By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager
For Episode 17, the “Please, no more old, tired opera clichés” edition, we welcome back opera journalists Joseph So and Paula Citron; Western Canadian opera presenter and journalist Stephan Bonfield, and opera blogger John Gilks. Gianmarco Segato, the COC’s Adult Programs Manager, is your host.
Several opera stories have gone “viral” recently – here’s our contribution to the lively conversation:
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By Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager
Clarence Frazer (Publio) and Emily D'Angelo (Annio) posing before their COSI performance of La clemenza di Tito.
The COC welcomed new Ensemble Studio member baritone Clarence Frazer last week as the training program started up for the 2013/2014 season. He, like fellow Ensemble Studio newcomer Danielle MacMillan, spent part of June and much of July in Sulmona, Italy, attending the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), before heading out to the family cottage in Muskoka, ON. Since fall is so close at hand, we wanted to get one more dose of summer by hearing about Clarence’s time away.
Danielle shared with us a little bit of what COSI is and what one does when attending the program. How would you describe it?
The COSI experience is rich in operatic training and performances, with immersion in Italian life and Italian language classes. Internationally renowned faculty in operatic performance, voice and piano teaching and coaching, dramatic coaching, bodywork, and lyric Italian converge with advanced singers and pianists to create wonderful performances in beautiful Italian venues.
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Mezzo-soprano Danielle MacMillan is one of the new members of the Ensemble Studio for the 2013/2014 season. In fact, she just officially started with the company as the Ensemble Studio artists began their schedule of rehearsals, vocal coachings, language and diction lessons and masterclasses only last week. We wanted to find out what Danielle had been up to over the summer as she spent some time in bella Italia – Sulmona, Italy to be exact – studying at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.
What is the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy? What do you in this program?
The COSI Opera Ensemble program is tailored to select, advanced undergraduate and graduate singers, and emerging artists ready to build upon their existing performance résumé. Successful applicants come prepared to stage and perform assigned opera roles in an elite setting and with an international performance training team, designed to prepare the emerging artist for the professional opera stage.
In addition to Italian language classes taught by certified instructors from the English School of International Languages, each of us receives a series of one-on-one coaching sessions, voice lessons and Pilates bodywork. Additionally, the singers have masterclasses and forums twice a week. We also perform in various aria concerts in historical Sulmona, and in courtyard concerts in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001