Parlando: The COC Blog

11/23/2012

Meet the Finalists: Clarence Frazer

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. Each day we will introduce you to one of our finalists. Today's finalist? Baritone Clarence Frazer.

Mississauga baritone Clarence Frazer is pursuing a career in opera because he can’t imagine his life without music. He’s following advice given to him by Canadian choral conductor and teacher Jean Ashworth Bartle: "You should never pursue a career in music unless it’s something you cannot live without.”

With that in mind, Clarence chose to study opera at the University of Western Ontario because he knew that “studying the classical art form, no matter which style I [eventually] chose to sing, was the right way to go.” He adds, “What is so compelling to me about opera is the fact that we get to take a piece of art which was composed hundreds of years ago, present it to a modern audience, and show how relevant the music and stories still are in today's world.”

If he weren’t an opera singer, he would still be involved in music. One day, he shares, he “would like to take some training in conducting.”

After studying at Western, Clarence joined the Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists Program, where he will play Count Gil (Il segreto di Susanna), Ramiro (L’heure espangol) and Dottore Grenvil (La Traviata) in 2013.

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Posted by Kathleen Keenan / in Ensemble Studio / comments (1) / permalink

11/22/2012

The Big COC Podcast – Episode Six

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.

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Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in The Big COC Podcast / comments (0) / permalink

11/22/2012

Meet the Finalists: Aviva Fortunata

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.

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Posted by Kathleen Keenan / in Ensemble Studio / 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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