Editorials

2018 in review: a confession

2018 in review: a confession

I guess that's my 2018 year-in-review: finding my way back to opera. It certainly helped to have, always bubbling in the background like happy reminders, the insatiable enthusiasm for opera of our writers and readers. So, thanks.

Jenna Simeonov
Ayre Live launches AtG's new record label

Ayre Live launches AtG's new record label

"That time is imprinted in my brain, and I think it will be forever," says Khalil of singing Ayre at Toronto's Ismaili Centre, a cultural symbol of the city's fostering of Islam. She gave three performances between November 10-12, 2016, less than a week after Trump's election win. "This piece felt like it was so needed at that time."

Jenna Simeonov
Off-Centre Stage: the COC Ensemble Studio Competition

Off-Centre Stage: the COC Ensemble Studio Competition

It's a lot of hype for one night, and only part of it is open to the public. The competitors sing one closed round before the crowd files in for the second, and after the competition is done, the singers are whisked away for a gala dinner with their colleagues - and most notably, the evening's donors.

Jenna Simeonov
Live-streamed in recital: Brancy & Dugan

Live-streamed in recital: Brancy & Dugan

The Journey Home is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, and features traditional picks (Schubert, Vaughan Williams), as well as popular and art songs by composers who were killed in the war.

Jenna Simeonov
Don't miss: the drama & devotion of Agostino Steffani

Don't miss: the drama & devotion of Agostino Steffani

"He spins a beautiful melody," says mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, who joins the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir on this programme of Steffani's music. The composer's style, "for me, it falls between Cavalli and Handel."

Jenna Simeonov
Bel Canto: creating a diva

Bel Canto: creating a diva

The term diva has been somewhat hijacked in 21st-century North America; "Mostly now, it means bad behaviour," Fleming admits. Still, the character of Roxane has qualities that are charmingly familiar to those in the opera industry. Her ease in high-profile social situations, her ability to articulate what she does and does not want, her general fearlessness - these are the qualities of people like Sondra Radvanovsky, Anna Netrebko, and of course, Fleming.

Jenna Simeonov
A daring & desirous double-bill at Opera Atelier

A daring & desirous double-bill at Opera Atelier

Such longevity puts it among the upper echelon of Canadian opera companies in Canada - a feat more impressive when we consider that Atelier performs exclusively 17th- and 18th-century baroque opera. It's almost impossible to resist saying it: "If it ain't baroque, don't fix it."

Jenna Simeonov
Check it out: The Linden Project

Check it out: The Linden Project

Art song - a broad classical music term to describe a piece written for solo singer and accompaniment, usually by a piano - can feel equal parts vague and exclusive. A song by Schubert and a song by Bernstein are both considered art songs, despite enormous differences in style; conversely, art song carries with it some special qualities, like the conversational relationship between the voice and piano.

Jenna Simeonov
CMIM Finals: one out of three ain't bad?

CMIM Finals: one out of three ain't bad?

Even for me, I was quite errant in my guesses for the winners of this year's Concours musical international de Montréal.

Jenna Simeonov
Onto the finals: why can't they all just win?

Onto the finals: why can't they all just win?

I suppose that's what happened as the CMIM Aria finalists were announced. I made a few private predictions of my own, and I was largely on the same page as the jury. But I was dismayed to see two singers left out of the final round, perhaps for swinging too far one way or the other.

Jenna Simeonov

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