After only two days, the participants of the Summer Youth Intensive have already written the libretto and started composing the music for their very own opera. They're also designing the sets and costumes to go with it. They’ve chosen to centre their opera on the theme of cyber-bullying and technology’s impact on modern day communication.
In her latest SYI Video Blog, Jennifer Lin gives us a sneak peek at the composition and design process at SYI.
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What she's singing with us: She'll sing the role of Madame de Croissy in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, the prioress of the abbey where the noblewoman Blanche de la Force seeks refuge from her fears. In one of the opera's most riveting scenes, she experiences an agonizing crisis of faith on her deathbed, deeply unnerving the young Blanche.
Where you might have seen her: Judith Forst has a long history with the COC. Her first role here was Olga in Eugene Onegin in 1972, and she created the part of Pamphilea for the 1999 world premiere of The Golden Ass (by Randolph Peters and Robertson Davies). She's an Order of Canada recipient and has also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York more than 200 times.
Interviews and profiles: In this La Scena Musicale profile by Joseph So, she shares advice for young singers who might want to follow in her footsteps:
"'When you are given an assignment, really prepare it well,' she says. 'Never arrive with things half done or not learned.' Another important thing to remember is to keep studying. 'You are never finished,' Forst says emphatically. 'Every year goes by, and your instrument changes as your body changes. You always have to work hard and never stop studying.'"
Read more about Judith Forst in The Canadian Encyclopedia.
Sneak preview: in the video below, you can hear her sing "Six Irish Poems for Maureen" by Canadian composer Jean Coulthard. You can listen to more of her recordings online on CBC Music.
Photo: Judith Forst as Kostelnicka in the COC's production of Jenůfa, 1995. Photo by Michael Cooper.
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The second week of the Summer Youth Intensive is well underway and you can get an inside look at the program thanks to SYI Video Contest winner Jennifer Lin. Over the course of this week-long program, participants will be creating their own opera from scratch and Jennifer will be capturing every moment. Check back this week to see their progress!
Here’s Jennifer with her recap of Monday’s program:
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001