Yesterday’s concert in the RBA, the first I’ve been to in a while, featured the five members of the Orchestra Academy; violinists Joella Pinto and Gloria Yip, violist Carolyn Farnand and cellists Erin Patterson and Alison Rich, with Joel Allison and Samuel Chan and Rachael Kerr on keyboards. It was an interesting concert in many ways. We don’t get to see the young instrumentalists much nor do we often see Ensemble members sing with a chamber ensemble. It was also interesting to hear the contrast between Joel’s dark toned bass-baritone, often singing in a very low tessitura, with Sam’s much brighter, lighter baritone which sometimes was well up in tenor territory.
I recently posted about additions to the COC’s Ensemble Studio and briefly alluded to the company’s new programme for young orchestral musicians. Three student musicians will be mentored by members of the orchestra and will attend orchestra rehearsals of the company’s spring season productions. The new Orchestra Academy project will be led by Music Director Johannes Debus.
Two of the students are currently studying at the Glenn Gould School. Cellist Ashton Lim will be mentored by COC assistant principal cellist Paul Widnerand oboist Alessandro Rauli will be mentored by COC principal oboist Mark Rogers and COC oboist Lesley Young. The third student is from the UofT’s Faculty of Music; violinist Rebecca MacLeod will be mentored by COC violinist Dominique Laplante.
It sounds like a great opportunity to introduce young orchestral musicians to the world of opera and one hopes it will be repeated for future rehearsal cycles.