By Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager
Mezzo-soprano Danielle MacMillan is one of the new members of the Ensemble Studio for the 2013/2014 season. In fact, she just officially started with the company as the Ensemble Studio artists began their schedule of rehearsals, vocal coachings, language and diction lessons and masterclasses only last week. We wanted to find out what Danielle had been up to over the summer as she spent some time in bella Italia – Sulmona, Italy to be exact – studying at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.
What is the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy? What do you in this program?
The COSI Opera Ensemble program is tailored to select, advanced undergraduate and graduate singers, and emerging artists ready to build upon their existing performance résumé. Successful applicants come prepared to stage and perform assigned opera roles in an elite setting and with an international performance training team, designed to prepare the emerging artist for the professional opera stage.
In addition to Italian language classes taught by certified instructors from the English School of International Languages, each of us receives a series of one-on-one coaching sessions, voice lessons and Pilates bodywork. Additionally, the singers have masterclasses and forums twice a week. We also perform in various aria concerts in historical Sulmona, and in courtyard concerts in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Ensemble Studio / comments (1) / permalink
What he's doing with us: Italian Ferruccio Furlanetto, one of the world's most famous basses, makes his COC debut in the title role of our spring production of Massenet's Don Quichotte.
Where you might have seen him: A starring artist at the Metropolitan Opera for over 30 years, Ferruccio Furlanetto may be most recognizable for his performance as Philip II in the Met's 2010 production of Don Carlos, which was broadcast on Met Live in HD. But he has dozens of recordings and DVDs under his belt, and opera aficionados may be most familiar with recordings of his performances with the Royal Opera House and the Vienna State Opera.
His background: Ferruccio started at the top and never looked back. His professional debut was in 1974, and by 1979 he was on stage at La Scala in Verdi's Macbeth, and made his debuts at the Glyndebourne Festival and the Metropolitan Opera the next year. While he's performed at all the major opera houses worldwide, his North American appearances have primarily been at the San Diego Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, so Toronto audiences are in for a treat this spring when he makes his first Canadian appearance!
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Don Quichotte / comments (0) / permalink
What she's doing with us: American soprano (and now, Toronto resident!) Sondra Radvanovsky returns to the COC in her role debut as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux. She puts on her final crown in Donizetti's "Tudor Trilogy," having already tackled the title roles of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda.
Where you might have seen her: While Toronto audiences may recognize Sondra from her role and COC debut in our 2010 production of Aida, Sondra is a globally recognized artist, well-known for Verdi roles, who has sung in all the major opera houses in the world. Closer to home, Met Live in HD audiences may recognize her for such roles as Leonora in Il Trovatore and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, and also as a Met Live in HD host!
Her background: Born just outside Chicago, Sondra moved to Richmond, Indiana when she was 11, and sang her first full opera there when she was 21. She studied theatre and voice at University of Southern California and at UCLA, and took advanced studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and at the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music. She then went on to win the 1995 Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions and joined the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Roberto Devereux / comments (1) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001