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Opera CanadaOpera Canada

Opera Canada

Vol. LX, 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.

A perfect confluence of timing and events means we’re able to bring you a surfeit of reports from summer opera festivals, both national and international, in this issue. From the larger-than-usual Canadian contingent at Santa Fe Opera, to the latest Regietheater from Bayreuth, as well as the important opportunities given to emerging artists in Edmonton and Banff—you can vicariously experience the delights of this summer’s opera season. And don’t forget to check out operacanada.ca where you’ll find features on the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Manitoba Underground Opera, Highlands Opera Studio, as well as rising Canadian bass-baritone Joel Allison’s summer in Salzburg. Offstage, things have been no less newsworthy as the opera world continues to come to grips with #MeToo. On Aug. 16th, Associated Press published accusations of sexual harassment by nine…

access_time4 min.
in memoriam

Canadian opera legend, bass Joseph Rouleau, passed away in Montréal on July 12th, 2019 at the age of 90. Born in Matane, Québec in 1929, Rouleau studied voice as a teenager before entering the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal; he went on to further vocal study in Milan in 1952. Three years later, Rouleau won a series of engagements with New Orleans Opera, and shortly thereafter, auditioned for the visiting director of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His first ROH season was a rich one, performing Colline in La Bohème, Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, the Ghost of Hector in Les Troyens, Ferrando in Il trovatore, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto opposite Joan Sutherland, who became a regular collaborator. He would go on to sing 48 principal roles with ROH…

access_time7 min.
artists on stage

Sarah Cambidge is having a good year. The Vancouver-born, Denver-based soprano recently made her role debut as the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with San Francisco Opera. (The production, by David McVicar, will be presented by the Canadian Opera Company this October as part of their autumn season.) Earlier in 2019, she enjoyed house and role debuts with L’Opera National de Bordeaux (Sieglinde in Die Walkure) and Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Chrysothemis in Elektra). This coming fall, she’ll be making her Metropolitan Opera debut. Cambidge fully credits her early singing life in Canada as the base for her current success, starting with choirs (including the Vancouver Bach Choir) and voice lessons with Patricia Plumley, a longtime faculty member of the Vancouver Community College School of Music. “It was the right path for me,” she…

access_time6 min.
turandot without the trappings

Robert Wilson, the renowned American avant-garde theatre director and designer, will make his Canadian ‘grand opera’ debut this fall with a new staging of Puccini’s Turandot to open Canadian Opera Company’s 2019/2020 season—a co-production with Teatro Real Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, and Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Wilson and the opera’s title character, Turandot, have a lot in common. Both are renowned for their personal aesthetic: Turandot for her exalted, physical beauty and Wilson, for his distinctive theatrical style. They also share a certain infamy: Turandot for her notorious cruelty to would-be suitors, and Wilson, for his controversial, audience-dividing aesthetic. Over the course of a five-decade career, Wilson has garnered acclaim in theatre, opera and the visual arts. His opera productions have appeared at dozens of prestigious theatres including Metropolitan…

access_time13 min.
letter from salzburg

Founded in the summer of 1920, the legendary Salzburg Festival will celebrate its first centenary this coming year. But in 1967, Herbert von Karajan, the Festival’s Director since 1956, started a highly prestigious sister festival encompassing the 10 days from just before Palm Sunday until Easter Monday. It was his own little Bayreuth featuring the Berlin Philharmonic rather than the Vienna Philharmonic, the summer Festival’s traditional resident orchestra. The first edition featured Die Walküre starring Canadian tenor Jon Vickers as Siegmund, Gundula Janowitz as Sieglinde, Régine Crespin as Brünnhilde and Thomas Stewart as Wotan. The Cycle would run from 1967-70 with stellar casts; the productions were staged by von Karajan himself. Easter From 1967 to 2012, the Berlin Philharmonic and its respective chief conductors were at the heart of the Easter Festival.…

access_time9 min.
letter from bayreuth

It was another ‘non-Ring’ year at the 2019 Bayreuth Festival. Programming centred on Richard Wagner’s ‘one-off’ operas, those early and late musical dramas informed by, and critical to the development of his ambitious four-opera Ring Cycle which will return in 2020. Just as this summer’s Festival began, a highly-anticipated announcement was made on Aug. 12th revealing that Bayreuth’s next Ring will be staged by Austrian director Valentin Schwarz along with frequent collaborator, Italian stage designer Andrea Cozzi, and German costume designer Andy Besuch. Conducting duties will go to the Finn, Pietari Inkinen. These are all relatively fresh, new names somewhat outside of the current opera firmament, and their vision will no doubt be subject to intense scrutiny come 2020. In the interim, 2019 offered the possibility to focus on ‘the rest’…