[This is part of a series profiling the artists making their COC debuts in the 2011/2012 season]
"I want it to be 70 per cent beautiful, 15 per cent surrealistically beautiful, and the rest so beautiful that nobody can bear it." – Zhang Huan on Semele
Name: Zhang Huan
Practice: Visual and performance artist
Where he's from: An Yang City, He Nan Province, China
What he's directing: He'll be directing Handel's Semele, at the COC from May 9 to 26.
Where he's been: Semele is the first opera he's directed. As a visual and performance artist, he's had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Max Protetch Gallery, New York; Galerie Albert Benamou, Paris; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Haunch of Venison, London and Zurich; and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery here in Toronto, among others.
Watch and Listen
From the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, an interview with Zhang Huan (the interview starts approximately 10 minutes into the video):
Here's a video preview of Semele from its premiere at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels.
This video shows many of Zhang Huan's best-known sculptural, photographic and performance works.
Photo: Zhang Huan
Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (1) / permalink
“Little in recent memory has hit the mark so consistently and so truthfully as the simple, traditional storytelling of diva-turned-director Catherine Malfitano.” – What's On Stage
Name: Catherine Malfitano
Range and craft: Beloved by audiences as a soprano, in 2005 she turned her hand to directing. She is making her directorial debut with the COC.
Where she's from: New York City, New York
What she's directing: She'll be making her COC debut directing a new production: a double bill of Zemlinsky's A Florentine Tragedy and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, from April 26 to May 25.
Where she's been: She's directed Tosca for the English National Opera and Florida Grand Opera, Rigoletto for Washington National Opera, and numerous productions including Madama Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor for Central City Opera (Denver). Her career as a singer has taken her to the world's top operatic stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Wiener Staatsoper.
In this interview with English National Opera (for which she directed Tosca in 2010), Catherine Malfitano discusses her shift from singing to directing, and her approach to Tosca as a director.
Photo: Catherine Malfitano. © John Swannell
Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (0) / permalink
“His generous throat produces great torrents of autumnal tones with apparent ease. If I were casting Hoffmann anywhere, Relyea would be my unhesitating first choice for the villains.” - Opera News
Name: John Relyea
Where he's from: Toronto, Ontario
What he's singing: The four villains (Lindorf/Coppélius/Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, at the COC from April 10 to May 14
Where he's been: The four villains in The Tales of Hoffmann at Seattle Opera and Bayerische Staatsoper (upcoming); Escamillo in Carmen, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, and Méphistophélès in The Damnation of Faust (among other roles) at the Metropolitan Opera
John Relyea kept a foot in both the opera and rock music worlds for a while, as he explains in this video interview with News in Chicago before launching into an aria from The Damnation of Faust:
Here is is as Banquo (in a duet with Zeljko Lucic as Macbeth) in the Metropolitan Opera's 2008 production of Verdi's Macbeth.
And, of course, he generously appeared in our trailer for the 2011/2012 season:
Many more videos featuring John Relyea are listed on his Facebook page.
Photo: John Relyea. Photo © Dario Acosta.
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001