It's always bittersweet to bid farewell to graduating artists of our Ensemble Studio program. We're sad to see them go, but we're also excited to follow their burgeoning careers, and we hope we will see them back on stage with the COC in the future.
This year we've already said goodbye to two graduating members of the COC Ensemble Studio with farewell concerts, and this week brings a third. COC Ensemble Studio baritone Adrian Kramer, a member of the Ensemble Studio since 2009, performs the final Les Adieux concert of the 2011/2012 season as part of the Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Thursday, May 17, at 12 p.m.
We sat down with Adrian to talk about his background, reflect on his time in the Ensemble Studio and look ahead to what’s next for this rising Canadian opera star.
How did you get started in opera?
AK: I come from a family of musicians and spent many years in children's choirs. In my family, unlike so many others, the child who chose not to be involved in the arts would be the fish swimming up stream! I also have a great love of acting, and opera marries the elements of drama, music and theatre to incredible impact.
What are you taking away from your time in the Ensemble Studio?
AK: The past three years have been invaluable to my artistic and technical development as a young opera singer. Beyond the expert guidance of the staff and guest coaches, covering and performing with the huge array of world class singers that visit the COC each year is perhaps the greatest learning tool. The effect has been both humbling and inspiring. Every young singer can do with a good dose of humility and inspiration!
What’s your favourite (or most unforgettable) Ensemble Studio experience?
AK: Besides all of the wonderful experiences of listening and performing at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, some of my most unforgettable memories occurred during the Ensemble Studio School Tour. Both productions I have done (The Barber of Seville in 2009 and Isis and the Seven Scorpions in 2010) were, in hindsight, a real blast. No one likes singing shows at 9 a.m., but I had a great deal of fun with my colleagues. I think most of my fellow Ensemble members and Ensemble graduates would attest to how much laughing goes on inside the tour van.
Really, it's impossible to qualify a singular favourite experience. I feel truly blessed for many things which have occurred in my life during the last three years at the COC.
What’s next for you?
AK: Good question. First of all, I'm heading to Saskatoon to perform Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale. After that I will spend some time camping and canoeing in Northern Ontario. In the fall, I embark on a tour singing Gulglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte for Jeunesses Musicales. Afterwards, I will continue the daunting task of auditioning and attempting to build a freelance base while also gaining certification to become a personal trainer. It is a juncture in my career that requires flexibility, humility and the willingness to consider supplementary employment while establishing myself as an artist that I hope companies and presenters throughout Canada and the world will desire to engage.
You can see Adrian perform on Thursday, May 17 in a free noon-hour concert at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Posted by Maria Lioutaia / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001