LSM Newswire

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Montreal soprano Sasha Djihanian Wins Inaugural COC Ensemble Studio Competition

(l. to r.) Owen McCausland, Claire de Sevigne, Sasha Djihanian, Lindsay Barrett (Photo: Chris Hutcheson)

MONTREAL’S SASHA DJIHANIAN WINS INAUGURAL COC ENSEMBLE STUDIO COMPETITION

Toronto – Soprano Sasha Djihanian, a native of Montreal, claimed the top prize last night at the inaugural Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Competition at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, selected from 10 finalists to receive the $5,000 award. Soprano Claire de Sévigné, also from Montreal, won the second prize of $3,000 and tenor Owen McCausland from Saint John, New Brunswick was awarded the third prize of $1,500. In addition, Sudbury soprano Lindsay Barrett was selected by the audience as the winner of the Audience Choice Award, worth $1,500.

The 10 finalists from across Canada were selected from over 160 singers in preliminary auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York. Each finalist performed two arias with piano accompaniment in front of a live audience and an adjudicator panel comprised of COC General Director Alexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, and guest judges Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, voice teacher, and Ensemble Studio alumna Wendy Nielsen.

“The audience at last night’s competition was treated to an exclusive preview of the exceptionally bright future of Canadian operatic talent,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “All of the finalists tonight demonstrated remarkable skill, and the prize winners impressed the judges and tonight’s audience with their technique and rich tone, as well their intelligent and emotional delivery. Following all of these young artists’ careers is going to be a pleasure for me personally and for our audiences as well.”


In addition to the four cash prizes, the finalists were competing for highly
coveted positions in the 2012/2013 COC Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition marked the first time in COC history that the final auditions for the Ensemble Studio were held in front of a public audience. Taking into account the performances at last night’s Ensemble Studio Competition, COC artistic staff will now finalize the lineup of the 12/13 Ensemble Studio. The full lineup will be announced in the new year. The 12/13 Ensemble Studio members will be joining an illustrious program that, since its inception in 1980, has launched the careers of over 150 Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors, including Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, David Pomeroy, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Segal and Krisztina Szabó.

The Canadian Opera Company is grateful to the following for their support of the inaugural Ensemble Studio Competition: Laurie & Fareed Ali, Earlaine Collins, Ninalee Craig, George & Kathy Dembroski, Marjorie & Roy Linden, Sandra L. Simpson, The Stratton Trust, Colleen Sexsmith, Trina & Don McQueen, Jo Lander, Sue Mortimer, Brian Wilks and an anonymous donor.

The COC Ensemble Studio Competition was presented in part by RBC Foundation and the Hal Jackman Foundation.

The annual Ensemble Studio audition process is only open to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants.
________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Winners

SASHA DJIHANIAN, $5,000 winner

Arias performed: “Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante” from Carmen (Bizet),“Deh vieni, non tardar” from
Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart)


Sasha Djihanian was born in Montreal and is a graduate of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with honours of First Prize and Great Distinction. She is a Jacqueline Desmarais Grant Holder, winner of the Third Prize at the Czech and Slovak International Competition, and Second Prize at the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. Ms Djihanian was a national finalist in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a semi-finalist in the 2011 Queen Elisabeth Competition and a finalist in the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Upcoming performances include Haydn's Die Schöpfung and Micaëla in Carmen at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy with Lorin Maazel conducting.

CLAIRE DE SÉVIGNÉ, $3,000 winner
Arias performed: “Ah! Douce enfant” from Cendrillon (Massenet), “Da tempeste” from Giulio Cesare (Handel)

Soprano Claire de Sévigné, a native of Montreal, received her master's degree in opera from the University of Toronto and a bachelor's degree from McGill University, with additional training at the Aspen Opera Program, Tafelmusik Institute, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Institut Canadien d'Art Vocal, Brevard Opera and Opera NUOVA. Recent appearances include the title role in a workshop of The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G with Tapestry New Opera; Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Flaminia in Il mondo della luna, and Cunegonde in Candide at UofT. This season she will perform the role of Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare with Thirteen Strings Orchestra.

OWEN MCCAUSLAND, $1,500 winner
Arias performed: “Questa o quella” from Rigoletto (Verdi),“Une furtiva lagrima” from L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti)

Tenor Owen McCausland, born and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick, is a multi-year winner at the New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music. He is currently working towards completing a bachelor of arts in music with Dalhousie University. Mr. McCausland recently performed the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. Other operatic credits include Don Juan in Don Quichotte (Opera Nova Scotia), Spoletta in Tosca (Maritime Concert Opera) as well as Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Dalhousie Opera).

LINDSAY BARRETT, Audience Choice Award winner, $1,500
Arias performed: “Sempre libera” from La Traviata (Verdi), “Chi il bel sogno” from La Rondine (Puccini)

Soprano Lindsay Barrett, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, graduated from the University of Toronto's Opera School receiving the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Scholarship. She recently appeared inIsis and the Seven Scorpions with the COC's Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour. Other credits include Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with Off Centre Music; Violetta in La Traviata with Saskatoon Opera; Laetitia in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, and Fanny in Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio with Highlands Opera Studio; Cunegonde in Candide and Flaminia in Haydn's Il mondo della luna with UofT; and, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with conductor David Briskin and the UofT Orchestra.
________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Ensemble Studio

The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and are important ambassadors for the company. Since its inception in 1980, over 150 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, David Pomeroy, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Segal and Krisztina Szabó.

Members of the Ensemble Studio receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually-tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally-renowned opera professionals.

The Ensemble Studio is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, ARIAS (The Canadian Student Opera Development Fund), in loving memory of Mr. George R. Bishop from his family & friends, John A. Cook Young Artist Development Fund, in honour of Earlaine Collins, in honour of Ninalee Craig, Estate of Horst Dantz and Don Quick, Michael & Lora Gibbens, Ethel Harris, Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, Peter & Hélène Hunt, Patrick & Barbara Keenan, Hal Jackman Fund at the Ontario Arts Foundation, Jo Lander, Ruby Mercer Fund, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Roger D. Moore Ensemble Studio Endowment Fund, RBC Foundation, Katalin Schäfer, in honour of Colleen Sexsmith, Slaight Family, John Stratton Trust, William & Phyllis Waters, and an anonymous donor.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. The COC celebrates its 62nd anniversary during the 11/12 season. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website, coc.ca.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ce concert souligne également les 20 ans de fondation de la Maison du Parc.



*******************
POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE

À l’occasion de la journée mondiale du SIDA, l’Église St. Andrew and St. Paul (SASP), en collaboration avec l’Association des musiciens de l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), présente le vendredi 25 novembre à 19 h 30 « Voix d’espoir », un concert donné au profit de la Maison du Parc, un établissement qui offre hébergement, accompagnement et soins palliatifs aux adultes sidéens, hommes et femmes. Une soirée tout Mozart avec le Requiem et le motet Exsultate, jubilate, sans doute deux des œuvres les plus touchantes et plus connues du compositeur. Les solistes : la soprano Marie-Ève Munger, le haute-contre Daniel Taylor, le ténor Isaiah Bell et le baryton Sanford Sylvan. Jordan de Souza, chef de chœur attitré à SASP, dirigera les solistes, le chœur de SASP et la vingtaine d’instrumentistes membres de l’Association des musiciens de l’OSM. L'organiste Jonathan Oldengarm accompagnera Marie-Ève Munger dans le motet Exsultate, jubilate.

Ce concert souligne également les 20 ans de fondation de la Maison du Parc.

Voix d’espoir / Le vendredi 25 novembre 2011 à 19 h 30
Église St. Andrew and St. Paul, 3415 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, angle Redpath


Marie-Ève Munger, soprano / Daniel Taylor, contre-ténor / Isaiah Bell, ténor / Sanford Sylvan, baryton
Chœur de St. Andrew and St. Paul / Association des musiciens de l’OSM
Jonathan Oldengarm, organiste
Jordan de Souza, chef d‘orchestre
Kelly Rice, animateur

Programme, dans l’ordre exact d’exécution :
W. A. Mozart (1756-1791)

Motet Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165
(Marie-Ève Munger, soprano; Jonathan Oldengarm, orgue)

Requiem, K. 626 (version Süssmayr)

Billets en vente à l’entrée: 25 $


Renseignements : 514.523.6467 / www.maisonduparc.org <http://www.maisonduparc.org> <http://www.maisonduparc.org>


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Opera Lyra Ottawa cancels two remaining productions for 2011-2012 to focus on long-term financial stability

Opera Lyra Ottawa cancels two remaining productions for 2011-2012 to focus on long-term financial stability
Ottawa, ON - November 15, 2011 

Opera Lyra Ottawa (OLO) announced today that, despite presenting two artistically acclaimed productions earlier this fall, it has cancelled the two remaining productions of its 2011-2012 season due to a lack of financial resources. The company said it is reorganizing its operations to emerge in a stronger financial position next season.

Opera Lyra will return for its 28th season with a main stage presentation of La Bohème in Sept. 2012, and La Traviata in concert in March 2013.

"Since the economic downturn in 2008, we have had three consecutive years of severe financial challenges and simply do not have the funds available for these two productions," said Malcolm McCulloch, Chair of Opera Lyra's Board of Directors. "Opera Lyra is acknowledged as one of Canada's foremost opera companies, but our subscriptions, single-ticket sales and private sponsorships have nevertheless declined significantly."

The cancelled productions are The Flying Dutchman in concert, scheduled for February 29, 2012, and Tosca, scheduled for March 31 and April, 2, 4 and 7, 2012. OLO is doing this now to be fair to the artists, production staff, and everyone affected by the decision.
McCulloch emphasized the productions were cancelled only after other administrative and production cost-cutting measures were taken. "This was a very difficult decision, but one that is necessary to ensure we can continue providing the community with the highest-quality opera in the future," he said. "We want to thank our donors and subscribers for their ongoing support and understanding as we deal with these financial pressures, which many other performing arts groups are also facing."

All ticket holders will be contacted by Opera Lyra within the next two weeks by mail with details about their options, including ticket exchanges and refunds.
Opera Lyra expects to continue its support of emerging opera singers and its initiative to introduce students to opera through a yearly children's production that tours elementary schools. Opera Lyra will also be launching a new outreach program aimed at the same young audiences in the spring of 2012. More information about Opera Lyra's plans will be available in the near future.

Opera Lyra is dedicated to the music and adventure that is opera. The company presents first-class main stage productions, showcasing top Canadian and international talent. It inspires and educates young audiences through its Young People's outreach programs.

For more information about Opera Lyra Ottawa, please visit the website www.operalyra.ca


--

Opera Lyra d'Ottawa annule ses deux prochaines productions 2011-2012
afin de se consacrer à la revitalisation d'une stabilité financière durable
Ottawa, Ontario le novembre 15 2011 

Opera Lyra d'Ottawa (OLO) annonce aujourd'hui qu'en dépit d'avoir présenté deux productions artistiquement acclamées plus tôt cet automne, elle doit annuler les deux prochaines productions de la saison 2011-2012 faute de financement suffisant. La compagnie avoue devoir rationaliser ses opérations afin d'aboutir à une situation financière plus saine.

Opera Lyra nous reviendra pour sa 28ème saison dès septembre 2012 avec La Bohème et la version concert de La Traviata en mars 2013.

«Depuis le ralentissement économique en 2008, nous avons affronté ces trois années de défis financiers sévères et ne disposons simplement plus des moyens nécessaires à ces productions» avoue le Président du Conseil d'administration, Malcolm McCulloch. «Opera Lyra est reconnue comme une compagnie de premier rang, mais tant nos abonnements que les ventes de billets et les commandites privées ont malgré tout marqué un déclin important.»

Les productions annulées sont Le Vaisseau fantôme en version concert prévue pour le 29 février 2012 et la Tosca, les 31 mars et 2, 4 et 7 avril 2012. OLO agit ainsi dès maintenant dans un souci d'équité à l'endroit des artistes, de l'équipe de la production et de quiconque est affecté par cette décision.
McCulloch souligne que ce n'est qu'après avoir appliqué d'autres mesures administratives et de compression des coûts de production qu'Opera Lyra a dû annuler les dites productions. «Ce fut une décision très difficile, mais une décision nécessaire à l'assurance d'offrir à notre communauté un opéra de la plus haute qualité pour les années à venir.» dit-il. «Nous tenons à remercier nos donateurs et nos abonnés de leur soutien indéfectible et de leur compréhension face à ces pressions financières, pressions auxquelles bon nombre d'autres catégories des arts de la scène doivent faire face.»

Au cours des prochaines deux semaines, Opera Lyra communiquera par courrier avec tous les détenteurs de billet(s) pour leur fournir les détails quant à leurs options, incluant un échange de billet(s) et un remboursement.
Opera Lyra compte maintenir son appui aux nouveaux chanteurs d'opéra de même que son programme d'initiation des étudiants à l'opéra via ses tournées annuelles pour enfants dans les écoles élémentaires. Au printemps 2012, Opera Lyra lancera également un nouveau programme de rayonnement destiné aux mêmes jeunes auditoires. Nous vous offrirons sous peu un complément de renseignements quant aux plans d'Opera Lyra.

Opera Lyra se consacre à la musique et à l'aventure qu'est l'opéra. La compagnie présente des productions de la plus haute qualité mettant en vedette les meilleurs talents canadiens et internationaux. Par le biais de ses programmes de rayonnement, elle inspire et éduque les jeunes auditoires.

Pour de plus amples renseignements sur Opera Lyra d'Ottawa, veuillez consulter notre site web www.operalyra.ca.

Labels:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Upper Canada Choristers Present Wintertide

Friday, December 9 at Grace Church-on-the-Hill

THE UPPER CANADA CHORISTERS PRESENT WINTERTIDE

FEATURING NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

OF KARL JENKINS' STELLA NATALIS

Music from many cultures celebrates the coming winter season, when the Upper Canada Choristers present a Wintertide, Friday, December 9 at 8 p.m. at Grace Church-on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road. The performance features the North American premiere of Stella Natalis by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins.

Founder Laurie Evan Fraser conducts the 45-voice choir of men and women, with Jo Greenaway at the piano.

Tickets – $20 in advance, $25 at the door, children and high school students free – may be ordered by calling (416) 256-0510. More information is posted atwww.uppercanadachoristers.org.

The centrepiece, Stella Natalis (“star of birth” or “star of origin”), comprises 12 movements that celebrate various aspects of the season – winter, the sleeping child, peace and thanksgiving – using texts from the Old Testament, Zulu sources, and new texts by Carol Barratt. Trumpeter Michael Barth and percussionist David Tomlinson join Fraser, Greenaway and the choir. The work was recorded by EMI Classics in 2009, and revised in its 2010 publication.

The Upper Canada Choristers’ program also features carols from a variety of cultures – British Isles, Europe, Latin America and Canada – and includes music for Hanukkah. The audience will have a chance to join the choir to sing along in favorite carols. As well, the choir will premiere Winter Fanfare, written by Laurie Evan Fraser.

Cantemos, the UCC’s highly accomplished Latin-American ensemble, performs music from Spain and Venezuela, as well as combining with the Choristers to present Stella Natalis.

Cantemos’ debut CD, featuring Latin-American Christmas music, will be available for sale.

Excerpts from Stella Natalis and conversation with the composer and recording artists can be enjoyed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aNnItpn6HY. More information on the work is at www.jenkinsstellanatalis.com/press/Stellanatalispressrelease.pdf.

Cantemos and the Choir have a busy fall season. Cantemos appeared at the Kensington Market Pedestrian Mall in September, and October 1 at Nuit Blanche in front of Queen Street West’s Arepa Cafe. The main choir is part of The Big Sing, November 6 at Roy Thomson Hall.

Labels:

COC Reports Modest Surplus for 2010-11 Season

CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY REPORTS MODEST SURPLUS FOR 2010/2011 SEASON

Toronto Today at the Canadian Opera Company’s Annual General Meeting, COC Board President Philip C. Deck announced the COC achieved another successful performance year in 2010/2011, recording a modest surplus of $10,000. In its fifth season at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the COC generated ticket revenue of $12.3 million and recorded an average attendance of 94%.

“In a year in which virtually every arts organization in North America visibly suffered, the COC balanced its books and achieved a very impressive attendance capacity of 94%,” said COC Board President Philip C. Deck. “For this we remain extremely grateful to the thousands of patrons and donors as well as our public and private sponsors who support the COC in the belief that the art we create improves and informs everyone’s lives.”

In total, 129,450 patrons attended the 66 performances of the seven operas comprising the 10/11 mainstage season, including a special performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute featuring members of the COC Ensemble Studio. Box Office revenue represented 33% of total operating revenues, with fundraising and grants accounting for 25%, government funding accounting for 19%, and 17% coming from other income sources such as space and production rentals. The remaining 6% came from other grants made up of contributions from the Canadian Opera Foundation, reflecting a normal distribution of earnings on the endowment funds, and the Canadian Opera House Corporation, through the general assets and activities of owning and operating the Four Seasons Centre.

Over 6,000 loyal supporters, subscribers and donors, corporations, and foundations contributed more than $8.6 million (net) to the COC in 10/11, an increase of almost 5% over the previous year. Approximately 75% of the $8.6 million – $6.5 million – came from individuals in support of the COC’s mainstage productions and artists, as well as transition and endowment funding, training, and education and outreach programs. In addition, many donors contributed annually through the Golden Circle, President’s Council and Friends of the COC patron programs, including a lead gift from Dr. William Waters and an anonymous donor to the Year-End Matching Appeal. Individual support is particularly crucial to the COC’s commitment to stage new productions each season in order to remain an artistically relevant producer of opera, as well as providing a diversified revenue stream from rental and co-production opportunities. The COC’s new productions of Aida andThe Magic Flute were generously underwritten in part by Tim and Frances Price and the Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, respectively.

COC fundraising efforts through special projects and events, including the 17th Annual KPMG Opera Golf Classic, the 12th Annual Fine Wine Auction, and Operanation VII, netted over $360,000 to the company.

The COC continued to receive support from several loyal corporate sponsors: Sun Life Financial with the Sun Life Financial Accessibility Program; Jaguar Land Rover Canada as the Official Automotive Sponsor; Trius wine from Andrew Peller Limited as the Official Canadian Wine of the COC; Delvinia as the Digital Marketing Sponsor; CTV and The Globe and Mail as the Official Media Sponsors; and the Hilton Toronto as the Preferred Hospitality Sponsor. Production Sponsors for the season included RBC (The Magic Flute) and CIBC and CIBC Mellon (Nixon in China). Other sponsors were Xstrata, TD Bank Group, BMO Financial Group and National Bank Financial Group.

Government investment in, and support for, the COC continued to remain a cornerstone of the company’s core funding model, with all levels of government demonstrating their commitment for a strong and vibrant cultural sector. In addition to continued investment by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, both funding bodies provided support for the COC’s tour of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables to Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The tour, which brought significant critical acclaim to the COC, would not have been possible without the support of both government and private donors. The COC is also grateful for the increase to its annual investment from Toronto Culture.

“When we prepare future seasons, the guiding principle is always to balance our artistic ambitions with the financial realities and, when planning seasons upwards of five years in advance, the ongoing fluctuations in the economy can prove challenging to navigate on a yearly basis,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “I am very proud that our 10/11 season was extremely successful on both the artistic and financial side, and very grateful for the constant support and dedication of our patrons, subscribers and generous donors. We continue to strive to offer our audiences opera of the highest standards, collaborating with exceptional Canadian and international artists and companies, and the results show that we continue to rank among the best in the world.”

The 10/11 season was a significant year for the COC in many ways as it saw the company add two new productions to its repertoire, perform two 20th-century works and make its long-awaited return to BAM. The COC opened its fall run with a new production of Verdi’s Aida, featuring a contemporary Middle Eastern setting that stripped away the conventional Egyptian iconography. Paired with Aida was Britten’sDeath in Venice, starring Alan Oke in a Dora Award-winning performance. The winter months offered a new production of Mozart’s belovedThe Magic Flute and the COC premiere of one of the most performed and respected operas of the late 20th-century, Adams’ Nixon in China. In the spring, the COC made its second tour in 18 years to the world-renowned BAM with its 2009 production of Robert Lepage’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. Upon returning to Toronto, the COC concluded its 10/11 season with an intriguing combination of operatic repertoire: Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola), R. Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and the company premiere of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, the latter earning Dora Awards for outstanding production and outstanding musical direction.

In 10/11, the COC’s popular Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre marked its fifth year with 79 free events ranging from vocal recitals to cutting-edge contemporary dance performances, and continued to draw capacity crowds. The Free Concert Series attracted approximately 15,000 audience members of all backgrounds and ages who experienced the artistic excellence and cultural diversity of the city. Also, in addition to travelling to elementary schools across Ontario, the company’s annual Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour brought opera to a completely new audience in performing its school tour adaptation of Cinderella for the Inuit communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq in northern Quebec.

The COC began its 2011/2012 season this fall with the company premiere of Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris and a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. It continues in January 2012 with Puccini’s Tosca and the Canadian premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Love from Afar, one of the most performed 21st-century operas. The spring run includes Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, a double bill of darkly witty, one-act operas: Alexander Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy
(a Canadian premiere) and Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and the COC premiere of Handel’s Semele. The Ensemble Studio performance of Semele on the mainstage takes place on May 23, 2012.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. The COC celebrates its 62nd anniversary with the 2011/2012 season that was officially opened at the end of September. Under its new leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website at coc.ca.

Labels:

Inaugural COC Ensemble Studio Competition Nov. 28

FINALISTS FROM ACROSS CANADA COME TO TORONTO FOR INAUGURAL COC ENSEMBLE STUDIO COMPETITION

Toronto – Following auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York City attended by Canadian Opera Company administrators, 10 out of a pool of over 160 young, aspiring opera singers have been selected to compete in the final auditions at the inaugural COC Ensemble Studio Competition. For the first time in the history of the COC, the final auditions for singers seeking to join the Ensemble Studio training program will be made public as a vocal competition. In addition to an offer of a coveted position in the 2012/2013 Ensemble Studio, the singers will be competing for one of four cash prizes. A limited number of tickets priced at $30 are now on sale for the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, which takes place on Nov. 28, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Ten finalists will perform in front of an audience and a panel of judges, comprised of COC General Director Alexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch,
Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, opera coach, and Ensemble Studio alumna Wendy Nielsen. Over the course of the two-hour competition, each finalist will perform two arias showcasing their vocal technique and range. The judging panel will deliberate on location and announce the competition winners at the conclusion of the evening’s event.

Select finalists will be invited to join the 12/13 Ensemble Studio, with the number of offers to be determined by the judging panel. First, second and third prizes, worth $5,000, $3,000, and $1,500, respectively, will be awarded, in addition to a People’s Choice Award, selected by audience vote, worth$1,500.

The Ensemble Studio Competition highlights the finest young talent from across the country. Winning a place in what is Canada’s premier training program for opera professionals can be these singers’ first step towards an international opera career. The audience at the vocal competition will be hearing the singers selected to follow in the footsteps of such renowned Ensemble Studio graduates as Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Joseph Kaiser, and John Fanning, among many others.

The finalists are:

· Lindsay Barrett (Sudbury, ON)

· Claire de Sevigne (Montreal, QC)

· Sasha Djihanian (Montreal, QC)

· Rachel Fenlon (Victoria, BC)

· Aviva Fortunata Wilks (Calgary, AB)

· David Gibbons (Red Deer, AB)

· Danielle MacMillan (Toronto, ON)

· Owen McCausland (Saint John, NB)

· Laura McLean (New Glasgow, NS)

· Cameron McPhail (Brandon, MB)


“The quantity and quality of young opera talent in Canada is staggering, and the finalists in this year’s competition are truly some of the best emerging artists from across the country,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef, “The members of the Ensemble Studio are the opera stars of tomorrow and, through the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, the public is given the exciting opportunity to be a part of these singers’ professional journeys from the very beginning.”

Tickets are $30 and are available for purchase online at coc.ca, by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office, located at 145 Queen St. W., Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Ensemble Studio audition process is open only to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants.

The young artists of the COC Ensemble Studio Competition are generously sponsored by Laurie & Fareed Ali, Earlaine Collins, Ninalee Craig, George & Kathy Dembroski, Marjorie & Roy Linden, Trina & Don McQueen, Sue Mortimer in memory of Clive Bennett Mortimer, Colleen Sexsmith, Sandra L. Simpson, Mr. Brian Wilks and two anonymous donors.

The COC Ensemble Studio Competition is presented in part by RBC Foundation and the Hal Jackman Foundation.
________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Ensemble Studio

The members of the Ensemble Studio are the COC’s resident artists and are important ambassadors for the company. Since its inception in 1980, over 150 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio. Former members include Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, Wendy Nielsen, David Pomeroy, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Segal and Krisztina Szabó.

Members of the Ensemble Studio receive a blend of advanced study and practical experience through an individually-tailored, multi-year program, involving understudying and performing mainstage roles, intensive vocal coaching, language and acting studies, and career skills development, as well as participation in masterclasses with internationally-renowned opera professionals.

The Ensemble Studio is generously supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, ARIAS (The Canadian Student Opera Development Fund), in loving memory of Mr. George R. Bishop from his family & friends, John A. Cook Young Artist Development Fund, in honour of Earlaine Collins, in honour of Ninalee Craig, Estate of Horst Dantz and Don Quick, Michael & Lora Gibbens, Ethel Harris, Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, Peter & Hélène Hunt, Patrick & Barbara Keenan, Hal Jackman Fund at the Ontario Arts Foundation, Jo Lander, Ruby Mercer Fund, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Roger D. Moore Ensemble Studio Endowment Fund, RBC Foundation, Katalin Schäfer, in honour of Colleen Sexsmith, Slaight Family, John Stratton Trust, William & Phyllis Waters, and an anonymous donor.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. The COC celebrates its 62nd anniversary during the 11/12 season. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website, coc.ca.

Labels:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Canadian Federation of Musicians And Canadian Ad Industry Announce Agreement


Canadian Federation of Musicians And Canadian Ad Industry Announce Successful Ratification ofCommercial Announcements Musicians’ Recording Agreement Renewal

For Immediate Release - Toronto, on November 10, 2011

Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) are pleased to announce that union members have voted overwhelmingly in favour the Commercial Announcements Musicians’ Recording Agreement with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA). The successful vote renews the agreement widely known in the industry as the “Jingles Agreement” which is the industry standard collective agreement governing the production of music tracks for commercials in Canada.

“This agreement is a major step forward to protect the rights of Canadian musicians,” said Bill Skolnik, AFM Vice President from Canada & CFM Chief Executive Officer. “The enthusiasm with which the terms of the agreement were embraced by the advertising industry and our members alike is a reflection of what is fair, and is in keeping with the importance digital distribution will play in the future.”

The deal includes general increases in minimum fees of 3% in year one and 2.5% in each of years two and three of the new three year agreement, as well as a one-time increase of 1% in Industry contributions to the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada, on behalf of all musicians who perform under this agreement. The agreement covers a 3 year term.

The parties have agreed to enter into a pilot-project to assess commercials made for New Media, monitor the use of this clause and to meet regularly to review the findings.

Building on AFM Canada’s long and successful legacy, CFM will continue furthering the particular interests and needs of professional musicians who earn their living in this country. Everyday CFM helps thousands of musicians with any number of issues related to the recording and performing of their craft. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada draws on the experience and strength of more than 90,000 musicians, with over 17,000 active members in Canada alone. Proudly celebrating 31 remarkable years of service, CFM is uniquely positioned to address Canadian issues, and provides vital resources for Canadian musicians, at any stage in their careers. For more information please visit us at www.cfmusicians.org CFM on twitter׀ CFM on Facebook.

Labels:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2 Pianos 4 Hands Extends Run in Toronto

MORE PIANOS, MORE HANDS!!

MORE TED, MORE RICHARD!!

2 Pianos 4 Hands

adds 2 more weeks 4 their fans!

Now onstage until December 4th

at the Panasonic Theatre

"Magical! Laugh-out-loud funny! Poignant! Perfect! Don't miss these farewell performances!"
(Four out of Four Stars) Globe and Mail

"Fresh and Deliciously Entertaining."
(Four out of Four Stars) Toronto Star

"2 Pianos 4 Hands - 1 Great Show! Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt are Superb!"
(Five out of Five Stars) Toronto Sun

The reviews are in and after critical acclaim, Ted and Richard are adding 2 weeks 4 their fans, now untilDecember 4th. After Toronto, 2P4H heads off to Ottawa in January and a Japanese tour in the spring.

After performing their popular smash-hit comedy 2 Pianos 4 Hands to critical acclaim the world over, Dora Award-winning creators and performers, Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt have returned home to perform their landmark work one final time. Piano students in their youth, Ted and Richard are now the parents/teachers they once had.

2 Pianos 4 Hands is a warm and funny musical entertainment about two lifetime obsessions with 88 piano keys. It’s a story of aspiring talents, teachers, lessons and competitions, and a not-to-be-missed classic of Canadian theatre.


Originally produced in 1996 at the Tarragon Theatre, and for a return engagement in 1997, 2P4H went on the Royal Alexandra Theatre for a 6-week engagement in 1998, and then for 4 weeks at the Elgin Theatre in 2003.


The winner of the 1996 Dora Award for Outstanding Production, and arguably the most successful play in the history of Canadian theatre, 2 Pianos 4 Hands has played off-Broadway, Washington’s Kennedy Center, the West End and in Tokyo. Since its humble Toronto premiere 2 Pianos 4 Hands has had 5000+ performances at more than 200 theatres worldwide.

2 Pianos 4 Hands is the riotous tale of two boys in Canada, Ted and Richard, sharing the same goal: concert pianist stardom. They work fervently towards their dream amidst pushy parents, eccentric teachers, hours of repetitive practice, stage fright, the agony of competitions and the dream of greatness.


Two actors, two pianos and many, many characters grace the stage as fifteen years of learning the art of piano playing unfolds. From classical to pops to jazz, the play provides the chance for two performers to give their all in a 120-minute virtuoso performance.


As they mature, Ted and Richard become more aware of the gap between the very good and the great, and come to the humbling realization that greatness may be out of reach.

2 Pianos 4 Hands captures the humour that comes with learning to play the piano, the sense of loss of eventually learning to let go of the dream, as well as the joy of always having music in ones life.

Now onstage until December 4th

Panasonic Theatre

Tickets for 2 Pianos 4 Hands are now on sale

Tickets $39.00 to $74.00

Phone 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333

www.mirvish.com

Labels:

Tafelmusik Returns to Carnegie Hall November 18


Tafelmusik returns to Carnegie Hall on November 18

as part of a U.S. tour including concerts in Virginia

“No other Canadian orchestra … does so much to give Canada a profile in the international arena of music. And, increasingly these days, it is a profile constructed from top-flight engagements.”

—Toronto Star

Toronto (Canada) … Tafelmusik reaffirms its reputation as Canada’s most active touring orchestra with high-prestige engagements around the world as it prepares for its return to the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City. TheNovember 18 concert in Zankel Hall has been sold out for weeks, and is part of a U.S. tour including performances inCharlottesville, Virginia on November 15 and Winchester, Virginia on November 16. Tafelmusik’s U.S. tour concerts feature a mixed baroque programme of music by Fasch, Bach, Lully, and Vivaldi.

Tafelmusik’s Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 garnered praise from The New York Times, which stated, “Tafelmusik offered a vigorous and well-paced interpretation, with stately, buoyant and crisply etched playing … elegant phrasing and lithe clarity.”

A discography of more than 78 recordings has helped Tafelmusik build its excellent reputation abroad. Last month, the orchestra released its most recent CD, an all-Bach recording featuring countertenor Daniel Taylor on the Analekta label. In the words of Gramophone magazine, Tafelmusik is “… one of the world’s top baroque orchestras, exemplary in every way from their generous but clear-voiced sound to their nicely judged responses to the music’s many details.”

Tafelmusik continues to thrive on the world stage this season as it celebrates Jeanne Lamon’s 30th anniversary as Music Director. In addition to regular concerts in Toronto, Tafelmusik’s touring schedule includes performances in Germany, a residency in Banff, Alberta (for House of Dreams, its second co-production with the Banff Centre), its Australia and New Zealand debut (with The Galileo Project, which has been seen in Toronto, the United States, Mexico, China and Malaysia), Versailles, France (with Opera Atelier) and Ontario. In September, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir appeared with Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal at the inaugural concerts in its new hall, La Maison symphonique de Montréal.

U.S. Tour programme:

Fasch Orchestral Suite in D Minor

Bach Concerto for Three Violins in D Minor, after BWV 1063

Lully Suite from Phaëton

Bach Suite for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor, after BWV 1067

Vivaldi Concerto for Two Oboes in D Minor, RV 535


For detailed information about Tafelmusik’s U.S. tour dates and venues, visit the website.


Labels: