Monday, October 31, 2011

The moral of the story...always be ready!

Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, who just taught a fabulous master class at the University of Toronto Opera School last week, was in the NY Times:

Opera Houses Play a Game of Tenor Round Robin

The San Diego Opera and Metropolitan Opera are playing a fine game of tenor round robin, as in Heppner to Lehman to Morris.
The Met said on Friday that Jay Hunter Morris would replace Gary Lehman in the role of Siegfried for the Jan. 27, Feb. 7 and Feb. 11 performances of the company’s new production of “Gotterdammerung,” the final installment of Wagner’s “Ring.” Mr. Lehman, who is suffering from a lingering virus, was himself a replacement for Ben Heppner, who early this year said he had decided not to sing the role. (Mr. Morris is already on the scene at the Met, filling in for Mr. Lehman in the title role of the Met’s new production of “Siegfried,” part 3 of the “Ring,” which had its premiere on Thursday night.)
Now follow: Mr. Morris had been engaged for a San Diego production in February of “Moby-Dick” by Jake Heggie, which had its premiere at the Dallas Opera last year. He was cast in the role of Ahab. San Diego agreed to release him for the Met performances. So it needed a new Ahab to pursue the leviathan. The substitute? Mr. Heppner, who originated the Ahab role.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tyler Duncan - get your $10 tickets while they last!

Canadian baritone Tyler Duncan is performing at the Glenn Gould tomorrow night (Thursday, October 27)...if you don't have your tickets, click here and use "vocal" as your discount code to get a $10 ticket!

From his website:

Mr. Duncan’s considerable gifts in the realm of art song have earned him prizes from the Naumburg, Wigmore Hall (London) and ARD (Munich) Competitions.  Frequently accompanied by pianist Erika Switzer, he has given acclaimed recitals in New York, Boston, Paris and Montreal, as well as throughout Canada, Germany, Sweden, France and South Africa.   He was also winner of the 2010 Joy in Singing Auditions in New York, the 2008 New York Oratorio Society Competition, 2007 Prix International Pro Musicis and the Bernard Diamant Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.   He holds music degrees from the University of British Columbia; Germany’s Hochschule für Musik (Augsburg) and Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Munich).  He is a founding member on the faculty of the Vancouver International Song Institute.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 24, 2011

International Resource Centre for Performing Arts - Career Moves Event

The IRCPA is pleased to announce the


Performing arts leaders gather in Toronto for two afternoons of seminars and discussions designed to help people make a career as classical singers, instrumentalists, conductors, composers, and other related professionals.
The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA) presents Career Moves, Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13, 2-5 p.m. (location TBA).
Organized by IRCPA founder Ann Summers Dossena, the two-day program is as follows:

Saturday afternoon,  November 12 , 2 - 5pmMaking it Happen: Working as a Performing Artist
A panel discussion featuring presenters, managers, publicists, critics and artists.  Moderated by William Littler, senior critic, The Toronto Star, the panel includes critic Colin Eatock, contributor to the Globe and Mail and other publications; presenters Walter Homburger, Canada's senior manager/presenter; Loie Fallis,Artistic Administrator, Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Marco Parisotto, Conductor, Ontario Philharmonic; and Bruce Owen, Barrie Concert Association; and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass, artist in a successful career.  They will share their experiences and offer insight and advice into what is expected of performers in the industry today, to help aspiring artists, professionals and semi-professionals know who does what and why, in order to take their careers to the next level.

Sunday afternoon, November 13, 2 - 5 pm
"Meet Edna" of the "Ask Edna" column in Musical America

Legendary artist manager Edna Landau, a co-founder of IMG in New York, headlines a question-and-answer session, fielding questions from participants. Now retired from IMG, Ms. Landau offers career advice for performing artists on herMusical America blog Ask Edna.
The Career Moves sessions are also recommended for presenters, managers, publicists, coaches, teachers, corporate sponsors, foundation representatives, and even parents of gifted children – anyone who wants to understand the requirements and demands of artists’ careers.
The cost to take part in each of the two days is $40 or both for $70.  Advance registration – before November 1 – is $35 per day, or both sessions for $65.  Participants may register by calling 416-362- 1422, faxing (416) 359-0043, emailing, or writing to IRCPA, 43 Bright Street, Toronto ON M5A 3H5.

The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists has designed programs since 1983 to prepare artists for employment.  After their formal training, they need guidance in auditioning for national or international markets.  The IRCPA provides the opportunity for them to learn from employers such as artistic directors and master coaches.  This feedback and direction reduces the risk of the artists’ being rejected in an audition and having to wait two years for another hearing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NATS announces NATSSA

The biennial NATS Artist Award (NATSAA) competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career and, to that end, substantial monetary and performance prizes are offered. The competition takes place every other year, in conjunction with NATS National Conferences. Preliminary competitions are held regionally, and semifinals/finals take place at the NATS National Conference. Details about the upcoming NATSAA Competition schedule are listed below. For policies, procedures, and eligibility guidelines, please see the current NATSAA application.
"Throughout its history, the purpose of this [NATSAA] competition has been to select, through a series of elimination rounds on the district, regional, and national levels, singers whose artistry indicates that they are ready for a professional career and to encourage them toward that goal with a cash prize and the opportunity for performance engagements." —Edward Baird, President of NATS, 1985-1987

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jeunesses Musicales auditions in tandem with COSI

Deadline for applications postponed to October 21, 2011.
Così fan tutte by Mozart

Sung in Italian, with sets and costumes.

Remuneration policy based on the importance of the role.
ROLES (6 singers)
  • Fiordiligi, Soprano
  • Dorabella, Mezzo-soprano
  • Guglielmo, Baritone
  • Ferrando, Tenor
  • Despina, Light Soprano 
  • Don Alfonso, Bass or Bass-Baritone
To apply, send us a piano solo recording.
If your application is chosen, you will be called in for an audition (see the audition procedures for pianist below).
Montreal: November 7 & 8, 2011
Toronto: November 18, 2011
London: November 19, 2011
* The JMC reserves the right to modify the audition schedule or to cancel auditions in the event that there are an insufficient number of candidates.

Please note that JMC and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) will be holding joint auditions this year. If you would like to audition for COSI in addition to JMC, please click on this link:
  • Canadian citizen and permanent resident of Canada only
  • Candidates must be at the beginning of their professional career
  • Candidates must be opera artists or piano coach
  • Application papers and all required documents must be sent before the deadline
  • Be aged under 35 years old
  • All required documents must be postmarked no later than the deadline date
  • No documents will be returned
  • Only candidates chosen to audition will be contacted
- An aria from Così fan tutte:
For Despina: In uomini, In soldati OR Una donna a quindici anni
For Dorabella: Ah, Scostati ! / Smanie Implacabili
For Fiordiligi: Temerari/come scoglio
For Ferrando: Un aura amorosa
For Guglielmo: Non siate ritrosi OR Donne mie, la fate a tanti
For Don Alfonso: Vorrei dir, e cor non ho
- An operatic aria of choice sung in Italian
(Please note that special attention will be given to candidates’ acting abilities)
Accompanists: Candidates must provide their own accompanist.
- A piano solo piece of your choice, approximately 5 minutes long
- The finale of Act 2 is to be played while singing the vocal parts at the same time (those parts which the pianist considers important to highlight).
The candidates chosen for the workshop and the tour have to be available at all the following dates:
> Casts 1 and 2:
- From August 24 to September 9, 2012 included: opera workshop, production of Così fan tutte
> Cast 1
- From October 20 to December 9, 2012: Fall tour 2012 in Eastern Quebec and in Maritimes
> Cast 2
- From March 19 to May 6, 2013: Spring tour 2013 in Western Quebec and in Ontario.
Singers will be chosen for both casts when all candidates will have confirmed their participation.
*Please note that these dates are planned in advance and may be changed without notice.
Successful candidates will take part in the following:
• A two-week opera workshop under the musical and stage direction of professionals working in the field.
• A tour under the aegis of Jeunesses Musicales of Canada.
Note that a tour means 13 to 20 concerts.
A minimum of nine hours of pre-tour rehearsals and performances paid. On tour, transportation costs and a per diem will be borne by JMC.

Delphine Tremblay Martel, Evening Concerts Coordinator
Jeunesses Musicales of Canada
514 845-4108, ext. 231
Toll free: 1-877-377-7951, ext. 231

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Listen Live TONIGHT from the MET

You can listen to the MET's current production of Don Giovanni as a live stream tonight only!

When:  October 13, 2011
Time: 7:30pm


ConductorFabio Luisi
Donna AnnaMarina Rebeka
Donna ElviraBarbara Frittoli
ZerlinaMojca Erdmann
Don OttavioRamón Vargas
Don GiovanniPeter Mattei
LeporelloLuca Pisaroni
MasettoJoshua Bloom
The CommendatoreStefan Kocán

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vancouver Opera wants to nurture YOU!

Vancouver Opera has recently announced their new Young Artist Program!

Vancouver Opera is excited to announce the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program which will commence during the 2012-13 season. This program will engage, enrich, mentor and train rising young Canadian opera artists and will offer a bridge between formal academic educational programs and the professional world in a supportive and encouraging environment.

VO's Young Artists Program will provide up to seven artists - singers, pianists and stage directors - with the opportunity to train with industry leaders through master classes, one-on-one coachings and performance opportunities as part of a residency program.

Deadline: Applications must be sent no later than November 1, 2011.

Audition Dates:
Vancouver: December 5 & 6, 2011 • Toronto: December 8 & 9, 2011

Application Requirements:
Singers must have solid vocal training in opera and give evidence of a high level of artistic aptitude. Knowledge of an operatic language is an advantage.

Pianists must have strong knowledge of various operatic styles and languages, as well as operatic coaching experience.

Stage Directors should have some knowledge of opera and stage directing or assistant stage directing experience. Formal training at a university, college or drama school is an asset. Ability to read music, and proficiency in several operatic languages, is required.

Most applicants are between the ages of 24 and 34 and have recently finished their academic training.

More details are available in the downloadable Application Package.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More than COSI COSI...

This past summer I had the privilege of joining my University of Toronto colleagues in Italy at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI).  This young artists training program brought together undergraduate and graduate singers in the Opera Studio, emerging and established artists in the Opera Productions (Don Giovanni and Elixir of Love) and singers and teachers on self directed programs with established music professionals in the Canadian and International opera community.  Housed in the small community of Sulmona in the Abruzzo region of Italy, this program was a perfect synthesis of excellent training and a real life Italian cultural experience!

The 2012 program was just announced this week and includes productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Suor Angelica as well their numerous concerts and oratorios including Rossini's Stabat Mater.

For more information and to apply online, visit the COSI website at or visit YAP Tracker. You can also join their Facebook group for lots of pictures and updates!

PS - you can check out recent COSI grad Lucia Cesaroni at Vancouver Opera singing Maria in their upcoming production of West Side Story opening October 22!

From the voice of....