Jenna is the editor and co-creator of Schmopera.com. She's also a pianist, vocal coach, and répétiteur, and working with singers is how she fell in love with opera. Her favourite operas include Peter Grimes, Ariadne auf Naxos, Tristan und Isolde, Written on Skin, and Anna Nicole.
She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, freshly returned from a year in London, UK. She has worked as a pianist at places like the Canadian Opera Company, Against the Grain Theatre, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Opera on the Avalon, and Oberlin College Conservatory. She's an alumna of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio Program and the San Francisco Opera Merola Program.
Adi Braun, the Moderne Frau
September 18 2017
"Any form of art is always influenced by the socio-political climate of its time. Certainly the freedom gained by the abolishing of the strict Wilhelmine regime was one part in creating a much more liberal and fertile ground for artistic expression. Yet with the rise of the Nazis artists saw and feared what was to come and expressed this in their works of art. The courage that performers had to give these often very risqué songs life is admirable."Read More
The stars align for Toronto Masque Theatre's final season
September 17 2017
"I'm filled with so many emotions as I introduce you to our final season," says Beckwith. "I'm humbled to present many of Canada's leading performing artists – some TMT regulars alongside some new faces. I'm heavy-hearted as I contemplate the end of a magnificent journey. But above all, I'm excited to present to you an entertaining season of music, theatre and dance that I'm sure will demonstrate the accomplishments of this unique company and its place in the performing arts in Canada."Read More
Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt: where opera meets science
September 14 2017
"Composers have included scientific subjects and references, from Mozart's send-up of the real Dr. Mesmer in Così fan tutte, to John Adams' Dr. Atomic about Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb. The very act of scientific discovery is a creative one."Read More
American Opera Projects: "You're seeing the opera in microcosm."
September 12 2017
"You hear the work, and you hear the audience hearing the work. That's invaluable. As a theater critic, I am by nature self-critical. As an editor, I know the work can always be better. I want to see how the audience reacts. I want to hear their thoughts afterward. You won't take every suggestion to heart, but one good note can have a huge effect on the final outcome."Read More
In review: Bandits in the Valley
September 11 2017
The short, opera-esque piece of theatre - by composer Benton Roark and librettist Julie Tepperman - happens in various locations around Toronto's Todmorden Mills, the historic location that beautifully serves the concurrent tales of George Taylor (whose paper mill celebrates its 25th anniversary), the traveling theatre troupe that specializes in Gilbert & Sullivan, and The Rift Rafters, the group of bandits.Read More
What do singers want in a pianist?
September 10 2017
Pianists who work with singers tend to pride themselves on being an anticipator of needs. A great pianist seems to know before the singer does if they need an emergency breath, could use some extra hang-time on a high note, or wants a friendly push in tempo. Yet just as married-for-decades couples can still manage to surprise each other, even the best of pianist-singer relationships aren't perfectly telepathic.Read More
Justin Ralph: "It all comes down to storytelling."
September 09 2017
"Whether you're singing opera, art song, folk music, or even country, you're unfolding a story for the audience and transporting them to a different time and place than the present. Schubert's traveller in Winterreise and Hank Williams' lonesome soul in 'Lost Highway' have a lot in common despite the centuries between them, and immersing myself in either character brings me a lot of satisfaction."Read More
Mysterious Barricades: "A flicker of hope."
September 08 2017
With a mission "to raise awareness surrounding the mysterious barricades between mental illness and health, between the darkness of depression and a flicker of hope, between life and death," Mysterious Barricades brings free concerts to 15 Canadian cities, starting in St. John's, NL, and ending in Victoria, BC. The organization is led by mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Turnbull, whose late husband took his own life two years ago.Read More
The voice teacher series: Mitchell Hutchings
September 07 2017
"It may sound cliché, but, even if a student has a natural talent, the best results come from a healthy work ethic. You can see this at various schools, conservatories, and independent voice studios everywhere. Those that are the most motivated and have the greatest amount of perseverance gain the most from this career."Read More
Don't miss: Bandits in the Valley
September 07 2017
"It is fascinating that the average Torontonian's understanding of Toronto's history is pretty limited," says Tapestry Artistic Director Michael Mori. "We are all a pretty new lot here, and so stories about the bandits in the Don Valley in the late 1800s and far-reaching industrial innovations that came from people like George Taylor are news to everyone except historians."Read More