Parlando: The COC Blog

11/2/2015

Coda: Ekaterina Siurina & Charles Castronovo

 

It's clear that Violetta and Alfredo are very much in love in our current production of La Traviata, but did you know that for singers Ekaterina Siurina and Charles Castronovo this love extends beyond the stage? We caught up with the married duo to find out more about the pair behind the performance. Check out our Q&A with them below, and don't miss seeing La Traviata before it's gone on November 6, 2015!

Coda with Ekaterina Siurina and Charles Castronovo

 Question

 Ekaterina Siurina  Charles Castronovo

If I’d never become a singer, I would have been...

A documentary film maker

An architect, historian, and/or poet

Favourite TV show

The Borgias

Vikings

Favourite movie

Napoleon Dynamite

There are so many, but my top three are The Godfather Part II, Rocky and Braveheart

Favourite Toronto spot

The Island

So far, the Distillery

Favourite meal of the day

Breakfast

Breakfast and late night snack

Favourite snack

Either very dark chocolate or Old Amsterdam gouda

Kids cereal

I never leave the house without

Coming back a couple times because I forgot something

Looking presentable ;-)

Besides singing, I also

Make pottery

Play in rock bands and read lots of history

My favourite thing about my spouse is

He is very generous, sweet-hearted and a super handsome man!

Her passion for family and her cheekbones

My favourite duet

Roméo et Juliette's duet (Gounod)

At the moment, the love duet between Carlo and Elisabetta in Verdi's Don Carlo

My drink of choice is

Water. And excellent wine

Espresso macchiato or bourbon, good bourbon

When I have a day off, I

Spend it with the kids

Relax and work out, yoga, family time!

I am secretly an expert in

Being Russian which includes, but not limited to: sarcasm, negativity, worrying, complaining and passion! ;-) Haha!

Classic rock

My carry-on essentials are

Baby supplies and my opera score

Headphones and a score

On my piano, you’ll find

Opera scores, Nutcracker piano for kids, postcards and an empty cup of tea from previous coaching

The French version of Don Carlos, Mefistofele by Boito and Lucia

Favourite song

All jazz standards

"Roses and Cigarettes" by Ray LaMontagne

Favourite power couple in an opera

Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge



Favourite power couple in real life

Pitt and Jolie



Song that’s been stuck in my head lately

Baby lullabies



Favourite quote

Words are silver, silence is gold (my grandma always said this, I wish I could follow it better!)



My normal pre-show routine is

Sleep, eat, warm up, hot tea, stay quiet, and then sing!

Sleep in, breakfast, work out, relax, a light dinner three hours before the curtain, listen to some some light rock and roll in my dressing room while putting makeup on. Warm up. Sing.

The quality I most admire in a friend is

Supportive and understanding

No judgement, and acceptance of the real me

If I were attending a masquerade ball, I would go dressed as

The Czarina Katerina :-)

A Roman general, Greek god or a superhero. :-)

After La Traviata at the COC, I

Fly home to LA, unpack and repack for concerts in Russia. Then getting ready for big trip to Australia with the whole family! Very excited!

Concerts in Moscow, Republic of Georgia and then Berlin

My dream vacation would be

Staying on my own small island with my family for two weeks!

With family in the Steppes of Nepal or somewhere in the East. Would like to stay in a yurt for a few days


To learn more about La Traviata and to buy tickets, click here.

Charles Castronovo as Alfredo and Ekaterina Siurina as Violetta in the COC’s production of La Traviata, 2015. Photo: Michael Cooper.

 

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in La Traviata / comments (0) / permalink

10/30/2015

Centre Stage 2015: Bruno Roy



Out of a pool of 120 aspiring opera singers from across the country, eight were selected to compete at Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition on November 3, 2015, our annual celebration of the next generation of opera stars selected from nationwide auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio—Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition features the young singers vying for cash prizes ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000. We interviewed our eight young finalists to learn more—check out all of the interviews, linked by name as they become available, here (or here if on a mobile device). 


Montreal-born baritone Bruno Roy is currently studying for his master of music performance at McGill University, where he also received his bachelor’s degree. His recent operatic credits include Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro (Opera McGill); Matt in Crush (Banff Centre); L’Horloge/Le Chat in L’enfant et les sortilèges (Opera on the Avalon); Papageno in The Magic Flute (Blooming Voce Summer Opera Workshop); Masetto in Don Giovanni (FAVA Opera); and Raoul de Gardefeu in La Vie Parisienne (Opera Without Fences). In 2016, he appears as John Brooke in Little Women and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore at Opera McGill. 

Three Things about Bruno Roy

Why opera?  How did you come to be an opera singer and what do you find so compelling about the art form?

From a very young age, I was involved in choirs and other vocal ensembles. My mother always had a subscription to the opera and I would often accompany her during these formative years. It created in me a deep appreciation for this repertoire and it is why I decided to make it my course of study.

It is an art form that I find fascinating; it melds drama, literature and music all into one and by juxtaposing it with the power of the human voice, provides us with a unique sensory experience. It has the capacity to make us laugh, cry and reflect, and the composers, stage directors and musicians wanting to share these emotions are what keep this art form going.

What are your hobbies, interests, other projects, outside of opera?

I am a big foodie. When it comes to coffee, wine and good food, I always go for the best that a city has to offer. You will also find me behind the counter, whipping up a nice meal for some friends. 

Lastly, I must admit that I am often a victim of vanity; I love shopping for nice shoes and I’m always on the lookout for a new hair pomade.

Do you have a dream role? What is it?

The title role in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is a beautiful work in which the characters intentions and emotions are expressed with a unique colour palette where the orchestra expertly supports the prose-like vocal line and where suggestion is just as powerful as action. A highly symbolic opera, it is one that produces in me a new reflection on every listen.

Follow Bruno on Twitter at @brunobeloinroy


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit COCCentreStage.ca, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 or visit the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

To buy competition tickets, click here.
To buy Under 30 competition tickets sponsored by TD, click here.
For more information about the the Centre Stage Dinner event and how to purchase tickets, please contact the PC Office at 416-363-5801

Photo Credit: Stephane Poirier

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Centre Stage / comments (0) / permalink

10/30/2015

Centre Stage 2015: Eliza Johnson



Out of a pool of 120 aspiring opera singers from across the country, eight were selected to compete at Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition on November 3, 2015, our annual celebration of the next generation of opera stars selected from nationwide auditions for the COC Ensemble Studio—Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition features the young singers vying for cash prizes ranging in value from $1,500 to $5,000. We interviewed our eight young finalists to learn more—check out all of the interviews, linked by name as they become available, here (or here if on a mobile device). 


Stratford, Ontario native and soprano Eliza Johnson studied at the University of Toronto, where her roles included Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Despina in Così fan tutte, Rob Ford’s Mother in Rob Ford: The Opera and Lucy in The Telephone. Additional credits include Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro (Highlands Opera Studio); Berta in The Barber of Seville and Soeur Valentine in Dialogues des Carmélites (Opera Theatre of St. Louis); Pamina in The Magic Flute (Opera Lyra’s Opera Studio); and concert appearances with the University of Toronto and Stratford symphony orchestras, and Stratford Summer Music. Recently, Ms. Johnson won First Prize in the Brian Law Opera Competition with the National Capital Opera Society and was a finalist for the Ryan Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

Three Things about Eliza Johnson

If you weren’t pursuing a career in opera, what would you be doing instead?        

Is this a trick question? I am literally obsessed with opera and honestly can’t imagine myself doing anything else. If my passion for anything else were equal to or greater than my passion for opera, I definitely would not have chosen this career or invested so much in it!
        
That said, if I had all the luxury of living multiple lives, I think I would pursue a career as a painter. When I was younger, it was a constant toss-up between art and music. I still work when I can, but paints and canvases are not very compact for a travelling opera singer; gowns and shoes take up a lot of space! I’d love to see what would happen if I devoted myself fully to painting, but for now that’s a question that will remain unanswered!   

  
2. What are your hobbies, interests, other projects, outside of opera?
What are your hobbies, interests, other projects, outside of opera?

I love to paint and love to cook. I love reading and feeding myself artistically from a variety of mediums.  I love to travel and learn about other cultures and communities. I love to bike and move my body! I love my friends: musicians and non-musicians (whose perspectives and ideas can be very refreshing!). 

Do you have a dream role?  What is it?

There are so many! The repertoire is so vast and each piece is so unique. In a way, any role that is a good vocal fit is a "dream role" since any opportunity to sing is exciting and rich. 

If I have to choose, I think my absolute favorite opera of all time (for now) is Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. I had the opportunity to sing the role of Governess when I was studying at the University of Toronto and the experience has yet to be topped. I would love to perform this role again!

I’m also very interested in working with living composers and developing new works. I hope I am able to experience more of this process throughout my career.

Learn more about Eliza at elizajohnson.ca or follow her on Twitter at @ElizaJohnsonSop or on Instagram at @elizajanejohnson


For more information and to purchase tickets, visit COCCentreStage.ca, call COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231 or visit the Four Seasons Centre Box Office (145 Queen St. W.).

To buy competition tickets, click here.
To buy Under 30 competition tickets sponsored by TD, click here.
For more information about the the Centre Stage Dinner event and how to purchase tickets, please contact the PC Office at 416-363-5801

Posted by Kiersten Hay / in Centre Stage / comments (1) / permalink

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

 

 

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