Opera Canada at 60

OC-60th-Anniversary-Issue2020 marks the 60th anniversary of Opera Canada magazine; though it wasn’t always called that and it’s had incarnations as the “newsletter” of the Canadian Opera Guild and the house organ of the COC before becoming the independent publication it is today.  To mark the anniversary there is a glossy 60th anniversary special edition of the mag.  It’s 94 pages long and printed on much better paper than the regular mag.  It’s really quite classy despite lacking any content at all from me!

The content is quite different from the regular quarterly publication.  There are no reviews of either live shows or recordings for example.  Rather, it features some historical essays; Christopher Holle on the story of opera in Canada, Wayne Gooding on the history of the magazine, Natasha Gautier on the troubled history of Black Opera and various OC regulars on their “greatest moment” in Canadian opera history.  There are also some interesting cross-generational features.  There are six extended conversations between  a young opera professional and an older member of the same specialty.  For example Jordan da Souza talks to Timothy Vernon while Wallis Giunta and Judith Forst converse.  In another feature ten singers of the younger generation explain who their Canadian icons are and why.  Finally there’s a light hearted series of predictions for the next sixty years from luminaries ranging from Alexander Neef to Topher Mokrzewski  (Topher is funnier).

It’s one of those publications that’s kind of interesting to read between the lines because buried in there is the diversity of Canada and how it reacts to opera as well as some very clear generational divides.  The 60th anniversary edition should be on sale until March at the usual Opera Canada retailoutlets (though which of them are actually functioning right now is anybody’s guess).  Or you can contact editorial@operacanada.ca.

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