For Episode 6, the “All-Blogger Edition”, we welcome back John Gilks and Leslie Barcza, and for the first time, Lydia Perovic. Hosting once again is the COC’s Adult Programs Manager, Gianmarco Segato.
To mark the passing of composer Hans Werner Henze, we discuss the current state and future of contemporary opera in Europe, the U.K. and North America. Then, what's with all the booing? We look at David Alden’s new staging of Un ballo in maschera at the Met. Lydia plugs her new opera-based novel and we chat with Nina Draganic, Director of Programming for the COC's Free Concert Series who highlights some special upcoming November and December concerts. Finally, we re-visit Catherine Clément’s seminal book, Opera: the undoing of women, inspired by a recent article about Australian Opera’s Salome/Lucia/Butterfly season and our own spring duo of Lucia di Lamermoor and Salome.
Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in The Big COC Podcast / comments (0) / permalink
On November 29, 10 young singers will participate in the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, competing for cash prizes and a position in the prestigious Ensemble Studio training program for emerging artists. Every day we will introduce you to our finalists. Today's finalist? Mezzo-soprano Aviva Fortunata.
Aviva Fortunata, a soprano from Calgary, AB, is passionate about everything she does, not just opera. If she weren’t a singer, she says she “would definitely want to devote my energy towards the exciting and under-appreciated world of professional roller derby.”
Aside from roller derby, Aviva enjoys nail polish art (check out her nail polish blog), guerilla knitting and Broadway shows.
But she’s chosen to devote her life to music — so why opera instead of roller derby or Broadway? “I grew up performing in community theatre musicals, and I always knew that I wanted to keep singing forever!” Aviva says. “As I grew up, classical song repertoire and the grand theatrics of opera appealed to me more and more, and now I can't imagine doing anything else. It is a difficult field, but it is so exciting to be doing what I love as a job, as clichéd as that sounds. I find the rehearsal process to be as satisfying, challenging, and equally rewarding as the performance aspect itself.”
Aviva’s performance experience has only enhanced her love for opera. While completing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at the University of Toronto, she appeared as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin.
Posted by Kathleen Keenan / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink
On November 29, 10 young singers will participate in the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, competing for cash prizes and a position in the prestigious Ensemble Studio training program for emerging artists. Every day we will introduce you to some our finalists. Our next finalist? Mezzo-soprano Charlotte Burrage.
Finalist Charlotte Burrage, a mezzo soprano, credits her parents for getting her involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities when she was a child. Even though she grew up in a small town (Sweaburg, ON, just southwest of Woodstock), she still had the opportunity to experience “every recreation possible.”
After trying music, theatre and sports, Charlotte quit competitive swimming to focus on singing and says, “I think the day I quit the [swim] team for music I knew there was no turning back.”
At first Charlotte played piano, but became hooked on opera after meeting her teacher Vicki St. Pierre. “Her voice was the first operatic sound I had ever heard and I was blown away,” Charlotte remembers. “The power of her voice and the effect it had on me was something I had never experienced. I bought my first classical vocal recording shortly after meeting Vicki; she recommended Maureen Forrester and I haven't stopped listening to her since.”
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001