Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finding Scores the quick way

For someone who prides herself in being (somewhat) techno-savvy, I can't believe I missed the boat on this one!  A student came to her lesson yesterday with reams of music - nice, clean copies of Mozart, Chausson and the like.  When I asked her where she got it, she said "on-line".  Well, duh...why didn't I think of that? All that public domain music out there to be sorted and organized and, wait for it, Petrucci Music Library has done it for you! Here is what they have to say about themselves:

Our goal is to create a virtual library containing all public domain music, as well as music from composers who are willing to share their work with the world without charge.
The Petrucci Music Library also encourages the exchange of musical ideas, both in the form of musical works and in their analysis. Feel free to post your analysis of a particular piece on the "discussion" pages, or join our forums for interactive discussion with the community.

I'm sure you already knew about them but if you didn't, their web address is  They will be your life saver when you can't get to the library!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Auditions for Advanced Singers

Over the past five years, there have been a number of Canadian programs for advanced singers popping up on the radar.  I have linked a few below that have upcoming deadlines:

The Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) was started and is run by my colleague Dr. Darryl Edwards.  This program is a fantastic opportunity to perform and do intensive study on the Italian language.  Deadlines are fast approaching so check this out soon!  Dr. Edwards has also done an excellent comparison of programs that Canadian singers are eligible for in Canada and across the US that look at cost, location, performing opportunities etc. Needless to say, COSI is not just excellent value but a unique program for Canadian singers!

I have blogged about Opera on the Avalon before which was started by my former classmate soprano Cheryl Hickman.  This program is located in St. John's, NFLD which provides a stunning backdrop to a rigorous daily routine.

Opera Nuova has been around a bit longer and has created great opportunities for many of our young professional Canadian singers.  At the other end of the country in Edmonton, AB you have the option of a four week or six week program.

I will post more programs as I receive the information!

And finally....Welcome Back!

Well we have made it through the first few weeks of this new university academic year so WELCOME BACK!  A special welcome to all freshmen everywhere who finding their way in a new environment with new teachers, a new school and a new place to call home for the next four years!

I am looking forward to this year in particular as I commute for the first time between two very fine but different schools - Queen's University and the University of Toronto.  Additionally, I am looking forward to an exiting blogging year. Whether you are my student or not, this blog is for you - it is the conversation that extends beyond the lesson and hopes to encourage and inspire you to listen more, attend more concerts, learn more music, ask more questions, and get MORE from your learning.

I will be keeping a regular Spotlight on Repertoire section, will post auditions and performance information and sometimes just pose questions to start a discussion.  Feel free to respond whether to agree or challenge so that we all learn MORE!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aida: A complex role steeped in tradition

American (and Canadian resident) soprano Sondra Radvanovsky talks about her role and COC debut as Aida this fall this COC General Director Alexander Neef:

For whatever reason they don't video cast the complete interview but suggest you go over to the podcast section to listen to the rest of the interview.  What a tease!!!

Here is Radvanovsky singing in the Classical 96 studio last year:

Monday, September 13, 2010

It happens even to the best of them...

The curse of Toronto has apparently hit Canadian tenor Ben Heppner again.  John Terauds writes in the Toronto Star yesterday:
At a long-awaited solo recital at the Four Seasons Centre on Saturday afternoon, Heppner — considered one of the great heroic tenors of his generation — had to concede defeat before he could finish the second half of a 60-minute performance.
So you young singers....get your technique in order now when you don't have the pressure of the world watching!

Here is Heppner singing Strauss' Zueignung:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Canadian Auditions

As a subscriber I am always getting updates from YAP Tracker **about upcoming auditions for YAP programs in North America and beyond.  I am pleased that more Canadian companies are submitting their information to this amazing website!  Check out the following upcoming auditions:

The Canadian Opera Company Ensemble
The jewel of YAPs in Canada, the COC holds auditions each fall to look for promising young singers to understudy and sing comprimario roles during their season.  One of the earliest YAP auditions (most American companies head to NYC the beginning of November into early December), singers really need to be on their game for this one!

North Toronto Players
A community group that has built its reputation on presenting Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas with a twist, NTP is holding soloist auditions this fall. This looks like a great opportunity for young singers to get some experience.

Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg
The joys of G&S in HMS Pinafore ....auditions are NEXT WEEK so get on this one quickly!  From their website:
2010 will mark the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Winnipeg’s 20th season, having been formed in 1990.  The Society has now mounted 19 highly successful, professional productions and is set to begin work on it’s 20th Anniversary production of Patience....Society’s 15th Anniversary Concert, in January 2005 (also at Pantages), featured Tracy Dahl as a guest artist in Trial by Jury, as well as a selection of songs from other Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.  The Society has also presented concerts in Winnipeg and Morden, “concert brunches” in January of many years, as well as concerts with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (with Bramwell Tovey conducting) in 1994, 1997 and 2001.  The WSO concert in 1994 was released as a CD by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Wild Salmon Productions
A brand new opera, Gloves Off! A Hockey Opera in Three Acts ,written by Vancouver Islander, Susan Hannah Rankin, is scheduled to be work shopped November 9, 15, and 27.  Auditions are next week!

**PS - if you are interested in getting $5 off your YAP Tracker membership, email me for a coupon!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lets fly high...with Lakme

With the onset of school and the seriousness of our studies, a little humour might get us in the mood to phonate in a more relaxed state:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

University of Toronto Bound!

I am thrilled to announce that I have just accepted a part-time applied voice position at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music starting September 2010.  It is so exciting to return to the place that kicked off my musical journey and teach alongside people that have inspired and mentored my career.

In addition to the one day per week at UofT, I will continue my part time load at Queen's University while maintaining students at the Queen's Conservatory of Music in Kingston and Pinnacle Music Studios in Belleville.

I will keep you posted on the various events at both universities in addition to programs and events across the county.  I look forward to continuing to be part of excellent voice training in Canada!

From the voice of....