I don't know about you but I am PUMPED for 2016. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but this year feels especially frought with exciting possibilities for all! I hope you are feeling a similar vibe.
If you happen to be stuck in a mid-winter funk rather than a calendar-flipping frenzy, allow me to share 16 things I'm particulary exicted for/about this year. I know list posts are SO 2015, but what the heck!
I first heard Hyesang at the 2015 MIMC, and if you have not heard of her before now, prepare to be AMAZED. This high-flying coloratura is making waves all around the world, and I don't think it will be long before she becomes a household standard in her repertoire. Listen to her mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoor from the MIMC finals. The audio is quite soft, so a pair of headphones or help from an external speaker is recommended!
I have been lucky enough to attend some rehearsals for this outstanding production (The COC's own!), and I hope you are as excited as I am for this 5-hour wild ride! To witness a small cast knock it out of the park hour after hour is worth the price of admisson. The singers are outstanding, the sets are incredible-a true depiction of Gesamkunstwerk. If you can get yourself to Toronto, I highly suggest making time to come and see this show.
How did it take me THIS long to discover this amazing podcast, hosted by fellow WLU Alumna Naomi Barraterra!?! Naomi is the perfect hostess (she is also the reason my class of undergrads were able to trudge through first year music history) for opera-goers of all levels. The podcast includes insights and interviews about your favourite operas and artists, so whether you are a music history nerd or a total opera newb, it is a great listen. Subscribe now!
In a small venue adjacent to the SFO's main theatre, the comany is courageous expanding into more intimate and essential performances , including chamber works, recitals and small-scale world premieres. I applaud SFO for making space for this kind of creation and I am hopeful to see where it goes! The only way for art to happen is through the creation and performance of new art!
A Canadian premiere 96 years in the making! Korngold's haunting depection of life as an artist, lost love and the relationship between life and death is an exquiste opera. Calgarians: run, don't walk to the theatre to see this stellar production in the flesh!
Dramatic voice competitions
Speaking from experience, being a young dramatic singer in a competition is the ultimate underdog category, especially in this time of the wunderkind. Competitions exclusively for dramatic singers offers a more level playing field, and a chance for big voices to be recognized for their years of hard work.
This is my ultimate pump-up song. This aria (well, the whole opera actually) is along the lines of the "not-written-for-humans" category, but there are so many sopranos who just SLAY this aria. Ruth Ann Swenson is my personal queen for the aria in question.
Messiaen is definitely an acquired taste, but I have come to love his compositionla language. The supple, yet angular texture of his 1936 song cycle are truly ahead of its time.
Cool Art song projects
I love art song and I love staged works. The combination of the two are a no-brainer for me. Im currently working on collaborating with some of my favourite musicians and creative minds to bring a staged art song project into fruition, so stay tuned for more info!
I don't have many pre-performance rituals. However, listening to John Mark Ainsley sing Handel is one of them. How could I not feel ready for the stage after listening to his heoric and golden coloratura !?
Seeing my friends and colleagues hard work and patience pay off
This job is really strange-wonderful and stressful, a huge privelege admist a lifetime of gruelling hard work. I am so inspired to stay the course, through successes and plateaus, especially when I see my mentors, colleagues and friends thriving and shining in their work.
If you're looking to build up your appreciation (perhaps you may think of it as 'tolerance') to post-tonal and/or more angular vocal music, Berg's Sieben fruhe Lieder is a pretty excellent starting point. Jessye Norman is a force to be reckoned with, and her interpretation of this incredible cycle is no exception.
Tamara Wilson I feel I should have my dramatic soprano-in-waiting badge stripped from me for not sooner recognizing the awesome power of Tamara Wilson!! She has rocked opera houses with her amazing interpetations of Verdi, and she also happens to have a great video blog!!!
The Emerging Project! This project, it's developing chapters, the response it's generating, your interest as you read these words- these are extremely precious to me!
Being a Si...
November 14, 2017
For performing artists, the question "What do you do for a living?" truly resists simplicity. You get bonus points if the follow up questions are eith...