By Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager
When superstar soprano Sondra Radvanovsky finished singing Aida’s great act III aria “O patria mia” in her 2010 COC and role debut, the audience response was unprecedented. Toronto had just experienced one of the most emotionally frank, technically superb, thrilling pieces of singing. The post-performance excitement in the lobby was palpable – her just-released CD of Verdi arias was selling out at the Opera Shop and patrons were simply abuzz with excitement, demanding to know when they would hear her again. They’re currently getting that chance with Radvanovsky’s rapturously-received return to the COC stage this spring as the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I (Elisabetta) in Roberto Devereux which, like Aida in 2010, represents another role debut.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Roberto Devereux / comments (0) / permalink
The two major names in French 19th-century opera were Giacomo Meyerbeer and Jules Massenet. Although Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saens made wider contributions to French music as a whole during this period (symphonies, chamber music, sacred choral works, etc.), their theatrical output was relatively small compared to the huge number of operatic successes Meyerbeer and Massenet had throughout their long careers. However, despite the popularity of these works during their lifetimes, they suffered a subsequent neglect which, in Massenet’s case, was especially true of his later operas including Don Quichotte (1910). However, changing tastes and reconsidered opinions have resulted in a new-found appreciation and popularity for Massenet’s treatment of Miguel de Cervantes’ epic 1605 novel Don Quixote. Its exploration of universal themes of age versus youth; fulfillment versus regret, and self-deception versus reality, lend it an eternal relevance and appeal.
Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Don Quichotte / comments (0) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001