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Toronto – This February, the Canadian Opera Company presents the Canadian premiere of acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s Love from Afar (L’amour de loin), a haunting and vivid musical creation that has become one of the most performed and successful operas composed of this century. This new COC production is helmed by COC Music Director Johannes Debus and visionary director Daniele Finzi Pasca, and features an all-Canadian cast of voices both familiar and new to the COC stage: baritone Russell Braun, soprano Erin Wall and mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó. Sung in French with English SURTITLES™,Love from Afar runs for eight performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Feb. 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18 and 22, 2012.
Since the opera’s premiere in 2000 at the Salzburg Festival, Love from Afar has captivated audiences worldwide with performances at Théâtre du Châtelet, Sante Fe Opera, Stadttheater Bern, Finnish National Opera, the Bergen International Festival, English National Opera and Vlaamse Opera. Arguably the greatest opera of the 21st century, it has been praised as a “haunting and resonant work... transfixing and utterly distinguished” by the New York Times.
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Toronto – Soprano Sasha Djihanian, a native of Montreal, claimed the top prize last night at the inauguralCanadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Competition at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, selected from 10 finalists to receive the $5,000 award. Soprano Claire de Sévigné, also from Montreal, won the second prize of $3,000 and tenor Owen McCausland from Saint John, New Brunswick was awarded the third prize of $1,500. In addition, Sudbury soprano Lindsay Barrett was selected by the audience as the winner of the Audience Choice Award, worth $1,500.
The 10 finalists from across Canada were selected from over 160 singers in preliminary auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York. Each finalist performed two arias with piano accompaniment in front of a live audience and an adjudicator panel comprised of COC General Director Alexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, and guest judges Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, voice teacher, and Ensemble Studio alumnaWendy Nielsen.
Toronto – Following auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York City attended by Canadian Opera Company administrators, 10 out of a pool of over 160 young, aspiring opera singers have been selected to compete in the final auditions at the inaugural COC Ensemble Studio Competition. For the first time in the history of the COC, the final auditions for singers seeking to join the Ensemble Studio training program will be made public as a vocal competition. In addition to an offer of a coveted position in the 2012/2013 Ensemble Studio, the singers will be competing for one of four cash prizes. A limited number of tickets priced at $30 are now on sale for the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, which takes place on Nov. 28, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Ten finalists will perform in front of an audience and a panel of judges, comprised of COC General DirectorAlexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, opera coach, and Ensemble Studio alumna Wendy Nielsen. Over the course of the two-hour competition, each finalist will perform two arias showcasing their vocal technique and range. The judging panel will deliberate on location and announce the competition winners at the conclusion of the evening’s event.