Seeing some of the world's best artists in an intimate concert setting is just one of the things that makes the Free Concert Series so great. If you're looking to hear some of your favourite vocalists in concert for FREE, February is the perfect month to head down to the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre!
Monday, February 9, 2015
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.*
The Christina and Louis Quilico Awards
Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio
In this special presentation, artists of the COC Ensemble Studio compete in the third biennial Christina and Louis Quilico Awards, which will be presented at the end of the evening. Each artist will perform an aria of his or her own choosing and a second aria will be selected by the panel of judges.
* Please note extended performance time.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
12 - 1 p.m.
Songs of Love and Longing
Internationally acclaimed for her “brilliant vocal pyrotechnics” (Globe and Mail) and “remarkable dramatic presence” (Le Figaro), Canadian coloratura soprano Jane Archibald (currently on the COC mainstage as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni) teams up with pianist Liz Upchurch for an intimate hour of some of the most beautiful songs of Mozart, Fauré, Strauss and Quilter.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
12 - 1 p.m.
German mezzo-soprano Janina Baechle (making her COC debut as Fricka in Die Walküre) teams up with pianist Rachel Andrist and COC principal violist Keith Hamm to perform the “viola songs” by Brahms and Loeffler. She rounds out the program with three songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wundehorn.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
12 - 1 p.m.
Artists of the COC Ensemble Studio and Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal
As part of an annual exchange, this popular concert features singers from the young artist programs of the Canadian Opera Company and l'Opéra de Montréal in a program of arias and ensembles from Carmen, Così fan tutte, La Traviata, I Puritani, Rusalka and Billy Budd.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
In collaboration with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival, celebrated Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan showcases her “supple and subtle voice” and “smouldering physicality” (The Times) in a captivating program of vocal chamber music with pianist Liz Upchurch and the TSO Chamber Players.
Photo Credits (top to bottom): (l-r) Jane Archibald, Janina Baechle, Barbara Hannigan; Artists of the 2014/2015 Ensemble Studio. Photo: Chris Hutcheson; Jane Archibald and Michael Schade in the Canadian Opera Company's production of Don Giovanni, 2015. Photo: Michael Cooper; (l-r) Jean-Michel Richer and Cameron McPhail. Photo: Karen E. Reeves;
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Soprano Christine Goerke has been one of the opera singers in the past year to create the most buzz. She's Musical America's Vocalist of the Year for 2015, has performed in major opera houses across the world, and has a Grammy under her belt! Read on to learn more about her amazing career thus far.
What she’s doing with us: Christine stars in Die Walküre as Brünnhilde, a goddess and daughter of Wotan, ruler of Valhalla. This marks her much-anticipated debut in a fully staged production of the opera. She will also be returning to sing as Brünnhilde in the COC's upcoming productions of Siegfried in 2016 and Götterdämmerung in 2017.
Where you might have seen her: Christine has appeared in all of the major opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Opéra national de Paris; Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse; Teatro alla Scala; Teatro Real in Madrid; Deutsche Oper Berlin; San Francisco Opera; Santa Fe Opera; Washington National Opera; Houston Grand Opera; Seattle Opera; Opera Philadelphia; Pittsburgh Opera; New York City Opera; Glimmerglass Opera; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Teatro Municipal de Santiago; and the Saito Kinen Festival.
She has received critical acclaim for her portrayals of the title roles in Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Norma, and Iphigénie en Tauride; Kundry in Parsifal, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Leonore in Fidelio, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites. Last season, she appeared as Brünnhilde in concert performances of Die Walküre with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her live performances, Christine's recording of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance!
What the critics have said:
"In a revival of Herbert Wernicke's 2001 production of Die Frau ohne Schatten, the soprano Christine Goerke gave a career-transforming performance as the Dyer's Wife, displaying the kind of vocal stamina that Wagner-Strauss fanciers have been awaiting since Birgit Nilsson delivered her last "hojotoho!" "…she can create a character as she sings, linking musical phrases to form dramatic paragraphs.
- The New Yorker (reviewing Christine as the Dyer's Wife at the Metropolitan Opera)
"The American soprano... proved nothing short of sensational. Imposing of figure and expansive of voice, Christine Goerke.. has everything this killer role requires - an Olympic Gold level of stamina, absolute security of pitch, a rich middle voice, diamantine top register, crisp clarity of diction and the intelligence to paint all the colours of the character’s mercurially psychotic personality. "
- The Telegraph (reviewing Christine as Elektra at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden)
"The Elektra was Christine Goerke, in her Lyric debut. Goerke sang the unhinged Greek princess to great acclaim in Madrid last season; she had quite a night in Chicago on October 6. Goerke's "Allein, weh ganz allein" revealed a colossal dramatic soprano of an incisive, intensely feminine quality that remained gleaming and voluptuous despite the force required to crest the monumental orchestral waves Strauss sets against his protagonist. She consistently won the audience's empathy, even when her obsessive vengefulness became more than a little frightening. Her formidable stamina was the more impressive given her clever employment of dynamics—particularly the fining away of tone in a recognition scene that tore one's heart out. Goerke was rewarded in her solo call by a rapturous standing ovation that emerged viscerally from the house as an organic reaction to her tour de-force performance."
- Opera News (reviewing the Lyric Opera of Chicago production)
"Christine Goerke's Brünnhilde was the most subtly characterized role, moving from a devoted, almost kittenish daughter to a tragic, broken spirit; a great journey undertaken in full and glorious voice."
- The New Zealand Herald (reviewing the New Zealand Symphony production)
"A voice like hers comes once in a generation, and I am sure Ms. Goerke will be the next great Dramatic Soprano."
- Houston Examiner (reviewing Christine as Ortrud in Wagner's Lohengrin at Houston Grand Opera)
See Christine as Brünnhilde in the COC's production of Die Walküre. For more information and to buy tickets, visit here.
You can also follow Christine Goerke on Twitter at @HeldenMommy
Photo credit: Arielle Doneson
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001