Talking with singers: Saimir Pirgu
Though the risks are low in practicing one's craft within school or young artist productions, Pirgu feels that the benefits are equally low. "From nothing, comes nothing," he says. "That's what I learned in those years. I did things when I was not supposed to do it." In a way, he misses the carefree approach he had towards singing in these early years. "It was beautiful. Just go straight away and sing. Now, I think too much."Read More
Talking with singers: Chen Reiss
"It is very important to leave a few weeks a year free from work so that I can truly rest, recharge and miss the stage. Saying NO to certain offers is not easy but sometimes necessary. I realized it during my maternity leave, in which I did not sing a tone for 6 months!! I did not even sing in the bath. It was wonderful but even more wonderful was coming back to the audience, to the theater, to the orchestras, I was so fresh and enthusiastic."Read More
Talking with singers: Zachary Nelson
"When I was in Chicago doing Das Rheingold, it was the first Wagner I'd ever done," Nelson recalls. "I was sitting onstage on opening night, and Eric Owens is just wailing away [as Wotan]. I'm standing there on the stage with him, and I just started welling up." It was a moment in his career that will stick with him, and which offered a clear picture of the rewards that remain in store for the young baritone.Read More
Alexandra Bourque: "It is such a rush of adrenaline."
"I believe it is because of the subjectivity within the audition process that it is still difficult for women to gain entry into this profession. Even with the best education and experience, if you do not fit "the vision," which has traditionally been of a male conductor, you do not have a chance."Read More
Don't miss: Sasha Regan's All-male Mikado
"The innocence, the memories of laughter, the pure voices and the playfulness of us all dressing up. All of these elements remind me of school and when I wanted to stage a Gilbert & Sullivan with a fresh take, my school days gave me the inspiration. I always try to retain that child-like, innocent feel in my productions."Read More
Talking with singers: Sir John Tomlinson
"They're the most important years of my working life," he says, proud of the legacy of live performances and recordings, particularly from his time at the Bayreuth Festival. There, in the late 1980s, Sir John sang his first Wotans, along with fellow first-timer Daniel Barenboim at the podium. In his 18 years at Bayreuth, he recalls, "I've never answered so much fan mail in my whole life." The cast would sign autographs in the mornings following performances, "and it would be a two-hour long session with endless people."Read More
Rose Bruford College: "We are absolutely unique."
"I began studying for the opera degree soon after I retired. I discovered I finally had time to pursue a passion for opera that began in my teenage years. For someone like me, online learning is a real treat. I couldn't see myself returning to a university campus and I can organise my studying around a busy social life. I love being able to work my way through the excellent course papers at my own pace."Read More
Talking with singers: Anna Caterina Antonacci
"La voix humaine is unique because it's not really a monologue. The protagonist is speaking to her lover and hears his answers on the telephone. The challenge is to make the audience imagine the unheard part of the conversation, and have them participate in the drama."Read More
Flipside Opera throws a "Greeriad"
"I am more grateful than I can say for opportunities such as the Flipside Greeriad, to see my songs performed by artists who understand them from the inside out and who can pass their full message on to an empathetic audience. I am on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Art Song Project, a nation-wide organization dedicated to the promotion of new Canadian vocal music. I realize from this central standpoint how regionalized artistic expression is or can be."Read More
Schoenberg/Bach & other unlikely pairs: AtG Theatre heads to TIFF
"This past week, we were able to have an open, pop-up rehearsal in the atrium of TIFF Bell Lightbox. To see a new and engaged audience stop by and listen to both pianist Topher Mokrzewski and soprano Adanya Dunn rehearse is what makes this collaboration so special. It's been really great to work with a partner that is open to creating intersectional performances like this, who wants to activate their building into a site for film, art, and music."Read More