Parlando: The COC Blog


Next Season's Debut Artists: Erin Wall

[This is part of a series profiling the artists making their COC debuts in the 2011/2012 season]

"(She) sang gloriously . . . defiantly launching her voluminous soprano through the fabric of the ensembles and coursing through the coloratura with precision and verve." – Opera News

Name: Erin Wall

Range: Soprano

Where she's from: Vancouver, British Columbia

What she's singing: She's singing two roles with the COC: Clémence in Saariaho's Love from Afar from Feb. 2 to 22 (her COC debut) and Antonia in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann from April 10 to May 14.

Where she's been: Marguerite in Faust, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffman (upcoming) with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Metropolitan Opera and the Washington National Opera. Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream with La Scala.


Watch and Listen

One of the roles she'll sing with the COC is Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann. In this video from Santa Fe Opera, she sings "Elle a fui, la torterelle," one of Antonia's arias:

Here she is as Violetta in La Traviata

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (0) / permalink


Next Season's Debut Artists: Mark Delavan

[This is part of a series profiling the artists making their COC debuts in the 2011/2012 season]

“The finest overall voice of the evening was that of American baritone Mark Delavan, who plunged into the part of Scarpia with leering lust and the total technical control of a vocal palette that could paint as many colors as the drama demands.” – Associated Press, on Mark Delavan's performance of Scarpia with the Metropolitan Opera

Name: Mark Delavan

Range: Baritone

Where he's from: Princeton, New Jersey

What he's singing: Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, at the COC from Jan. 21 to Feb. 25, 2012

Where he's been: Scarpia in Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and San Francisco Opera; Jack Rance in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Danish National Opera; and, the title role in Sweeney Todd with New York City Opera.


Interesting Fact: 

In addition to his official website as an opera singer, Mark Delavan maintains The Delavan Edge, devoted to his handmade knives, which he carves himself. In the "about" section of The Delavan Edge, he talks about how he got started as a woodcarver by carving a pipe as a prop for a performance of Puccini's Il Tabarro:

". . . I decided [Michele] wouldn’t just sit and smoke his pipe, he would turn that pipe into a thing of beauty like his lost child. Therefore, I asked permission of the opera company to carve on the pipe prop that had been given to me. I remember it was a burl.

They reluctantly agreed.

Next thing I know, the pipe was lost! Frankly, I’m betting I accidentally left it somewhere and it was thrown away. It seemed awful at the time; I was almost finished carving it! However, the cool thing was that I had to start over. This time, I wasn’t going to let the pipe out of my sight. I remember that during the production I would be under the stage during a performance, with a piece of sandpaper working on that piece.

The beautiful stage management staff of that fine institution gave me that pipe as a gift of the production."

You can read more about how his singing and carving practices inform each other in this article from the San Francisco Examiner.

Watch and Listen

In this video (audio with still production images), hear Mr. Delavan as Rigoletto, singing "Si, vendetta."

Here he is singing something decidedly non-operatic. Bonus: Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato and Nicole Cabell as dancers.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / comments (1) / permalink


Next Season's Debut Artists: Quinn Kelsey

[This post is part of a series profiling the artists making their COC debuts in the 2011/2012 season]

"Kelsey boasts a rare and welcome gift, an enormous vocal sound that he deploys with the lightness of an acrobat. Although he can thunder and roar with the best of them – and do so with utmost technical precision – his phrasing is as fluent and graceful as the most intimate lieder singer." – San Francisco Chronicle

Name: Quinn Kelsey

Range: Baritone

Where he's from: Honolulu, Hawaii

What he's singing: The title role in our production of Rigoletto, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 22

Where he's been: He's making his role debut as Rigoletto this year in Oslo, Norway. He's also recently sung Marcello in La Bohème, Di Luna in Il Trovatore, and Amonasro in Aida with the San Francisco Opera; Sharpless in Madame Butterfly with New York City Opera; and, Schaunard in La Bohème and Monterone in Rigoletto with the Metropolitan Opera.



  • 2010 winner of the Martin E. Segal award (awarded by Lincoln Center)


Kelsey, as well as another artist making her COC debut this season, can both be heard on in this recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

In this audio interview from PBS Hawaii, he talks about his musical upbringing.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2011/2012 / 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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