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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 16, No. 5

Jeunes Ambassadeurs lyriques 2010

by Wah Keung Chan / February 4, 2011

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Last November the 17th annual Jeunes Ambassadeurs lyriques brought together over 20 of Canada’s most promising young opera singers to Montreal to perform in front of a jury of nine, including five directors of European opera houses. As part of an exchange program, seven foreign singers, hailing from Slovakia, France, Poland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan also participated. Funding problems kept the Chinese contingent home.

With so many singers, the three-hour Gala afforded each one just one aria to show off their talent. “Opera directors can often tell from the first note if the singer is good,” said JAL director Alain Nonat.

In total, $18,000 in prizes was handed out, along with numerous engagements and travel bursaries. Among the winners were soprano Marianne Lambert, who brought a nice legato to “Salut à la France” from Donizetti’s La fille du régiment, winning the Prix lyrique Canadien-Danielle Blouin, the Prix lyrique Chinois JAL 2010 and a future role with Vancouver Opera. Alberta soprano Chloé Moore carried a natural voice and expression in “Dis-moi que je suis belle” from Massenet’s Thaïs to the Prix Jeune espoir lyrique Canadien, the Prix lyrique Japan JAL 2010, as well as engagements with the State Opera Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, Vancouver Opera and the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal. Ontario coloratura soprano Teiya Kasahara sang an impressive “Ach, serdtse dobroe” from Stravinsky’s Solovey to win the Prix de la chamber des directeurs d’Opéra, as well as engagements with Vancouver Opera and the Opera de Toulon Provence Méditerranée. Although tenor Chris Coyne, a University of Montreal graduate, didn’t win any cash, his naturally clear voice and performance of “Vainement, ma bien-aimée” from Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys earned him internships to three European programs for more finishing. Look out for him in the future.

For the audience, it was an embarrassment of riches. The public was invited to judge the Prix du Public, which went to Spanish baritone Isaac Galan Peiro, who delivered a virile yet grainy “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Other foreign singers of note included Italian mezzo Annalis Stroppa, who brought a rich legato and tone to Romeo’s aria “Se Romeo l’uccise un figlio” from Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and French soprano Julie Mathevet, who excelled in “Où va la jeune Hindou” from Delibes’ Lakmé.

The 2011 JAL National Auditions take place in April 2011. http://lyrichoregra20.wifeo.com

(c) La Scena Musicale