This evening, Eloise and I had just planned to attend the COC's Opera 101 about our upcoming production of Verdi's Otello at the Drake Hotel. We had never been there and it seemed to be a good occasion to support our concert master, Marie Bérard, and our Otello, Clifton Forbis, who were supposed to be interviewed by CBC's Brant Bambury.
However, things didn't quite go according to plan. Clifton let us know that he wasn't feeling well while Brent was already talking to Marie. When Brent called me onto the podium to say a few words, he was still under the impression that Clifton was only delayed. In the end we had a great improvised time on the podium with a very animated Q & A afterwards. I was glad to be there and jump in.
My fries got cold and I didn't finish my glass of wine, but when will I ever be able to replace Otello again?
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Interviews / comments (2) / permalink
I met with the lovers in La Bohème, Mimì (Frédérique Vézina) and
Rodolfo (David Pomeroy) for a joint interview. We had a great time, and
shared some laughs.
AN: What drew you to opera?
DP: I was
born in Newfoundland, my grandfather was a musician; he had a doctorate
in music studies, and was an organist and choir master. So, when I was
kid, he taught me some classical music, and I played the piano.When I was a teenager I played guitar in a rock and roll band
[Frédérique requests an excerpt. David responds that he was unable to
sing that repertoire anymore], and then I went to University for music,
but didn’t think I was going to be an opera singer; the plan was to
stay singing with my band, but after I started studying singing more
seriously, my teacher said to me, “You should go up to the Music
Library and listen to a recording of this aria by this singer” and the
aria was Nessun Dorma by Luciano Pavarotti. I hadn’t heard anything
like it before—I was 20 years old and I didn’t really know all that
much about opera. I went up and listened to that recording and pressed
rewind, and pressed rewind, and pressed rewind, and it was that moment
when I realized that this is something I really want to do.
When I was really young my godmother was a singer—more of an Edith
Piaf kind of voice—and she would do competitions. I spent a lot of time
with her, and when she took voice lessons, I remember sitting under the
piano, watching her perform.
I went to this great school
called FACE (Fine Arts Core Education), there I was in a choir under
Ewan Edwards’ direction. He decided to put me in the Magic Flute that
McGill was doing—I played the First Knaben, and that was my first
experience. It was very cool, as I was 13 years old, and went to
rehearsals until 10 p.m. each night. That experience really gave me the
Read more . . .
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Interviews / comments (1) / permalink
War and Peace is coming to an end, with only two
performances remaining in its sold-out run. The audience and critical
response has been overwhelmingly positive. The reaction to the very
talented German conductor Johannes Debus has been particularly strong.
Johannes kindly agreed to chat with Gianna Wichelow, host of the COC podcasts at getmusic.ca/classical
and Creative Manager for the Marketing department. Listen below as he
gives you an insider’s look at the challenges and excitement of
conducting such a monumental work.
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