By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager
For Episode 19, the “Opera critics UNITE!” edition, we welcome back opera journalists Joseph So, and Paula Citron; Western Canadian opera presenter and journalist, Stephan Bonfield as well as opera blogger John Gilks. New to the panel is Toronto music critic and musician, John Terauds. Gianmarco Segato, the COC’s Adult Programs Manager, is your host.
We took advantage of the critic-heavy presence this week to hold a round table discussion on the past, present and future of classical musical criticism (sneaking in a couple of other timely topics as well!)
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On November 26, 2013, for the first time, nine finalists in the Ensemble Studio Competition will now perform from the mainstage of the Four Seasons Centre, accompanied by the internationally acclaimed COC Orchestra conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus and hosted by Grammy-nominated and multi-Juno Award winner, singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright. To watch the competition and see Canada's rising opera stars, visit our Centre Stage website and buy your tickets today! Over the next two weeks, follow along on Parlando as we introduce you to each of our finalists.
Iain MacNeil didn’t find opera, opera found him, and he’s never looked back.
Born and raised in Brockville, Ontario, Iain was introduced to opera in the first year of his music degree of Dalhousie University. Iain intended to become a music teacher. He studied voice, thinking that he’d be more successful as a vocalist than an instrumentalist in a university setting. However, his teacher at Dalhousie, Marcia Swanston, recognized potential when she heard it. Along with his other teachers, she opened Iain’s eyes (and ears) to a world of music that he hadn’t ever dreamed.
“I quickly fell in love with singing, and with classical music,” he shares. “And lots of voice lessons and a healthy amount of stage experience has brought me to this point.”
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For the Winnipeg-based soprano, opera is a family affair.
Lara’s father is responsible for introducing her to opera. “I was drawn to opera because of the quality time I spent with my father, starting when I was very young, listening to the Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera,” she says. “My dad played the music so regularly in our house and I found myself drawn to the drama and acoustic aesthetic of this art form.”
Since falling in love with opera as a child, Lara has gone on to study vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and completed a master’s degree at The Juilliard School in New York.
Lara's credits include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (The Banff Centre); the American premiere of Alessandro Rossi's Ritual (The New Juilliard Ensemble); Giulia in La Scala di Seta (Juilliard); and Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Manhattan Opera Studio). She will also appear as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Manhattan Opera Studio. But her dream role? She would love to play Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata and the title character in Alban Berg’s Lulu.
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001