Parlando: The COC Blog

12/2/2013

Free Concert Series in December

Nancy Walker and Kirk MacDonald in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2013. Photo by Chris Hutcheson
Nancy Walker and Kirk MacDonald in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, 2013.

Escape the chilly winter weather and cozy up to some warm tunes in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre this December. The days may be short and the nights may be cold, but the mix of jazz, classical and new music in the Free Concert Series this month will help put you in a festive winter mood!

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Posted by Kristin McKinnon / in Free Concert Series / comments (0) / permalink

11/28/2013

Canada's Great Diva: Adrianne Pieczonka

By Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager

 (centre) Adrianne Pieczonka as Elisabeth de Valois and the COC Chorus in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Don Carlos, 2007. Photo Michael Cooper

In recent years, the Canadian Opera Company has lured Canada’s internationally acclaimed soprano Adrianne Pieczonka from the world’s stages of New York, London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Vienna, Bayreuth and Salzburg to the Four Seasons Centre for one riveting performance after another. This winter, COC audiences are the first to witness Pieczonka in a role she calls “more dramatic than any other Verdi role I have sung to date” – Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera.

“I have sung more lyric Verdi parts in the past, such as Alice Ford, Desdemona, Elisabetta and Amelia in Simon Boccanegra. For a time, I considered singing Aida and Elvira, but I realized that these roles didn’t fit me quite right, vocally. Amelia in Ballo fits better as it lies in a slight lower tessitura where my voice feels more comfortable,” she says.

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Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in A Masked Ball / comments (0) / permalink

11/22/2013

Meet the Ensemble Studio Competition Finalists: Rachel Wood

On November 26, 2013, for the first time, nine finalists in the Ensemble Studio Competition will now perform from the mainstage of the Four Seasons Centre, accompanied by the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus and hosted by Grammy-nominated and multi-Juno Award winner, singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright. 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.

Rachel Wood, mezzo-soprano

The life of an opera singer can mean a lot of time spent living out of a suitcase and that’s certainly true for London, Ontario native Rachel Wood. 

In the last few years, Rachel's career has taken her across Europe and the United States. She spent last year in Amsterdam as an ensemble member of Opera Studio Nederland, has studied at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and the Accademia Europea dell’Opera, and is currently continuing her vocal studies at Indiana University. And while she’s not fluent, along the way, she’s picked up bits of Italian, French, German and even Dutch! According to Rachel, taking Italian lessons in Amsterdam alongside native Dutch speakers was “quite an experience.”

Despite all her travels, Rachel still calls London home and it’s the city where she first discovered opera.

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a performer!” she says. “I come from a very musical family – both my parents are music educators – so I studied piano and oboe, and sang in choirs when I was younger.” She also began private voice lessons when she was 13 years old. Rachel’s first performing experiences were through her high school’s musical theatre productions and The Grand Theatre’s High School Project, a program that allows students in London to perform musicals in a professional theatre setting. It wasn’t until she was cast in University of Western Ontario productions during her undergraduate studies at the UWO that she began to seriously pursue an opera career.

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Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001