LSM Newswire

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rolando Villazn's Handel on Deutsche Grammophon 3/31

Rolando Villazn and Handel Make a Surprising Musical Coupling in a New Deutsche Grammophon Release In Stores March 31st

Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Players Join Villazn for Idiomatic and Passionate Music-Making

Rolando Villazn hasĶstepped into the operatic spotlight with a vengeance: an exuberantly brilliant, youthful, agile, all-around lyric tenor who defies the canard about tenors intelligence, who can genuinely act and who outstrips his rivals with a maverick breadth of repertory from Monteverdi to Puccini." New York Times

NEW YORK, NY March 30, 2009 On March 31st, 2009, Deutsche Grammophon will release the second studio recording from Mexican tenor Rolando Villazn. Paul McCreesh a Gramophone Award winner for his previous Handel recordings and the Gabrieli Players energize this all Italian Handel aria program. This recording follows the tremendous worldwide success of Villazns 2008 Deutsche Grammophon debut, Cielo e Mar, and spotlights a dramatically different side of this versatile and winning singer.

For those who associate Rolando Villazn with the lyric tenor heroes of 19th-century operas, the notion of him singing Handel may come as a bit of a shock. I was in Paris, at the start of my career, he explains, and I bought a CD of Cecilia Bartoli singing Vivaldi. I became obsessed by it. Ever since then I have sought out recordings of Baroque music. And I dreamed of singing it myself.

His chance came when he met the conductor and harpsichordist Emmanuelle Ham. She persuaded him to make a CD of Monteverdi. And I must say that it was one of the most spiritually fulfilling experiences of my career. Another door opened in my inner life. Having convinced himself that he could sing Baroque arias, Villazns next venture into that repertoire seemed obvious. With the 250th anniversary of George Frideric Handels death on the horizon, he made the bold choice to record some of the greatest arias from Handels opere serie. Until he made this recording he had sung barely a note of Handel in public.

What Villazn wanted to do was engage fully musically, stylistically and philosophically with the world of period-instrument Baroque performance which is why Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Players who are at the forefront of Britains period-instrument movement was engaged to work on the project.

In a sense this marks the coming-of-age of the Baroque music revival, the conductor says. Even great Romantic tenors want to sing it now! Of course, the convention is for lighter voices to do this repertoire. But once I had some preliminary rehearsals with Rolando, I realized that he has a fantastic instrument for Baroque music.

Rolando Villazns Handel album is released as he makes his return to the American opera stage for the first time in two seasons. In January and February, he appeared as Edgardo in Donizettis Lucia di Lammermoor opposite Anna Netrebko at the Metropolitan Opera. Villazn returns to the Met on April 8th to showcase his comic prowess as Nemorino in LElisir dAmore also by Donizetti.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Faculty of Music presents Darryl Edwards voice recital

Faculty of Music presents Darryl Edwards in recital

TORONTO The University of Toronto Faculty of Music presents Earth, Water, Wind and Fire, a vocal recital featuring faculty artists Darryl Edwards, tenor, with Liz Upchurch, piano, Friday, March 20, 7:30 pm, in Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queens Park. Tickets ($25 adults and $15 seniors/students) can be purchased at the box office in person or by calling 416-978-3744.

This is the final concert in the Faculty Artist Series, featuring tenor Darryl Edwards and pianist Liz Upchurch in a widely varied program showcasing art song, Shakespeare songs with lutenist John Edwards, and a dramatic cantata with mezzo-soprano Erin Crooks. Operatic selections round out the program, from Mozart's Idomeneo to Toronto composer Raymond Luedeke's I Confess, I Have Lived, based on the stormy poetry of Nobel winner Pablo Neruda. Each selection portrays vivid human emotions fear, love, longing for home experienced and described in terms of the visceral, concrete world around us, made of earth, water, wind and fire.

Tenor DARRYL EDWARDS has appeared to critical acclaim in oratorio, recital, and opera in England, Germany, France, Italy, Corsica, the United States, and across Canada. His recent and upcoming engagements include Kodly's Psalmus Hungaricus with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Verdi Requiem at Dalhousie University: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Orff's Carmina Burana with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Mozart Requiem with the Toronto Philharmonia, and Handel's Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers.

Darryl Edwards is the Artistic Director of the Centre for Opera in Sulmona, Italy, and the Concert Opera Group. His voice students appear with major companies and orchestras across Canada, the United States and Europe (Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, New York City Opera, Philadelphia Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Zurich Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Greek National Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company). He has served as the Ontario District Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is the voice columnist for the Canadian Music Educator.

Critics praise him as a "rich-voiced, cultured tenor who mastered the high notes effortlessly" (Coburg Tageblatt, Germany), and an "effective communicator who expressed the text with sensitivity and fervour" (Hamilton Spectator). His recordings and broadcasts include performances with American National Public Radio (NPR), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Radio 2), and the Canadian Music Centre (Centrediscs).

LIZ UPCHURCH is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where she won several prizes as solo pianist and accompanist. As a music director, vocal coach and repetiteur she has worked in 21st-century and traditional opera, music theatre and theatre. She has also covered a wide range of working techniques with singers, actors and instrumentalists in community and educational projects. For many years she worked with young artists at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh where she played for masterclasses with artists such as Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Suzanne Danco, William Pleeth and Dame Joan Sutherland. Ms Upchurch has also worked at the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg festival in Germany and the National Theatre in London. She held a faculty position in the 20th-century Opera and Song program at the Banff Centre for the Arts and was repetiteur and chorus director at Edmonton Opera. As a pianist she has performed all over Europe and has been broadcast with the BBC, Norwegian Radio and the CBC. Ms Upchurch also appeared as a judge on Bravos hit series, Bathroom Divas: So you want to be an opera singer!

Featuring music faculty members, the FACULTY ARTIST SERIES has a long tradition of presenting some of Canadas most celebrated artists and is considered one of the finest recital series in Toronto. For more information on this or other Faculty of Music concert series, please visit our website at or contact the Box Office at 416-978-3744.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Canadian powerhouse quartet joins the ESO for one night only - May 4

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra presents vocal sensations and powerhouse quartet The Canadian Tenors

One Night Only!

Monday, May 4, 2009 7:30 pm

Edmonton, AB Ķ The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) is thrilled to present one of Canadas national treasures, The Canadian Tenors, live on-stage, for one night only! Having captivated audiences from coast to coast, and around the world, now is your opportunity to experience the incredibly powerful vocals, undeniable charm and dazzling blend of crowd-pleasing repertoire that will take your breath away. It will be a concert event unlike any other, featuring an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary pop ballads and operatic arias, performed in English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Tickets are on sale now! Ticket prices range from $20 - $65 (agency fees apply) and are available by calling the Winspear Centre Box Office at (780) 428-1414.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Canadian Tenors Debut in Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra An image used for spacing HERE has been stripped by your email client.

Rising Stars The Canadian Tenors Perform for the First Time in Winnipeg with the WSO

Friday, January 23, 8pm
Saturday, January 24, 8pm
Sunday, January 25, 2pm
The Canadian Tenors:
Remigio Pereira, Fraser Walters, Jamie McKnight, Victor Micallef
Rei Hotoda, conductor

December 17, 2008 - On the heels of releasing their debut album in November, the up and coming quartet The Canadian Tenors perform for the first time in Manitoba with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, January 23, 24 and 25.
The Canadian Tenors: Remigio Pereira, Fraser Walters, Jamie McKnight and Victor Micallef perform songs that dynamically showcase their diverse cultural and musical backgrounds. The concert with the WSO, as well as their self-titled debut album, features a blend of influences, from musical theatre (Les Miserables) to classical opera (Puccinis Tosca) to French, Irish and Canadian cultures (Rita McNeil and Leonard Cohen).
"The Tenors are steeped in talent, have a strong artistic base and are all classically trained but they exude a seriously Canadian feel. No over-the-top histrionics, no oozing charm, or cheesy remarks. Instead they are personable, heartfelt, and authentic." Victoria Times Columnist 2007
All four Tenors have extensive musical backgrounds. First, Pereira is a classical guitarist and songwriter who has released two solo albums, one featuring Spanish guitar and the other, a c.d. of Italian opera arias.
Micallef studied opera in Italy before returning home to join the Canadian Opera Company. McKnight has a musical theatre background and performed in the Toronto production of The Producers and starred as Ren in Footloose with Rainbow Stage.
Finally, Walters is a former member of the Grammy award-winning a cappella ensemble Chanticleer and also performed in the Lord of the Rings musical in Toronto.
Founded in 2007 by composer Jill Ann Siemens following a national casting call, The Tenors have already performed more than 80 concerts around the globe and have attracted the attention of some of the industrys biggest names.
"Performing on three continents and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity, opening for [former] President Bill Clinton and performing for Canadian legend David Foster, this multi-talented foursome has already established themselves as four of Canada's strongest new voices." Heather Reisman, Chapters Indigo Books
The Canadian Tenors perform with the WSO on Friday, January 23 at 8pm; Saturday, January 24 at 8pm and Sunday, January 25 at 2pm. Tickets for all three performances range from $28.50 to $65 and are available through the WSO box office (555 Main St.) at 949-3999, online at or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

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