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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 19, No. 4


by Wah Keung Chan / December 1, 2013

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What happens to singers when they can no longer sing the same repertoire? Recently, both American soprano Deborah Voigt and French soprano Natalie Dessay have faced that prospect publicly and were refreshingly candid.

As for Dessay, she is reinventing herself as a triple threat in pop, classical recital and stage actress. When I first interviewed Dessay in 2004, she admitted that she was scared of recitals, as she thought it would be too hard to be onstage by herself. But those fears have proved to be unfounded now that she has retired from the operatic stage. In his reviews, Norman Lebrecht raves about her last two CDs.

With Dessay’s retirement, there are few other French opera singers of international stature. Dessay addresses the issue while several opera directors at the 20th Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques’ Gala also weigh in in our report.

With the approaching holiday season, our veteran contributors and LSM Ambassadors share their latest Gift Ideas. Joseph So shines the light on Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Shira Gilbert covers Industry News and Jazz editor Marc Chenard shares the latest Jazz releases. Like to find a holiday concert? Check out our regional calendar in print and online at www.scena.org.

Due to lower seasonal advertising support, La Scena Musicale returns to its bilingual edition format for this December/January and the next two issues, rather than its former two separate language editions. It then returns to separate editions in June for its annual blockbuster national summer festival issue. We have decided to take this opportunity to turn these next issues into fully bilingual editions, meaning that most of our principal features will be available in both English and French. In this way, we are continuing our status as Canada’s national classical music magazine, engaging Canadian readers in both official languages.

We are also launching our annual subscription campaign in time for the holiday season. Why not give a subscription to La Scena Musicale? Treat yourself and you get the second subscription for half price – it makes a great gift for a music student. If you don’t know a music student, sponsor the subscription and we will find one to give it to as part of our mission to promote music education. See www.lascena.ca for details.

As we close 2013, I want to thank all those (over 250) who have contributed to our Endowment Fund Campaign. We still welcome donations to our operating fund. New items for our Online auction include a painting by the late Otto Joachim, along with batons from Charles Dutoit, Alain Trudel and Fabien Gabel, and concert tickets to Opera de Montreal, Salute to Vienna, Shen Yun and the Concert contre le cancer. Visit www.lascena.ca to find out more.

On behalf of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers, I wish you a holiday season full of music and the arts.

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