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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
An absolute triumph: Kosky's Carmen

An absolute triumph: Kosky's Carmen

We open to a massive set of stairs as wide as the stage. Perched atop is a lone figure in garishly flamboyant toreador garb. This is our narrator and we understand her to be Carmen, or at least, a version of her. She is an omniscient and timeless figure, as if speaking to us from beyond the grave to tell her story.

Alessia Naccarato
A hit with the kids: WOW Factor

A hit with the kids: WOW Factor

An audience of kids also tests the temperament of the folks onstage. *WOW Factor* is cast with current and past members of the COC Ensemble Studio, and it was specifically the new members who impressed with their versatility. I had seen bass-baritone Joel Allison in the COC's stark production of Eugene Onegin, and it was a hoot to see him turn a full 180 as the buffo-for-kids Mr. Magnifico.

Jenna Simeonov
Opera5's Open Chambers: Too many cooks in the chamber?

Opera5's Open Chambers: Too many cooks in the chamber?

Ultimately it's the music that resonated the most, while the theatrics — played out in a dichromatic set via mimetic interpretations of the libretto — filled in the gaps that awkward shuffling and transitional applause between segments are otherwise expected.

Michael Zarathus-Cook
San Diego Opera takes a detour with All is Calm

San Diego Opera takes a detour with All is Calm

"In Turandot, that we did last year, or in All is Calm, the expressive potency of the human voice is the commonality. The spoken word is expressive too because it uses the human voice. It has music, it has rhythm, it has form, and it has pitch – all the things that some music does, but just that it is spoken. That is the dramatic glue to this piece."

Eva Cahen
Scattered symbols in Opera 5's Open Chambers

Scattered symbols in Opera 5's Open Chambers

Hansen is a lover of chamber music, but is less enamoured with the traditional setting of chamber music performances. He writes in his director's notes, "Audiences understand they'll arrive to a venue and see chairs set out awaiting the musicians, organized along very standard and - let's just say it - totally uninspired, predictable placements so that the musicians can see and hear each other."

Jenna Simeonov
Everyday people & spectacular emotions: La bohème

Everyday people & spectacular emotions: La bohème

Rodolfo and Mimì shared what felt like a genuine chemistry. Sung by Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw making her ENO debut, it was a subtle and heartfelt performance. There was something classic about her sound that I really loved. It was a true triumph. Musetta, sung by ENO Harewood Artist Nadine Benjamin, was unfortunately the weakest character for me.

Alessia Naccarato
Bumping elbows at CFO's Long Christmas Dinner

Bumping elbows at CFO's Long Christmas Dinner

Soprano Jessie Lyons went hardly unnoticed as Lucia, who spent most of her time on the winding stage, alongside Jonathan Zeng as Charles, whose charisma and stunning tenor voice required the attention of all attending. The audience also couldn't ignore Andrew Groble's thunderous baritone voice that was a delight for the ears, with additional support from Naomi Brigell emotional performance of the slowly deteriorating Genevieve.

Emma Kelley
Stay warm with Opera Mariposa's tropical Così fan tutte

Stay warm with Opera Mariposa's tropical Così fan tutte

"Our production includes a little LGBTQ+ content, as well as a nod to polyamory. Given the way the original sought to challenge the status quo, we felt this is very much in the spirit of the opera. I think the result is still a hilarious, satirical look at relationship stereotypes, and one that all audiences can enjoy!"

Jenna Simeonov
ENO's Lucia: "I wanted to see her fight back."

ENO's Lucia: "I wanted to see her fight back."

I found Alden's production be be a challenging one. I think that's the nature of this piece. The subject matter is very dark and though I appreciate that it didn't shy away from depicting the violence done to Lucia, I was left unsatisfied with the way it was handled.

Alessia Naccarato

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