphony. Free to watch at pacificopera.ca VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert, Toronto VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert unearths a gem of the late Italian Romantic repertoire with their digital premiere of Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, available online from June 18th to July 2nd. Starring soprano Natalya Gennadi in the title role, tenor Tonatiuh Abrego as her dashing lover Maurizio, baritone Evan Korbut as Adriana’s faithful friend Michonnet and Julie Nesrallah as the poisonous Princess de Bouillon. Tickets can be…

3 min
nicolas ellis

In 2012 at age 21, he founded his own Orchestre de l’Agora while completing a BA in piano at Université de Montréal. He studied orchestration, sat in on university orchestra rehearsals, and managed to record videos of himself conducting his ensemble. These videos gained him admission to McGill’s master’s in conducting program, working under Alexis Hauser. There he was awarded a prestigious Schulich Scholarship, the first of numerous prizes and bursaries that have helped him develop his career. Key to his trailblazing list of accomplishments are a voracious appetite for learning, exceptional powers of observation and a singular dedication to the musicians he partners with. Driven by the urge to increase the social impact of music in his community, the young conductor gave his Orchestre de l’Agora the mission of organizing…

7 min
letter from berlin

BOWIE SAID IT BEST: “BERLIN: THE GREATEST cultural extravaganza one could imagine.” And yet, more than a year into a pandemic that according to the German government’s Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries has cost the sector an estimated €22.4 billion in losses in 2020 alone, Berlin, like so many cultural hubs, exists in a sort of COVID purgatory. The city’s genre-bending mixtape is paused: waiting and hoping as a slow vaccine rollout means no bums in seats quite yet. The German capital boasts three opera houses all consistently ranking among the most important in the world as well as fifteen professional symphonies. FIFTEEN. Allow that to sink in. But there are signals that live shows will resume before too long and Berlin’s devotion to the performing arts is palpable in…

1 min
best of berlin

BEST GERMAN FOOD Engelbecken in Charlottenburg *Get the Schnitzel* PROPER PIZZA Ammazza Che Pizza! In Kreuzberg DUDS FOR DAYS Sing Blackbird Vintage in Reuterkiez (Kreuzkölln) MOST COVID-FRIENDLY TOUR Rent a dinghy on the Kreuzberg canal A TRUE GESAMTKUNSTWERK Eat your heart out in a bunker, Wagner- -The Feuerle Collection of Southeast Asian and Contemporary Art in Mitte TIE FOR BEST BUNKERART The Boros Foundation for Contemporary Art or “Banana Bunker” to Berliners in Mitte HONOURABLE MENTIONS & BERLIN PREP Stream Dogs of Berlin and 4 Blocks for gritty #inspo…

3 min
we need to talk about casting…

…a topic raised in confidence, midnightcap and post-rehearsal, among singers. As with many goings-on in our niche, albeit flatteringly-lit, corner of the arts, the opera public may be a little in the dark as to how casting actually works. Here I am to explain, not complain, and highlight the savvy creative solutions already being offered by some of today’s artistic leaders. Indulge me as I paint a picture from the school of realism: a professional singer with many years of practical experience and technical study, warms up and walks into an (often subterranean) rehearsal hall to audition. There, amidst stacked chairs and risers, sit casting directors behind their laptops. Usually, they are neither singers nor pianists and have been promoted into these roles via other administrative posts. Perhaps a less-than-sexy peek…