by Jenna Douglas
For over 30 years, students from all across Ontario have been inspired and delighted by the magic of live opera performance. The operas developed for the Glencore Ensemble Studio School Tour are adapted or created specifically for young audiences, and the artists perform in full costume with sets, props and piano accompaniment. The operas are performed in English and an informal question-and-answer period with the cast immediately follows each performance.
We asked pianist Jenna Douglas (also the mind behind Schmopera, the opera blog) to share a day in the life on the road with the Ensemble Studio School Tour, as they perform The Bremen Town Musicians. Read on for her account of an average day on tour, and check out the bottom of post for a video interview with the cast!
Our other touring family opera, The Scorpions' Sting: An Egyptian Myth, will be presented at the Royal Ontario Museum on November 29th at 11am, free with museum admission! Find out more about the event here.
Posted by Jenna Douglas / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink
On November 25, 2014, seven finalists will take to the mainstage of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for the Ensemble Studio Competition, the feature event of Centre Stage gala. The event will be hosted by world-renowned Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, and the singers will be accompanied by the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus. To watch the competition and see Canada's rising opera stars, visit our Centre Stage website and buy your tickets today! Over the next two weeks, follow along on Parlando as we introduce you to each of our finalists.
Charles Sy, Tenor
Born in Toronto, but was raised on the lake shore in Mississauga, Charles Sy discovered opera later in life. He didn’t come from a musical family but, being somewhat shy, was able to express himself freely through performance. “One of my proudest moments was when I was given the big solo in 'O little town of Bethlehem' in the annual Christmas pageant”, he says.
From there, Charles became involved with musical theatre. “I loved the deep emotional commitment one had to make with a work while developing a character,” he says. “I became obsessed with being on the stage and felt most at home while I was performing.”
Posted by Kristin McKinnon / in Centre Stage / comments (0) / permalink
DIMITRI KATOTAKIS, BARITONE
As a toddler growing up in Toronto, Dimitri Katotakis would stand in his diapers ‘conducting’ Beethoven symphonies in front of a speaker system. “My parents always knew I had the performing bug,” he says. So it was only natural for him to attend Etobicoke School for the Arts, where he performed in several musicals and eventually discovered opera.
“I found opera to be extremely captivating the first time I saw a show and I have never looked back,” says Dimitri. “I loved how the music of opera can make a story feel both hugely intimate and grand at the same time. Performing in or seeing a well-realized opera is like getting a powerful shot of artistic life.”
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001