Monday, January 30, 2012

Susan Graham....back in Toronto

American mezzo Susan Graham (Globe and Mail photo)
The super mezzo Susan Graham was back in Toronto this past weekend doing a recital at Koener Hall with collaborative partner Malcolm Martineau to great acclaim.  A stellar performer, Graham has also worked with a number of young singers in the past (why did she not do a class at the Glenn Gould OR UofToronto??) including her well received masterclass at Northwestern University.  The video is under copyright so you will need to visit the NU Bienen School of Music website to view the 40minute class....well worth it for you young mezzos looking to polish your arias!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

From their website:

Founded in 1979, Debut Atlantic is one of this country's most dynamic and prestigious classical music touring organizations. In fact, the 'Debut Atlantic tour' has evolved into a much coveted opportunity for Canada's emerging classical musicians. The extensive list of artists waiting to be added to the touring roster is a testament to our success as is the calibre of our alumni. 

Artists and/or their recognized agents should take note that the submission deadline for Debut Atlantic is 30 March. All application materials must be postmarked by that date. All applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Download, print, and forward the completed Application form with the support materials listed below. All applicants will be contacted via email upon receipt of their application materials and informed of any missing components. It is the responsibility of each applicant to follow up and ensure that their file is complete well in advance of the 30 March submission deadline. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Canadian Opera Company announces the 2012-13 Season

This morning the Canadian Opera Company announced its 2012-13 season.   From their press release:

Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company unveiled a stellar artistic line-up for its 2012/2013 season today at a press conference at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  The company’s 63rd season is a celebration of opera’s greatest masterpieces and features the return of works both long absent and familiar to the COC stage.  The COC presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus in a new COC production, Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Richard Strauss’s Salome and Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.

A dazzling array of the opera world’s leading artists will appear with the COC in 12/13.  No less than 33 singers, conductors, directors and designers make their company debuts, including singers Anna Christy, Stephen Costello, Melanie Diener, Elza van den Heever, Isabel Leonard, Brian Mulligan, Franz-Josef Selig and Erika Sunnegårdh; conductor Jiří Bělohlávek; director Peter Sellars; and visual artists Jean-Noël Lavesvre and Bill Viola.  Returning artists include singers Isabel Bayrakdarian, Russell Braun, Judith Forst, Alan Held, Ben Heppner, Richard Margison, Adrianne Pieczonka, Michael Schade, Ramón Vargas and Tamara Wilson; conductor Stephen Lord; directors Christopher Alden, David Alden, Robert Carsen and Atom Egoyan; and designer Michael Levine.  All performances take place in the company’s home, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, and feature the renowned COC Orchestra and Chorus. 

For more details visit 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We ALL want your job....

Photo of Adrianne Pieczonka by Lodoe-Laura Haines Wangda
Yes, we do all want Adrianne Pierczonka's job these days!  Singing the dream role of TOSCA with the COC this month, Torontoist talks to Ms. Pierczonka about what a day in the life of an opera singer is like...discipline and hard work to stay at the top of your game!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bolcom premier set for SongFest 2012 - auditions in Toronto

UPDATE: Applications due NOW for Toronto auditions on January 22, 2012!

We have just learned that composer William Bolcom has agreed to accept a commission to write a 5-minute song for voice and piano set to the poetry of Jane Kenyon. This song, which is commissioned by SongFest and funded by the Elizabeth and Michel Sorel Charitable Organization, will be premiered in June 2012 at SongFest.

The singer will be chosen by live audition from past participants or 2012 applicants. It will be written for medium voice (any voice type) and the singer will have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Bolcom before the festival to prepare the piece. Interested singers must apply to SongFest 2012 and schedule a live audition. The audition panel will place a great importance on communication and understanding of the text as well as English diction. There will be some parlando in the setting. 

The singer chosen for this opportunity will be named a Marc and Eva Stern SongFest Fellow and will receive a full fellowship to attend the program. The singer will participate in many SongFest events and must be in residence in Malibu from June 5-28.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Coming soon....

Eating Crow by Lila Cheekytree
Happy New Year .... a few days late!

I have just returned from a two week vacation with my family and am ready to get back to teaching at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music!  Of course, anytime I return from vacation, the inbox is full which is good news for you...look out for a bunch of new audition listings, competitions etc. BUT before all that, I will be launching my new website and blog shortly...stay tuned for more!

For those of you wondering, the image on the left is called "Eating Crow"and was created by Toronto artist Lila Cheekytree.  This image is the foundation of the colours and style of my new site and I am so grateful to Lila for allowing me to use her work!

Wishing you all the best for a well supported, in-tune, completely present 2012!


VISI this summer announced!

VISI 2012

Explore the new horizons of Art Song


VISI merges tradition with explorations at the boundaries of Art Song studies. Our programs integrate groundbreaking innovation in interpretation, performance practice, production, composition, research, and new career paths for artists.
Innovation depends on inspired collaborations. Guided by internationally renowned artists, scholars, and other experts, enjoy dynamic and intensive masterclasses, coachings, workshops, lectures, collaborative retreats, and Art Song Theatre production. Explore the new directions of arts for social change. 
Take the stage at VISI and share your own powerful message and daring creativity.
Transform your views of Art Song and its contemporary relevance in the world.
“VISI is nothing short of a new model for exploration of the arts.”


We are honoured to announce the participation of

in the VISI 2012 faculty.

We also celebrate the return of Mezzo-soprano SUSAN PLATTS and Professors MARGO GARRETT and SUSAN YOUENS to our distinguished group of artists and scholars.

Theatre of Art Song/Collaborative Piano 

SONGFIRE Theatre Apprenticeship
Interdisciplinary Song Scholarship and Performance

French Mélodie
 Immersion Studies
Art Song Lab
Arts of Conscience
Courses for the General Public

Choose the VISI programs that fit your career path and enjoy the converging events that weave all the strands together.

From the voice of....