Arias abound at summer opera program

Perhaps, you’ve caught distant voices singing excerpts of Mozart or even Menotti on the summer breezes. The arias are the result of some intensive training that young professional-level singers are receiving in York University’s Summer Opera Program. Since June 17, aspiring opera singers have participated in master classes and received training from musical luminaries and internationally acclaimed vocalists including Catherine Robbin, Norma Burrowes, Russell Braun, Opera Atelier’s Marshall Pynkoski, vocal coach and CBC radio personality Stuart Hamilton and actor/director Tom Diamond.

Now in its second year, this unique seven-week program helps aspiring young opera singers to refine their talents. The program culminates in a series of public performances. This year, the summer program is focusing on Mozart. Students are also receiving instruction in German diction, English dialogue and acting, aria, interpretation, classical movement and dance, vocal expression and staging.

The program was initiated by internationally renowned soprano Stephanie Bogle, who has been teaching part-time in the Department of Music’s classical vocal program for several years, and department Chair Michael Coghlan. Bogle is also the artistic director for this year’s performances.

Right: Stephanie Bogle

The Summer Opera Program at York University is an intensive course that offers advanced singers the opportunity to experience the creative process involved in the production, rehearsal and performance of a complete opera. Participants are granted entry following an audition.

At the close of the program, there will be four fully-staged productions of one of the world’s favourite operas – Mozart’s Don Giovanni – which will take place on July 16, 17, 23 and 25 at 7:30pm, with piano accompaniment, at the McLaughlin College Performance Hall located on the Keele campus.

Left: Michael Coghlan

There will be an additional four performances featuring a double bill of Mozart’s The Impresario and Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, running July 21, 22 and 24 at 7:30pm and July 25 at 2pm at McLaughlin College Performance Hall. These will also be performed with piano accompaniment.

Don Giovanni will be repeated on July 31 and Aug. 1 at 7:30pm at the Dofasco Centre for the Arts in Hamilton as part of the Brott Summer Music Festival. These semi-staged performances feature the National Academy Orchestra, under the direction of Boris Brott.

Tickets for shows at McLaughlin College Performance Hall are $15 and available at the door, while tickets for the shows at the Dofasco Centre for the Arts are $30/$25 and available through the box office at 905-522-7523.

For more information about York’s Summer Opera Program, call the Department of Music at ext. 55186. For more information about the Brott Summer Music Festival, click here.