Sunday, January 30, 2011

Singing in Aurora, Ontario

This just in from the Aurora Performing Arts Group:

for their 17th season productions.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL   ( November 2011)
High tenor soloist for Mr Fezziwig  age above 25
baritone soloists for charity men's trio above 21
choral quartet singers strong harmony singers seeking stage experience age above 16
Also seeking some high school students for youth roles
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST  (February 2012)
Strong adult choral singers seeking stage experience
Easy score.
Seeking both youth and adults.
( all leads have been cast)
SWEENEY TODD  ( May 2012)
Strong singers seeking stage experience  age 16 and up
Extremely difficult score requiring musical singers
Seeking both older teens and adults
Have baritone solo roles available.
Also seeking two strong mezzos with stage experience
**We also have space for some ADULT choral singers seeking stage experience for upcoming production of Cabaret ( May 2011)
PERFORMANCES IN NEWMARKET at the 400 seat Newmarket Theatre.
For more information
Please contact
Aurora Performing Arts Group
Sarah Kyle

Sunday, January 23, 2011

La Rad as Tosca at the MET

Only two more performances for Sondra Radvanovsky as Tosca at the MET....check out what you have been missing!

La Rad in a Q&A with the MET:

Like so many operatic heroines, Tosca ends up a victim at the end of the night, but she’s much more courageous than most. Which parts of the character are you trying to bring out?

I try to play her as human, not this greater-than-life diva. She’s having the worst day of her life, but she is experiencing all these emotions in real time—not in Verdi aria time. Opera often suspends time so that a character can sing a solo about how they’re feeling, and everything stops for a few minutes. This really never happens in Tosca. It’s true she’s a victim, but I don’t think she wallows in her emotions or feels sorry for herself. She’s a changed woman by the end of the opera because of the journey she has taken on this one horrific day. She’s stronger and more determined in what she wants, and that is to run away with the man she loves. So I try to start the opera as this young, fresh girl who laughs and is in love. As the piece goes along, she tries to understand why this is all happening to her. This leads into her big aria, “Vissi d’arte,” which really is a prayer to God. After that she sees no way out of her situation until suddenly, when she notices the knife, she realizes that she must take charge of her life and stand up to Scarpia. I can’t even imagine what killing a human being must feel like, but this is what’s important to me when I play Tosca—finding the human side of her.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

COC Announces 2011-12 Season

This just in...COC has announced the 2011-12 season...Tosca, Rigoletto, the great soprano Catherine Malfatano directing a new opera, super-mezzo Susan Graham as Iphigenie and the debut of Canadian singers John Relyea and Erin Wall!

Check out their website for all the details!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Call for Applications: Debut Atlantic

About Debut Atlantic… 

Founded in 1979, Debut Atlantic is one of this country's most dynamic and prestigious classical music touring organizations. Their list of alumni includes notable canadians such as Jan Lisiecki, Measha Brueggergosman, Ben Heppner, Denise Djokic, Jens Lindemann and Canada's finest baroque orchestra, Tafelmusik.
Debut Atlantic continues to create and develop new facets that contribute to Atlantic Canada's cultural environment, and they are happy to celebrate more than 30 years of bringing classical music home.

Deadline for application for 2012-13 Season: March 31, 2011

Click here to learn more and to download their application form.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sing out!

A little cliche but....

Work like you don't need the money,
Dance like no one is watching,
Sing like no one is listening,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And live life every day as if it were your last

From the Kaizen Club:
"Singing has a number of health benefits, which have been proven through a variety of studies.

Scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany conducted a study with professional choir singers and published their research in the US Journal of Behavioral Medicine. They found that during rehearsal, the singers enjoyed increased levels of hydrocortisone (the anti-stress hormone) and immunoglobin A, which are antibodies in the immune system.

Graham Welch, director for advanced music education at London's Roehampton Institute, adds that singing:

Energizes and uplifts you by releasing pain-reducing endorphins;

Stimulates your circulation and boosts your immune system through oxygenation;

Keeps you sounding young by exercising your vocal chords and lungs;

Tones your abdominal, intercostals, and diaphragm muscles;

Releases your muscle tension and increases your aerobic capacity;

Improves your posture by expanding your chest and straightening your shoulders.
Who knew such a simple activity could accomplish so much?

But singing is only part of the equation here. Doing it like nobody's listening is what will really boost your confidence.

Some people refuse to wear cellphone headsets while driving because they think it makes them look like they're talking to themselves. They would rather hold a phone visibly in their hands (no matter how unsafe or illegal it may be) than face the possibility that other drivers might think they're crazy. Well, that thought is what's crazy. Who cares what other drivers (who don't know you) think? Who cares if they think you're talking to yourself when you know you're not?

In fact, taking it one step further, singing to yourself at the top of your lungs will ensure you never have that irrational fear again.

If you can belt out your favorite tune as it plays on your radio or CD player, without regard for what others think, you'll increase your confidence to the point where it will never again matter what you're "caught" doing - especially in the privacy of your own home or car."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Call for Applications: Toronto Summer Music Festival

After some financial difficulties and a change in the Artistic Director, it would appear that the Toronto Summer Music Festival has streamlined its voice program.  This year they are offered classes for advanced singers with Sir Thomas Allen and Roger Vignoles.  Here is a snapshot of their Art of Song Program:

The Art of Song
for singers and pianists
July 24 - August 7, 2011

Maximum 10 singers and 3 pianists

All participants will receive a full fellowship covering tuition. Housing will be provided where possible with participants placed with host families in private residences and/or in university residences.

The Art of Song program is intended for a select class of pianists and singers on the threshold of professional careers.  The program offers a two-week immersion in the world of art song under the guidance of baritone Sir Thomas Allen, pianist Roger Vignoles, and some of Canada’s most renowned specialists including pianist Michael McMahon.

The 2011 session will be focused primarily upon the study and performance of German and English repertoire. The significance and context of the poetry and the expression of text will be studied and a close relationship between collaborative partners will be encouraged and developed. ...
Art of Song Resident Artists 

The Art of Song program is two weeks in length and is open to singers and pianists between the ages of 20 and 35. 

Call for Applications: Halifax Summer Opera Workshop

This just in from Nina Scott-Stoddart:

We are thrilled to announce that the seventh annual Halifax Summer Opera Workshop will run from
Monday July 18 through Sunday August 14, 2011
The repertoire will be:
Les contes d'Hoffmann by Offenbach (1998)
in French with sung recitative
Music Director:  Tara Scott
Stage Director:  Nina Scott-Stoddart
Die Zauberflöte by Mozart (1853)
sung in German with English dialogue
Music Director: Greg Myra
Stage Directors: David Mosey and GaRRy Williams
In person auditions will be:

Thursday February 10, New St. James Presbyterian Church (280 Oxford Street East), Sanctuary, noon to 6 pm


Friday February 11, Kimbourne Park United Church, in the Sanctuary, 6 pm to 9 pm

Saturday February 12, Trinity-St Paul’s United, (427 Bloor Street West, two blocks west of Spadina) in the Memorial Room, 1 pm to 5 pm


Saturday March 5, Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts (6199 Chebucto Road), 1 pm to 4 pm
DVD/CD distance applications will be accepted postmarked up to March 4, 2011.
If you'd like to be considered, please fill in an application form on the site.  In fact, you can find all the details of the application process and requirements on the HSOW website at:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Favourite Canadian Blogs...

Happy New Year everyone!  Like all Canadians (or at the least the ones covered in snow) it is that time of year to hunker down and enjoy the winter with a good book and a cup of something hot.  Or in my case, a good blog. Recently I have found two new blogs that are fun and informative.

All Time Coloratura reviews the opera scene in Toronto with a smart and funny voice. She blogged about tweeting and the opera last summer - she seems to bring voice to her generation (20-somethings) and their need to be social all the time (think FB, twitter, and even blogging!):

I have mixed feelings about this. It drives me nuts when I can see someone’s glowing smartphone screen from three rows away. If you’re really that bored, stay home, I usually think. And it’s been a while since I’ve attended a performance where at least one cell phone didn’t go off (followed by panicked attempts to silence it). The substance of Dylan Tweney’s tweets doesn’t do a whole lot to argue his case: he mostly tweeted plot details, which don’t really benefit from a live account (imagine live-tweeting the contents of a book). On the other hand, I think a new breed of discourse is emerging on twitter, and opera companies ignore it at their peril. Opera-listening can be enhanced by communal experience, whether it’s an appreciative nod to the friend sitting next to you after a particularly well-executed high note, or chatting with a fellow opera-lover while listening to a recording or watching a DVD. 
As the COC Social and Interactive Media Coordinator, Cecily maintains their blogs as well. Check them out!

The second blog is The Cardinal's Nest written by a Canadian singer who wants to talk about MONEY.  She writes in her first blog:
I want to talk about the thing in which I have not been educated. The thing that I have had to teach myself, or, find out the hard way. That thing? MONEY. THE BUSINESS of MAKING MONEY as an entrepreneur in Canada. More specifically, as a SINGER. Did your Music Degree supply you with a semester on that?  
SAVING MONEY in a financial climate that is ever changing. SAVING MONEY in an industry that is feast or famine. We all know it. We don’t talk about it. I’m fascinated, and slightly terrified of this topic but, it does no good sitting here alone in my thoughts.

She is funny, honest and addresses something I really believe we don't deal with as professionals ...not just singing professionals but ALL professionals that are educated in commerce and finance!

So...for 2011 I will be checking in with both the Coloratura and the Cardinal to read their thoughts on the opera world in Canada.  I hope you will too!

From the voice of....