With the 2012/2013 season coming to a close, we're also bidding "adieux" to our graduating members of the COC's Ensemble Studio. Today, Les Adieux will be their final concert as Ensemble members at the Richard Bradshaw Ampitheatre, but we are looking forward to following their blossoming careers!
We asked some of our graduates what their favourite moments were, and what they'll remember most about the COC.
"When I try to think of one defining memory of my time at the COC, I come up instead with a slideshow of moments: seeing Russell Braun in rehearsal for Iphigénie en Tauride last season running sideways on the walls of the set, aided by the strong arms of a dozen dancers; my first day in the school tour van at 7 a.m.; the efficiency of the dressers who helped me during the Ensemble show of Semele, as I quick changed into a harness... and then subsequently singing a Handel aria soaring above a centuries-old Chinese temple.
Gratefully, the list goes on and on. Thank you to everyone who made my time here so very memorable indeed."
"It is an almost impossible task to pinpoint only ONE memorable moment during my time in the Ensemble Studio. But there is one moment that keeps on happening, and that is being onstage of the Canadian Opera Company, staring at the hall and its imposing beauty.
The view of the hall from the stage's perspective had a strong impact on me the first time I stepped on this stage, but it keeps on happening, more powerfully each time. I would catch myself staring at the structure of the hall, the stairs, the seats, the dimming lights, the beautiful pastel nude shade of its walls. And suddenly a feeling of happiness would arise in me."
"One of my favourite moments happened just before I was to play the Salome piano dress rehearsal. I was warming up in the pit at the Four Seasons Centre, and I looked up in the house, and thought to myself, 'I can't believe I am practicing here, in the hall at the Four Seasons Centre.'
I've had a wonderful time at the Canadian Opera Company, working with fantastic colleagues, wonderful artists, and all the behind-the-scenes folks who never get a mention. It takes hundreds of people to put on a single show, and I'm grateful to have been, and will continue to be, a part of it."
"It's hard to pick just one moment from four years of amazing experiences. Some favourites were: being in the water as the Japanese envoy in the The Nightingale and Other Fables, covering a week of staging rehearsal alongside Larry Brownlee in La Cenerentola, and, more recently, winning the Louis Quilico award."
"Picking a memorable moment in 3 years of nonstop action is no simple task. It ends up being some of the little things that stand out. The first time they slipped that bright blue coat on me for Tamino and I realized they had built the whole costume just for my one show was a pretty cool moment.
There have been incredible shows, and countless inspiring performances. But at the end of the day what I'll remember the most is being able to connect to some of the truly amazing artists that come through the company. It's an amazing business to be in, and this had been an amazing place to do it. I am very grateful for my time here."
Photos: All photos by Michael Cooper unless otherwise indicated: Image for Mireille Asselin: Mireille Asselin as Semele in the Ensemble Studio performance of the COC’s production of Semele, 2012. Image for Ambur Braid: Ambur Braid as Adele in the COC’s production of Die Fledermaus, 2012.; Image for Neil Craighead: Neil Craighead performing in the Richard Bradshaw Ampitheatre, 2010. (photo: Chris Hutcheson); Image for Rihab Chaieb: Neil Craighead as Publio and Rihab Chaieb as Sesto in the Ensemble Studio Performance of the COC’s production of La clemenza di Tito, 2013; Image for Christopher Enns: Christopher Enns as Tamino in the Ensemble Studio performance of the COC’s production of The Magic Flute, 2011.
Posted by Meighan Szigeti / in Ensemble Studio / comments (0) / permalink
There's only a week left of our 2012/2013 season and we have three spectacular productions running almost every day at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts! The critics are raving about our spring season, which is full of obsessive desires and gut-wrenching devotion. Read what they are saying and watch our exclusive behind-the-scenes videos for each production!
Atom Egoyan's dramatic interpretation of Strauss's dark opera was described as "one of the dark jewels of the Canadian Opera Company" and that the third time must be a charm because Stage Door said "if you have seen this production before, you will find that it has only grown in richness of interpretation".
With knock-out performances by Erika Sunnegårdh who performed with "power and beauty" and Richard Margison who sang "magnificently" in his role debut, the music left the Toronto Sun saying that "under the baton of Johannes Debus, the COC Orchestra is on hand to give a finely-etched and sensitive reading of Strauss’s complex score." Read more critical acclaim for Salome here.
Salome runs until Wednesday May 22, 2013. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Watch our Inside Opera video about the Dance of the Seven Veils below.
Director David Alden brought his dark vision of Donizetti's bel canto classic to the Four Seasons Centre and the production was described as "searingly intense" and "offered us a fresh and splendid approach" to the opera.
Anna Christy was hailed as "subtle, clear, immensely powerful" and "spectacular" while tenor Stephen Costello was called "strong, earnest and vocally dazzling as lover Edgardo". Baritone Brian Mulligan wowed with his "ferocious, angry, intense and captivating" performance, the COC chorus was lauded for strength and vibrancy, while John Terauds said that conductor Stephen Lord "made magic with Donizetti’s score, expertly shifting tempos and adding breaths in this rich dramatic stew." Read more critical acclaim for Lucia di Lammermoor here.
Lucia di Lammermoor runs until May 24, 2013. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Go behind the scenes of Lucia di Lammermoor in our Inside Opera video below.
NOW Magazine calls Dialogues des Carmélites one of the "COC's best productions", and the Toronto Sun says that "Carsen creates operatic magic. This is a work of such simple, soaring beauty that one suspects Poulenc has rarely been better served."
As the First Prioress, Judith Forst was described as "thrillingly brilliant", Adrianne Pieczonka was applauded for being "in glorious form", while Isabel Bayrakdarian was an "ideal Blanche de la Force". The Toronto Star said that "the major hero of the evening is Robert Carsen, who once again proves he is a master at bringing issues of spirituality onto the stage and making them real and gripping" and The Globe and Mail raved that "the members of the COC orchestra, under the direction of Johannes Debus, were really the musical stars of the evening. Every phrase, every dramatic turn of the score was rendered impeccably – a bravura performance."
Dialogues des Carmélites runs until May 25, 2013. Learn more and buy tickets here.
See what audiences have to say about our production below.
Photos: All photos by Michael Cooper unless otherwise indicated: Top row (l – r): Anna Christy as Lucia, Erika Sunnegårdh as Salome, Isabel Bayrakdarian as Blanche (photo: Chris Hutcheson); Salome image: A scene from the COC’s 2013 production; Lucia di Lammermoor image: Anna Christy as Lucia and Nathaniel Peake as Arturo in the COC’s 2013 production; Dialogues des Carmélites image: A scene from the COC’s 2013 production.
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