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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 3, No. 1 September 1997

Les Notes 

by Wah Keung Chan

Youth Programs
Rendez-Vous 18-35
is a unique cultural program that provides 18 to 35-year old participants an affordable way to sample the best of the season's offerings in music, dance, theatre, museum shows and film. For $49 subscribers can choose 5 events from over 25 participating companies that include the Montreal Symphony and I Musici de Montréal. Participants also have the opportunity to meet the artists. Rendez-Vous is an initiative of the Saidye Bronfman Youth Institute. Call (514)739-2301.
Opera 19-30
The Opéra de Montréal and the Montreal Opera Guild have changed their youth program again this year. Due to the tremendous response to their Opera 18-35 program of close to 600 members last year and thus overtaxing their resources, the program has changed its age eligibility to 19 to 30 to become the Opera 19-30 program. The $30 membership includes a free ticket in the orchestra section of your opera of choice. Members can then purchase one ticket in the orchestra section for any other production at $20. Info: (514)985-2222.
Opera 18-29
Over at the Canadian Opera Company, their youth program (Opera 18-29) appears to be more generous. While the membership is higher at $40, this entitles members to purchase four additional tickets per opera at $20. The COC program longer has other benefits such as a 10% discount at HMV. Their age limit is 18 to 29. Info: (416) 363-6671.
Opéra de Québec has $10 student tickets available at Billetech (418) 643-8131.
Opera Lyra Ottawa lets students see their two annual productions (Wednesday nights shows only) for $30 total. (613) 233­5431.
The National Arts Centre has half-price student tickets (613) 996­5051.
Open Dress Rehearsals for Students under 25
Students aged 25 years or less are invited to the September 18 orchestral dress rehearsal of L'Opéra de Montréal's production of Gounod's Faust. The cost is $5 (up from $4). Tickets are limited and can be obtained by calling the OdM box office at (514) 985-2258. Ticket holders must show their student ID at the door.

L'Atelier Lyrique de L'Opéra de Montréal
has announced their roster for the 1997-98 season. New to the program are soprano Geneviève Charest, tenor Marc Hervieux, bass René Brempon Laryea, contralto Caroline Ménard and baritone Sergei Stilmachenko. Returning are bass Alain Coulombe, stage director Renaud Doucet, mezzo Anne Marie Hoover, tenor Pascal Mondieig, mezzo Michelle Sutton, soprano Annie Tremblay and vocal coach Claude Webster. The Atelier Lyrique will tour Quebec with Rossini's La Cenerentola. A $30 donation to the Atelier Lyrique entitles you to attend Atelier Lyrique masterclasses.

The Canadian Opera Company's 1997/98 Ensemble Studio includes new members soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano Marian Sjölander and apprentice director Graham Cozzubbo, as well as returning members mezzo Allyson McHardy, tenor Robert Martin Reid, apprentice coach Jasmina Vucurovic, baritone James Westman and soprano Karen Ydenberg. Activities this year include Viktor Ullmann's The Emperor of Atlantis in November and abridged versions of Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute in May, 1998.

New General Manager at Pacific Opera Victoria
David Devan replaces Jeffrey Ouellette who left the company in June.

New Opera House for the COC
Scheduled completion date is September 2000 for the Canadian Opera Company's new 2100-seat opera house. A site has been optioned and five architectural firms have been invited to present proposals. COC artistic administrator Philip Boswell wants "something comparable to the Munich Opera House." Expanded facilities will allow the preparation of more productions simultaneously, upping annual productions from the current six to eight or ten. The smaller seating capacity of the new house will probably mean more presentations of each production. Good news for singers and aspiring singers. It is unclear if ticket prices will be affected.

Maria Callas Died 20 Years Ago
September 16 marks the 20th anniversary of Greco-American soprano Maria Callas' death. EMI has reissued everything they own by her, at mid-price (around $25 for a two-disc opera at HMV last week). Many classical music magazines, such as the July issue of Diapason, have feature articles on her life and art.

L'Opéra français de New York
tenth season under artistic director Yves Abel features Bizet's La jolie fille de Perth on February 5, 1998 starring Canadian soprano Tracy Dahl.

Lyric Opera of Chicago
has appointed Andrew Davis music director effective May 1, 1999. Davis, conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony and currently music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, will assume the duties of Chicago's principal conductor and music director on September 1, 2000.

Il nome! Il nome! What's in a Name?
Montreal mezzo-soprano Annamaria Popescu was known to audiences as simply Maria Popescu just a year ago. Her La Scala debut in Les Troyens in 1996, meant that the European market was beginning to open for her. Ms. Popescu discovered, to her chagrin, however, that the reputation of another Maria Popescu, a European, had already preceded her, and not always to favourable reception. Thus, her new stage name.
Annamaria is the same talented gal. She'll give a recital at Pollack Hall on Nov. 5.

Della Pergola Competition Winners
The winner of the Della Pergola Voice Competition's $10,000 prize is soprano Louise Marcotte who gives a Debut Series recital at the Chapel du Bon Pasteur Nov. 11 at 15H30. Second prize went to tenor David Pomeroy. Mezzo Julie Nesrallah, starring in Pacific Opera Victoria's L'Italiana this fall, took third. The prize for the best interpretation of an operatic aria went to Julie Nesrallah, and the prize for the best interpretation of a Canadian composition went to mezzo Susan Platts.

OSM Competition
The deadline to enter the 1997 Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition is October 15, 1997. This year's competition categories are Voice (singers 18-30) and Piano (two categories: 17 and under, and 18 to 25 years of age). Tel: 842-3402.

Gino Quilico to sing at OdM in two years
At the launch of his first solo recital recording, Montreal baritone Gino Quilico revealed he'll sing Iago in Verdi's Otello during the Opéra de Montreal's 1999-2000 season. Quilico last appeared at the Opera de Montreal in 1989. Koch International will release Mr. Quilico's new recording of French melodies around September 17.

New Artists in Residence at Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur
The Trio Gagné-Richard in now in residence at the Chapel. Members are Claude Richard, violin, Hélène Gagner, cello and Elise Richard, piano. These music professors play at the Chapel on Oct. 1, International Music Day, and Dec. 7. They will give several concerts and masterclasses during the season. The Chapel now also has a choreographer in residence - Linda Goudreaux. Her first creation, Still Life no. 1, will be danced Oct. 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Journées nationales de la culture
September 26, 27 and 28 are designated as National Culture Days in Quebec. Many arts organizations are producing special programs for the occasion. Consult your local listings.

Internet Call Waiting
Single-line telephone home users who spend a lot of time on the internet can now take advantage of Internet Call Manager, a new service that allows the user to see who is calling. A pop-up menu allows subscribers to inform the caller to call back or that they will be called back. The service is currently available in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, and costs $4.99 per month or $19.98 for six months. The service uses the Call Forward Busy feature (cost $1.50) available from Bell. Currently, the service does not work for Bell Canada Call Answer Customers because Bell Canada does not give customers full access to the Call Forward Busy feature. Internet Call Manager is a service provided by InfoInterActive, and is currently only available on the Windows platform. Contact: www.interactive.com.

(c) La Scena Musicale