Inside Calgary Opera’s preparations for The Merry Widow in spite of COVID.
"I've been singing Handel and Rossini and Wagner and Verdi and Schubert and Brahms my whole career. What's the difference if I'm doing that or doing Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer and Barry Manilow? It's all music and it’s all just different styles and I enjoy singing them all."
The Italian-born conductor led Calgary Opera production of La bohème in 2019.
"What I think happens a lot, is that you have people who are maybe more stereotypically attractive in thin bodies, who maybe have medium voices — not the best voices in the world." These singers are well promoted, Anchel says, and they get opportunities to work with opera's best. "So they get really good at singing, even though maybe their voice isn't that amazing."
"Women who are independent, strong, and sexually liberated have a long history of receiving society's scorn because they refuse to break themselves in order to fit the approved mold. Carmen is many things, but a slutty, evil temptress? Nope."
The virtual start to the Watershed Festival is no compromise, no placeholder for the in-person Festival set for spring 2022. "Going virtual has a number of silver linings," says Burry. "We've got people joining us from around the world, and I would imagine the best aspects of that kind of reach will always be a part of the festival moving forward."
"Our city" – It was a phrase that came up often in our conversation. It's clear Maestro Mazzola already has one foot firmly planted in his newly adopted hometown. As he confessed, he is excited to spend his first holiday season in Chicago despite health restrictions and cancellations.
"What does 18th-century opera have to offer us now when we face such existential challenges? Haymarket's tenth season highlights the transformational power of beauty as presented through myth, storytelling, and exquisitely timeless music by one of western music's most empathetic and compassionate composers."
“It's going to be like a torpedo of Mimì and Rodolfo's emotional trajectory. There's no pause to reflect. It's going to go straight through from the moment they meet until the end. As a director that's very exciting. It makes us shine a light on some of the emotional aspects that sometimes get glossed over," she adds.
The company launched the "Sleep Chorus" to promote a special fund raising drive to compensate artists on and off stage during the pandemic shutdown while the protective masks went to organizations without access to traditional health care resources including assisted-living homes, veterinarians, blood services, shelters, and more