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Opera Canada

Opera Canada

Vol. LX, No. 4

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.

When we sent our Spring 2020 issue off to press in early February, the coronavirus was largely confined to China and Italy. Cancellations of performances had begun in Italy, but the full-on, worldwide devastation of the pandemic was still largely unfelt in the greater opera world. Since then, the bulk of the 19/20 season has disappeared with indications this will bleed into 2021. Significant productions at Canadian companies had to be abandoned as late as post-dress rehearsal in the case of Edmonton Opera’s Candide. The intricate web of artistic endeavour, years of preparation and heavy fundraising that go into producing an opera means the jettisoning of even one production leaves a huge void. We had to quickly re-adjust planned content for this issue in order to properly reflect the current, unprecedented…

15 min.
letters from home

Danika Lorèn SOPRANO/COMPOSER How I am feeling through all of this changes by the minute! There is so much to deal with and digest in this situation, and very little to distract from it. Each feeling seems to have layers of other emotions attached to it. It’s like thinking you’re biting into angel food cake, but winding up with a mouthful of Schichttorte (shoutout to all the stress bakers out there). All of my contracts for the foreseeable future have been postponed. Now, postponing instead of cancelling may seem like a ray of sunshine, but it is actually preventing me from getting financial aid since nothing was technically cancelled and on paper it doesn’t read as a loss of work. The situation, however, is changing day by day; the recent changes to CERB…

9 min.
letter from wormsley

The 2020 summer opera festival season in the United Kingdom is on hold. Glyndebourne, The Grange, Opera Holland Park, and Grange Park Opera have all cancelled their planned seasons in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Garsington Opera, founded in 1989 by the late opera impresario Leonard Ingrams and his wife Rosalind, also canceled its 2020 season, but the festival is moving on, eyes set firmly to the future. Located in the Chiltern Hills on the Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire border since 2011, Garsington Opera is one the pre-eminent British summer opera festivals, a black-tie affair with world-class opera productions, housed on the scenic grounds of the historic Getty estate at Wormsley. With four operas presented each summer over its seven-week season, the festival has become a firm favorite and a beloved tradition for many…

11 min.
michèle losier kicks into high gear

Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier’s recent assumptions of major roles have consistently been intellectually rich, emotionally committed and vocally enthralling, earning her the highest accolades. Of Losier’s May 2019 Idamante at La Scala, Der Opern Freund wrote of the artist’s “pleasant timbre and well-formed technique,” noting that she “was physically and gesturally a perfect, aristocratic youth,” and that she expressed the character’s “every nuance of emotion.” In December 2019, when Losier appeared at Brussels’s La Monnaie as Nicklausse and the Muse in Krzysztof Warlikowski’s new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Opera Traveller said she possessed “a remarkably energetic stage presence,” with a “ripe, juicy mezzo … with a wonderfully full, rich bottom” and that she “savoured the language, bringing out a world of colours through the text.” Other recent assignments for Losier have included,…

22 min.
vancouver opera’s tumultuous decade

Much has changed since Opera Canada last profiled Vancouver Opera (VO) just over a decade ago in Robert Jordan’s 2009 article entitled “Vancouver Opera at fifty: celebrating a half-century of innovation and growth.” Unlike then, this time VO company and Board officials––and a number of others in the Vancouver arts firmament––declined, or were not allowed to speak with us about what has obviously been a tumultuous few years. All opera companies struggle, even in the best of times. The intent here is to recap VO’s past decade and offer some analysis of the path that brought it to a place where it is clearly in difficulty, but hopefully entering a new phase under newly-appointed General Director, Tom Wright. It is our fervent hope, and indeed that of all opera lovers in…

2 min.
charles barber, nancy hermiston & ian rye on vancouver opera’s vital role in the west coast opera community

“Like everyone else,” says Charles Barber, Conductor and Artistic Director of City Opera Vancouver, which commissions and presents chamber opera in venues around Vancouver, including the troubled Downtown Eastside, “I want to see Vancouver Opera thrive and prosper. They have been our lead company for 60 years, and many people––myself included––feel a debt of loyalty and gratitude for everything they have accomplished. When a teenager, their production of Carmen was the first professional opera I ever saw. It changed my life.” COV‘s latest project is an opera about the history, people, and culture of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Nancy Hermiston is Chair of UBC’s Voice and Opera Divisions and Director of the University of British Columbia’s 90-member UBC Opera Ensemble, which puts on three full productions a year, often of challenging material, like…