LSM Newswire

Friday, August 9, 2013

Canadian soprano Clarice Carson honored in New York


New York City, August 9, 2013 – Friends, fans, colleagues and family of Canadian soprano Clarice Carson gathered in midtown Manhattan today at the Opera America's National Opera Center to recognize Ms. Carson’s career as a major international opera singer.  A plaque now hangs in the company of many other operatic legends, among themEleanor Steber, Carlisle Floyd and Marilyn Horne.   It reads:  

“Clarice Carson, Soprano
The Met Opera
EU, UK, Americas
Hall of Fame Montreal”

Ms. Carson is the first Canadian artist to be so honored. She was inducted into the Opera Hall of Fame at 
Montreal’s Place des Arts in 1998 and currently serves on the Board of the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists in Toronto.One of Canada’s most prominent opera singers, Clarice Carson retired from performance in 1986 after many years with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Fenice in Venice, L’Opéra de Montréal, the Canadian Opera Company, and many other companies in Europe and North and South America.  She sang some of opera’s greatest soprano roles, including Tosca, Madama Butterfly, dramatic Mozart and Verdi heroines, and Senta in Wagner’s Flying Dutchman.  She shared the stage with such opera stars as soprano Renata Tebaldi, tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Richard Tucker, and Canada’s Louis Quilico and Léopold Simoneau.  She worked with leading conductors Zubin Mehta, Eugene Ormandy, James Levine, Richard Bonynge, Charles MacKerras, Daniel Barenboim. Canada’s Mario Bernardi and more.

Joining in today’s festivities in New York are mezzo-soprano Louise Greenwald, and sopranos Barbara Hocher and Martina Arroyo.   Mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne sent a note from California, where she is currently working.  Also present from Toronto are son Neil and Lisa Ornstein, daughter Melanie and Doug Harrison, granddaughter Rachel, cousin Sheila Singer, manager Ann Summers Dossena, and several friends.

Built specifically for the opera industry by Opera America, the new National Opera Center in New York ( responds to the critical need for suitable audition and recording facilities.  It combines a stunning selection of spaces and state-of-the-art equipment with professional services.  Specially equipped rooms facilitate co-production meetings, design presentations and professional development activities, as well as a wide range of artistic work – from vocal coachings and master classes to readings of new operas.

Clarice Carson - thumbnailClarice Carson, one of Canada’s most prominent opera singers, retired from performance in 1986 after many years with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Scottish Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Netherlands Opera, La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Regio in Torino, L’Opéra de Montreal and the Canadian Opera Company.  She also appeared with companies in Frankfurt, Barcelona, Houston, San Francisco, Quebec, Vancouver, and in Latin America among others.

Her colleagues have included Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Louis Quilico, Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi, Cornell MacNeil, George Shirley, Richard Tucker, Leopold Simoneau, and conductors Zubin Mehta, Eugene Ormandy, James Levine, Karl Ancerl, Richard Bonynge, Charles MacKerras and Daniel Barenboim.

A native of Montreal, Ms Carson sang her first operatic roles in 1959, and gave many performances with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the McGill Chamber Orchestra. 

During the 1965-66 season, she made her New York debut at the New York City Opera.  The following season, she toured with the Metropolitan Opera National Company and made her debut with the Metropolitan in New York.   She is remembered for herTosca for Radio-Canada television in 1970 with baritone Louis Quilico.  Her other roles included Aida, Suor Angelica, Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmelites), Desdemona (Otello with Jon Vickers), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), Contessa (Nozze di Figaro), Violetta (La Traviata),Mimi and Musetta (La Bohème), Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer), Elizabeth(Tannhäuser), Salome, and Leonora (Trovatore and La Forza del Destino).

As the Montreal media once observed, “Clarice Carson has shown herself to be an artist blessed with exceptional talent and a magnificent soprano voice which permitted her to take on a wide variety of roles.” 

In December 1998, Ms. Carson was inducted into the Opera Hall of Fame at Place des Arts by L’Opéra de Montréal.  In her acceptance speech, Carson congratulated the company on its admirable efforts to engage many of Canada’s finest singers, and hoped this policy would continue.  “Per capita, Canada has produced more great international opera singers than many other countries,” she said.

A resident of Toronto for the past 24 years, Ms. Carson enjoys her family: son attorney Neil Ornstein, daughter Dr. Melanie Ornstein and their families, including three grandchildren.

She is also an active member of the Board of the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, through which she shares her vast stage experience, often giving wardrobe consultations to young artists, mentoring singers and acting as consultant for their careers.

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