Schmopera

Opera from another angle

November 20, 2014 0

Centre Stage: 7 finalists compete in the COC’s Ensemble Studio Competition Gala

Centre-Stage

Next Tuesday, November 25th, the seven finalists from the national auditions for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio will compete for precious few spots in the coveted young artist programme. Hosted by the beloved Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, the event is called Centre Stage, and it’s an ongoing evolution of the audition process for these young…

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November 19, 2014 0

I kind of like Black Pearls…

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One afternoon a few years back, after discovering these on YouTube, I showed them to a singer friend of mine; I figured they’d find the collection of operatic misses as fascinating as I did. My singer friend didn’t find it fascinating, perhaps due to the sympathy he couldn’t help but feel for the voices. Perhaps singers will…

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November 19, 2014 0

The fab Joyce, hanging out with your opera favourites

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Photo: Virgin Classics/Nick Heavican If you’re not following Joyce DiDonato’s YouTube Channel (the Yankee Diva), you should change that. I found this adorable video Joyce made while touring Handel’s Alcina with the English Concert Orchestra. Joyce enjoys (and gets lost) along with opera favourites Alice Coote, Anna Christy, Ben Johnson, and the charming Harry Bicket. So,…

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November 18, 2014 0

In review: Tapestry Briefs: Booster Shots

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Keith Klassen, Krisztina Szabó and Alexander Dobson in The Overcoat by Morris Panych and James Rolfe. Photo credit: Dahlia Katz. Tapestry Opera is currently enjoying its 35th anniversary season, and they seem to be celebrating by putting on fantastic theatre (and a bit of food and drink). I went to see Tapestry Briefs: Booster Shots on Sunday night,…

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November 17, 2014 0

He said/She said: Aprile Millo at Trinity St. Paul’s

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This is a joint review with contributor Greg Finney. Read more by Greg. Jenna: On Saturday night I went with go-to concert date Greg Finney to Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on Bloor Street to hear the great Aprile Millo in recital. Upon opening sitting down and flipping through the programme, I was a little humbled to…

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November 17, 2014 0

Shh…Don’t tell them it’s opera!

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I’m spending this month touring around Ontario, putting on opera for kids. We bring a whole set, costumes, props and electric keyboard, to school gyms and perform for hundreds of kids, twice a day. It’s a lot of early mornings, a lot of equipment-schlepping, and a lot of time in the tour van. But it’s worth…

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November 16, 2014 0

In review: Extensions of Us

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This is a guest review by contributor Greg Finney. Read more by Greg. On a cool Thursday night I trotted down to the Extension Room at 30 Eastern Avenue for Extensions of Us, featuring Lucia Cesaroni, Adrian Kramer, Jennifer Nichols and Justin De Bernardi with Maika’i Nash on piano. I walked into the jam-packed modern space…

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November 11, 2014 0

Encore?

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I was in rehearsal for an upcoming concert, and the only thing left to look at was the encore. I always feel like a lame impostor, rehearsing an encore. The whole idea of the encore is that it’s a repetition of a song that the audience clearly loved (“encore” is French for “again”), or it’s a…

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November 11, 2014 0

When Disney made a cartoon about an opera-singing whale

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So, in 1946 Walt Disney produced an anthology of animated short films, called Make Mine Music. There are ten film segments, almost all of them set to music; there’s an animation of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and the artists involved include Benny Goodman and the Andrews Sisters. But Make Mine Music caught my attention because of the last film segment, called The…

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November 4, 2014 0

The Opera Posse Phenomenon

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Opera singers are masters of multi-tasking: they juggle an important list of technical elements in order to sing a performance, and they have to do it in foreign languages, while following a conductor and negotiating weird costumes/lighting/staging. Singers’ to-do lists don’t get simpler as they gain experience. Once there’s a decent consensus amongst the opera…

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