The Canadian Opera Company has announced the addition of three singers and a pianist to the Ensemble Studio for next season. The singers, unsurprisingly, are the three prize winners from November’s Centre Stage; Soprano Karine Boucher, tenor Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure and bass-baritone Iain MacNeil, The pianist is Jennifer Szeto. The COC also announced the setting up of an orchestral equivalent of the Ensemble Studio in which a number of young musicians will work with Johannes Debus and the COC Orchestra. Names were announced on Wedneday night but I can’t find them in any of the press releases.
Perhaps more exciting, Against the Grain Theatre, the COC and the Banff Centre. The collaboration is called Open Space and will accept eight young professionals for a four week intensive residency in July and August 2014 devoted to practical skill extension and development, while participating in Uncle John, a modern interpretation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. This adaptation will feature a new English libretto written by Against the Grain Theatre’s artistic director Joel Ivany. People who saw Figaro’s Wedding will have a good idea what to expect and will likely be rather annoyed that Banff is a long way from Toronto. Faculty for the programme include The Open Space faculty include Joel Ivany, Christopher “Topher” Mokrzewski, playwright/director Daniel MacIvor, mezzo-soprano Judith Forst and pianist/conductor Stephen Hargreaves as well as brief appearances by Alexander Neef and Johannes Debus.