In Massenet's Don Quichotte, the fair and lovely Dulcinée is wooed by a variety of suitors other than the aging knight himself. The suitors comprise of two tenors, a mezzo-soprano and a soprano, the latter two being 'pants roles'. But did you know that almost all of the suitors are COC Ensemble Studio graduates? Meet the singers who bring Dulcinée's entourage to life!
Pedro: Sasha Djihanian
Canadian soprano Sasha Djihanian is in her second and final year of the COC Ensemble Studio. After making her opera debut in Opéra de Montréal's 2009 production of The Magic Flute, she was a national finalist in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She also represented Canada in the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and won the First Annual COC Ensemble Studio Competition that same year. During her time at the Canadian Opera Company, she appeared as Fiordiligi in the Ensemble performance of Così fan tutte, as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, and she stepped in as Annio in a mainstage performance of La clemenza di Tito, in addition to playing the role in the Ensemble performance. Although Sasha is graduating from the program this year after completing Don Quichotte as Dulcinée's young suitor Pedro, she'll return to the COC as Zerlina next winter in Don Giovanni!
You can follow Sasha on Twitter: @SashaDjihanian and watch her BBC Cardiff performance on YouTube.
Garcias: Ariana Chris
A former member of the L'Atelier Lyrique de Montreal program, Ariana Chris makes her COC debut in the role of Garcias, Dulcinée's studious suitor. Ariana is a Greek-Canadian mezzo-soprano who represented Greece in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2005, and in 2010 she performed the Greek National Anthem for the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony! Ariana has performed with companies such as Opera Hong Kong; Opéra de Montréal; Angers Nantes Opéra; Santa Fe Opera; Le Poisson Rouge; Carnegie Hall; Opéra Français de New York; New York City Opera, where she made her debut as Lola in Cavalleria rusticana; and has collaborated with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
You can learn more about Ariana on her website, and watch her perform "Una voce poco fa" on Youtube.
Juan: Owen McCausland
Tenor Owen McCausland may only be finishing his second year in the Ensemble Studio program, but he has spent quite a bit of time on the mainstage this season. Recently Owen has appeared as the Servant in A Masked Ball, Ferrando in Così fan tutte (Ensemble Studio performance), Parpignol in La Bohème and Reverend Horace Adams in Peter Grimes, and he's currently doing double-duty this spring as Lord Cecil in Roberto Devereux. But audiences may know him best from when he stepped into the title role in La clemenza di Tito on the mainstage as well as the Ensemble performance. In Don Quichotte, Owen plays the hotblooded suitor Juan, who attempts to convince Dulcinée that the aging knight is not a suitable companion. In the 2014/2015 season, Owen returns to the Ensemble Studio program for a third year.
You can read a great review of Owen's La clemenza di Tito performance here.
Rodriguez: Andrew Haji
Andrew's role in Don Quichotte caps off his first successful year in the Ensemble Studio program! Previously Andrew was seen onstage at the Four Seasons Centre as Ferrando in the Ensemble Studio performance of Così fan tutte, and in a variety of Free Concert Series performances. Andrew holds a masters of music in opera from the University of Toronto (UofT) where his credits include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Cecco in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, Vanderdendur/Ragotski in Candide, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Lacouf/Reporter from Paris in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, and the title role in Rob Ford: The Opera! In Don Quichotte, Andrew plays Rodriquez, the wise suitor who warns Juan to take Don Quichotte more seriously!
You can learn more about Andrew on his website, and follow him on Twitter: @AndrewHaji
And before you go...
Take a quick peek at Sasha Djihanian in costume as Pedro!
Don Quichotte runs until May 24, 2014 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. For tickets and more information visit here.
Photo: (top) A scene from the Canadian Opera Company's 2014 production of Don Quichotte. Photo by Michael Cooper
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Don Quichotte / comments (1) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001