Opera from another angle

December 17, 2014 0

The Mikado and Champagne

semkiw-5-lg - Lucia

Lucia Cesaroni. Photo: Looking for something to tide you over between the annual stretch of Christmas-New Year’s-Regular Life? Want a way to get some catchy songs in your head that aren’t Christmas carols? Me too. Luckily, you can catch Toronto Operetta Theatre‘s production of The Mikado, from December 27th to January 4th. There’s even a…

Read More
December 17, 2014 0

#UncleJohn: the Toronto story


Cameron McPhail (Uncle John) and John Avey (the Commander) in AtG’s production of #UncleJohn. Photo: Darryl Block I went to see opening night of Against the Grain Theatre‘s production of #UncleJohn, the re-imagination of Mozart’s Don Giovanni by Joel Ivany. It was fantastic, but I’m hardly the unbiased media figure I should be in order to offer up…

Read More
December 15, 2014 0

Cecilia Bartoli: “atonal music creates a barrier between composer and singer”


Photo: Uli Weber Did anyone catch Cecilia Bartoli‘s comments earlier this year, in an interview promoting her new album, St Petersburg? Cecilia is known for her singing of Mozart, Vivaldi, and plenty of long-lost songs from the 18th-century and earlier. Early Music folks are notoriously eccentric, and at their worst, annoyingly closed-minded about “modern music”. I didn’t picture…

Read More
December 15, 2014 0

Tales from the score: Violetta


Verdi’s La traviata is one of those operas, like Il barbiere di Siviglia or Die Walküre, that’s so full of famous stories and tunes that the real significance of these moments is almost forgotten. But because it’s Verdi, let’s not dock him points for being obvious. I’m sure every opera fan has own favourite bits from La traviata, including…

Read More
December 11, 2014 0

Wendy Nielsen: on teaching singing


Originally from New Brunswick, Canadian soprano Wendy Nielsen has enjoyed a multi-decade career as a singer and as a teacher. Roles like the Countess Almaviva, Fiordiligi, and Donna Elvira are staples of her singing career, which has taken her across Canada, and includes twelves seasons at the Metropolitan Opera. She is currently on faculty at the University…

Read More
December 10, 2014 0

#UncleJohn in Toronto

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.52.54 PM

Against the Grain Theatre‘s production of #UncleJohn opens this Thursday, to the delight of indie opera lovers in Canada. After its initial premiere this summer at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff, AB, #UncleJohn has sparked much anticipation from audiences here in Toronto. AtG Artistic Director Joel Ivany and #UncleJohn conductor/pianist Miloš Repický took some time to talk about…

Read More
December 7, 2014 0

Tom Diamond: On Directing Opera

Diamond - Bathroom Divas Season 2 Press Stills 040

Winnipeg-born Tom Diamond is one of Canada’s busiest, most sought-after opera directors. His work has earned him both Dora (Chan Ka Nin’s Iron Road) and Gemini awards (Bathroom Divas: So You Want To Be an Opera Star? on Bravo!), and he’s in huge demand as an operatic acting coach to young professional singers. I first met Tom on the summer…

Read More
December 5, 2014 0

Talking with Singers: Robert Pomakov


Canadian bass Robert Pomakov has built himself a pretty enviable career. He’s currently in the middle of a Metropolitan Opera-heavy season, returning in January for productions of Les contes d’Hoffmann, Manon and Don Carlo. He has sung for conductors like James Levine, James Conlon, Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Nicola Luisotti. He has been a regular voice at the Canadian…

Read More
December 4, 2014 0

Can Opera Make Money?

Canadian 50 dollar bills with one 100 dollar bill.

Opera doesn’t make money, it never has, and we all know it. I was recently asked about opera’s economy and why opera companies have never functioned as a for-profit theatre company. The theoretical comparison was between the Canadian Opera Company and Mirvish Productions. My initial response to the question of a business model was that there was simply…

Read More
December 3, 2014 0

Tales from the score: Bohemians in love


Without fail, in almost tedious constancy, watching La bohème brings out all the feels. Before an upcoming production, I’m more objective, and I can inwardly roll my eyes at the thought of getting swept away by a piece like La bohème. It’s so obvious, I tell myself, You’re falling for low-bar emotional jabs like doomed lovers and…

Read More
Older Posts