Opera from another angle

Recent Posts

  • The COC’s Alexander Neef on #UncleJohn
  • Mutiny at the Met?
  • Daniel MacIvor: A playwright talks opera
  • Everything I know about the piano, I learned from singers
  • The Heart and the Art
July 28, 2014 0

The COC’s Alexander Neef on #UncleJohn


Last week, the #UncleJohn team was joined by Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company. The COC has provided mentorship and support throughout the Open Space program, and while he was here at The Banff Centre, the singers had a chance to sing for Mr. Neef and ask him some of their questions about the operatic industry….

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July 28, 2014 0

Mutiny at the Met?


“We are willing to tighten our belts if Peter Gelb is willing to cut up his credit cards,” says Joe Hartnett of IATSE. “It’s more than just our labor costs that’s the problem.” If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware that the Metropolitan Opera is in trouble. This Thursday, the contracts of 15 unions are…

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July 24, 2014 0

Daniel MacIvor: A playwright talks opera

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 10.08.59 AM

Playwright and performer Daniel MacIvor is a self-professed opera newbie. He’s currently in the process of writing his first libretto for Hadrian, the new commission by the Canadian Opera Company, to be set to music by Rufus Wainwright. Hadrian is set to open the COC’s 2018/19 season, and so Daniel joined the Against the Grain Theatre crew…

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July 22, 2014 0

Everything I know about the piano, I learned from singers


Well, maybe not everything, but my title isn’t tongue-in-cheek. I’m aware of the stereotypical opinions about singers that are held by instrumentalists within the classical music scenes; I won’t say they’re not there for a reason, but there’s opportunity for learning between these seemingly polar points of origin in music. Now, singers and pianists work closely together…

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July 16, 2014 3

The Heart and the Art


Our jobs must seem quite surreal to the average person. The opera industry is full of professional travellers; singers, conductors, directors, coaches, stage managers and designers are often in a constant state of transit. It’s not uncommon for an opera-type’s calendar to feature three weeks in Toronto, two in Montreal, a four-week audition tour throughout…

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July 14, 2014 13

Elitism, Irony, and The Phantom of the Opera


This is a guest post by singer and Schmopera contributor Gregory Finney. He has written for us before, to much success. Catch him onstage later this summer with LooseTEA Music Theatre. Guys, maybe we are a little elitist… So. On recently there was a piece by a young soprano named Chelsea Feltman entitled “Don’t…

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July 12, 2014 2

Who cares what? Bring on the why


If I were the artistic director of my own opera company, I’d probably enjoy putting up whatever shows I please. There would be a lot of Britten in my seasons. The question would be, would people want to go see the shows I like best? It’s an important question, because it gets us to the…

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July 8, 2014 0

Schmopera + #UncleJohn: The Big Reveal


Exciting things are happening here at Schmopera. We’ve launched a new page, a place for all things #UncleJohn. Over at, you can follow updates from #UncleJohn-related Twitter and Facebook feeds, meet the cast and crew, and get info on the production and how to see it. On top of that, we’ll be bringing you video footage from the rehearsal…

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July 7, 2014 0

Banff and new buddies


Health nuts Masetto (Aaron Durand) and Ottavio (Conrad Siebert). Well, it’s happening. Yesterday, the whole cast and crew of #UncleJohn moved into their new digs at the stunning Banff Centre. It was a day of informally bumping into each other over meals and self-guided orientations. I caught Leporello going over his patter outside Le café, and talked business over…

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July 6, 2014 2

Lighting #UncleJohn: Jason Hand

Jason Hand

The Against the Grain Theatre crew has arrived at the beautiful Banff Centre, getting ready for the anticipated #UncleJohn. The crew includes lighting designer Jason Hand, who is no stranger to AtG. His lighting design was nominated for a Dora Award for Figaro’s Wedding. With Pelléas et Mélisande freshly closed, #UncleJohn will be the second al fresco performance in…

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