Parlando: The COC Blog

10/29/2015

Centre Stage 2015: Zachary Read



Out of a pool of 120 aspiring opera singers from across the country, eight were selected to compete at Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition on November 3, 2015, our annual celebration of the next generation of opera stars selected from nationwide auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio—Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition features the young singers vying for cash prizes ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000. We interviewed our eight young finalists to learn more—check out all of the interviews, linked by name as they become available, here (or here if on a mobile device). 


Halifax native and baritone Zachary Read is currently a member of Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program, and he studied opera at the University of Toronto (UofT) and Western University. His credits include Marullo in Rigoletto, Jonas Fogg in Sweeney Todd, Le Podestat in Le Docteur Miracle, Ivan in Die Fledermaus, and Morales in Carmen (Vancouver Opera); Sid in Albert Herring and Malatesta in Don Pasquale (UofT Opera); and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (Accademia Europea dell’Opera). Mr. Read was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions regional finalist and won the District People’s Choice Award. He was also a semi-finalist in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition. Upcoming roles include Prince Yamadori and Imperial Commissioner in Vancouver Opera’s Madama Butterfly

Three Things about Zachary Read 

Why opera? How did you come to be an opera singer and what do you find so compelling about the art form?

I grew up playing and singing Scottish, Irish, and folk music. I had not been exposed much to opera before going to university, but knew that I wanted to improve my singing and songwriting. I decided to pursue a vocal performance degree at the University of Western Ontario, where I learned a lot about the operatic repertoire and was very intrigued by how a human voice could make such a glorious sound. Once I learned more about the French, German, and Italian languages, I was able to appreciate the poetry and storytelling that inspires these great works. 

There are many reasons why I think this art form is so intriguing: how composers marry text to music and the way both of those elements influence one another, the sound and colours possible in the voice and orchestra, and the immediacy of creating live theatre in front of an audience, to name a few.

What are your hobbies, interests, other projects, outside of opera?

Another passion I have in my life is playing the Scottish Highland Bagpipes. I am currently a member of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band (six-time world champions) and will be traveling with the band to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow this summer. 

I also love entertaining and cooking for friends and family, single-malt whisky, and University of Michigan football.

Do you have a dream role?  What is it?

There are so many roles I would love to perform. It would be hard to pick one. The Verdi baritone roles are ones I would dearly love to grow into someday, but for the nearer future, I would say my top “dream” roles would be Valentin in Gounod’s Faust, Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème.

 

Follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZakRead


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit COCCentreStage.ca, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 or visit the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

To buy competition tickets, click here.
To buy Under 30 competition tickets sponsored by TD, click here.
For more information about the the Centre Stage Dinner event and how to purchase tickets, please contact the PC Office at 416-363-5801

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Centre Stage / comments (0) / permalink

10/28/2015

Centre Stage 2015: Marjorie Maltais



Out of a pool of 120 aspiring opera singers from across the country, eight were selected to compete at Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition on November 3, 2015, our annual celebration of the next generation of opera stars selected from nationwide auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio—Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition features the young singers vying for cash prizes ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000. We interviewed our eight young finalists to learn more—check out all of the interviews, linked by name as they become available, here (or here if on a mobile device). 


Clermont, Quebec-born mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais recently completed her master of music performance and literature at Western University, where she also earned a bachelor of music in voice performance. Her operatic credits include Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Montefeltro Festival); Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Angelina in La Cenerentola, and Concepcion in L’heure espagnole (Western University Opera); the title role in Carmen (Windsor Symphony Orchestra); and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera on the Avalon). She also recently performed at Music Academy of the West. Upcoming performances include concert appearances with the Guelph and Windsor symphony orchestras, Boise Philharmonic and Sweetwater Music Festival. 

Three Things about Marjorie Maltais

Why opera? How did you come to be an opera singer and what do you find so compelling about the art form?

I started singing in a choir at age 12 and this is where I discovered my voice. Opera was not a passion at first, but I learned to love it. At a young age, I remember finding the actual mechanics of singing fascinating. I wanted to be able to project my voice like an opera singer. Then I fell in love with the music, the stories, the costumes, the sets. Opera is all of my passions combined into one art form. 

 

What are your hobbies, interests, other projects, outside of opera?

I love visual arts, comedies, documentaries, hiking, and good meals in good company!  

 

Do you have a dream role?  What is it?

My dream role is the feisty Isabella from Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri who must rescue her love. I can’t get enough of Rossini!

 

Follow Marjorie on Twitter at @MezzoMarjo


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit COCCentreStage.ca, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 or visit the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

To buy competition tickets, click here.
To buy Under 30 competition tickets sponsored by TD, click here.
For more information about the the Centre Stage Dinner event and how to purchase tickets, please contact the PC Office at 416-363-5801

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Centre Stage / comments (0) / permalink

10/27/2015

Centre Stage 2015: Emily D’Angelo



Out of a pool of 120 aspiring opera singers from across the country, eight were selected to compete at Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition on November 3, 2015, our annual celebration of the next generation of opera stars selected from nationwide auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio—Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition features the young singers vying for cash prizes ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000. We interviewed our eight young finalists to learn more—check out all of the interviews, linked by name as they become available, here (or here if on a mobile device). 


Mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo grew up in Toronto and is in her final year of the bachelor of music in voice at the University of Toronto where she was the 2015 recipient of the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song. Operatic credits include Sesto in Giulio Cesare (Halifax Summer Opera Festival); Nerone in L'incoronazione di Poppea; Annio in La clemenza di Tito (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy); Berta in The Barber of Seville (Opera York); and Cherubino in scenes from The Marriage of Figaro (UofT Opera). Ms. D’Angelo has participated in young artists programs at the Ravinia Festival, SongFest at Colburn, and Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She made her solo debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2011. 

Three Things about Emily D’Angelo

Why opera? How did you come to be an opera singer and what do you find so compelling about the art form?

My dad would often listen to CDs of Cecilia Bartoli and Pavarotti, and my Nonno was always singing along to opera in the car, but I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would end up pursuing opera as my career. 

For nine years I sang in the Toronto Children’s Chorus, and I also played cello throughout high school where I thoroughly enjoyed playing in various orchestras. When I was 15, I began to study voice privately. After having so much experience singing and playing in an ensemble setting, I found solo singing to be a completely new challenge. This is the point at which I caught what people so often refer to as “the Opera Bug.”

I would spend hours on YouTube listening to various singers and began to discover the vast repertoire for the voice. The combination of orchestral music, vocal music, and drama is a truly amazing thing – the result is much greater than the sum of its parts. Singing is so innately human, and can have a hugely profound effect on an audience. I am so grateful to play a small part in this amazingly complex and diverse community of music and art. 

If you weren’t pursuing a career in opera, what would you be doing instead?

I have always enjoyed science and problem solving, and from a young age I had thought that I would become a doctor. I suppose I had never even really considered becoming a musician to be a real career option; it was something that I enjoyed so much that it seemed too good to be true that I could actually make music every day of my life, and one day (hopefully) get paid to do it. 

If I had to do something else, then maybe I would pursue medicine after all. But after all of the fulfillment and the rich experiences I have had making music, I really cannot imagine doing anything else. 

What are your hobbies, interests, other projects, outside of opera?

I am an extremely active person and love to run and bike. I love to be outside, and my friends often make fun of my ardent refusal to take the TTC. If I have the time, I’d much rather walk. 

At the moment I am on crutches with a broken foot, so not much running (or walking) has been happening over the past six weeks… but my arms are becoming very strong! 

Apart from opera, I have a great love for art song, and much of my spare time goes into learning song cycles. I am planning several recitals throughout the year, and love to collaborate with pianists. 

Learn more about Emily at emilydangelo.com and follow her on Twitter at @emilymezzo


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit COCCentreStage.ca, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 or visit the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

To buy competition tickets, click here.
To buy Under 30 competition tickets sponsored by TD, click here.
For more information about the the Centre Stage Dinner event and how to purchase tickets, please contact the PC Office at 416-363-5801

Photo Credit: Daniel Alexander Denino

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Centre Stage / comments (0) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001

 

 

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