By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager
For Episode 26, the “Opera meets politics” edition, we welcome opera journalist Joseph So, as well as arts journalist Catherine Kustanczy. Gianmarco Segato, the COC’s Adult Programs Manager, is your host.
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Upon first glance, you may be a bit skeptical that the fit baritone who is tackling Mount Kilimanjaro this summer, could convincingly play opera's most famous glutton, but recently appointed Officer of the Order of Canada's Gerald Finley is more than up to the challenge!
What he's doing with us: Gerald Finley returns to the Canadian Opera Company for the first time in over 20 years to make his role debut as the slovenly, hedonistic and hilarious Falstaff in a co-production with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro alla Scala; Metropolitan Opera and Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam.
Where you might have seen him: In Europe! Grammy and Juno-award winner Gerald Finley is one of the most recognizable baritones on the international opera scene. While he spends a lot of his time in Europe at houses like the Royal Opera House, Bavarian State Opera and Venice State Opera, he crosses the pond occasionally to appear at the Metropolitan Opera and has an upcoming role in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Tannhäuser in early 2015.
While he's known for his interpretations of basically all of Mozart's baritone roles, Gerald has also made a name for himself in creating some of most popular leading roles in contemporary opera, most notably, the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adam’s Doctor Atomic, and more recently, Howard K. Stern in Mark Anthony Turnage's world premiere of Anna Nicole. Gerald is also a popular recitalist and released a new album this spring, tackling Schubert's winter song cycle Winterreise with pianist Julius Drake.
Interviews and profiles: Gerald shares stories about his experiences as a recitalist and soloist with Opera News in 2012; he discusses one of his biggest roles, Don Giovanni, with The Telegraph; the Financial Times reveals the 'secret' behind his operatic rise; and in the Examiner, he discusses his career and his love for opera and song.
Sneak peek: Watch Gerald as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic below.
You can follow Gerald Finley on Twitter, through his official fan page on Facebook and on his website.
Falstaff runs from October 3 to November 1, 2014 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Learn more at http://www.coc.ca/Falstaff
Photos: (top) Gerald Finley; (middle) Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001