Montreal soprano, Sasha Djihanian, is one of the current members of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. At the inaugural Ensemble Studio competition in 2011, Sasha won a spot in the program and left with the top prize of the evening. Since starting in September, she has performed in concerts for the Free Concert Series and travelled with fellow Ensemble Studio members for the Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour of Hansel and Gretel.
In the special Ensemble Studio performance of La clemenza di Tito on February 6, Sasha performs the role of Annio, the young man in love with Servilia, Emperor Tito's prospective bride! We caught up with Sasha to ask her about the rehearsal process and her work with director Christopher Alden.
What is it like to rehearse alongside the mainstage cast?
It has been a really exciting and inspiring process to be observing and working alongside incredibly accomplished artists such as Isabel Leonard and Michael Schade. It is absolutely incredible how much one can learn and be inspired just by watching them.
What have you learned about the role from working with Christopher Alden?
It is easy to get intimidated and limited by certain conventions when dealing with certain types of characters, such as kings and queens, princes, emperors, etc, as they are so far away from our world and reality. Christopher Alden is really great at transcending the conventions and limitations that can be encountered in such pieces. He helps us create characters and relationships that are very real and much closer to us than one would expect.
How does it feel to sing with a cast made up of your fellow Ensemble Studio members?
I am really looking forward to singing and performing with my fellow Ensemble Studio members. There is a genuine camaraderie that has been developing between all of us over the last months (and, for others, years!!). To get up and perform together is going to be a real treat! One always brings personal experiences to a performance and the fact we all know each other so well will certainly colour the dynamic of our cast!
The special Ensemble Studio performance of La clemenza di Tito is on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 and $25 and can be purchased online or by calling 416-363-8231. In the spring Sasha will continue her work in the Ensemble Studio, understudying the role of Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites.
Photo: Sasha Djihanian, 2013. Photo by Chris Hutcheson.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in 2012/2013 / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001