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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 3, No. 5 February-March 1998
News from the Canadian Opera Scene
Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain postpones Act I of Die Walküre till May
Due to circumstances arising from the recent Ice storm in eastern Canada, the concert performance of Act I of Die Walküre by Montreal's Metropolitan Orchestra directed by Joseph Rescigno has been rescheduled for May 20 at the Notre-Dame Basilica. Soprano Linda Roark-Strummer, tenor Jon Fredric West and bass Edward Russell are scheduled to sing. Holders of tickets can have them honoured at the May performance or they can obtain refunds from the Place des Arts box-office. For more info, contact the Orchestre Métropolitain at (514) 598-0870. Consult the December/January issue of La Scena Musicale for an interview with Maestro Rescigno about this performance.
Verdi's Il Trovatore seems to be a jinx for Quebec producers
L'Opéra de Québec announced the cancellation of the two concert performances of Verdi's Le Trouvère due to poor ticket sales. In its place OdQ has scheduled a special single performance of French and Italian operatic arias on February 13 at the Grand Théâtre de Quebec. Soprano Lyne Fortin, mezzo Sonia Racine and baritone Gaëtan Laperrière are the featured soloists.

At the Opéra de Montréal, first, tenor César Hernandez cancelled and was replaced by Canadian tenor Louis Langelier, and then, just before rehearsals began, soprano Carolyn James cancelled due to sickness. Thankfully, soprano Susan Neves, originally scheduled to sing in Quebec City, was available to replace her.

Canadian Opera Company
The Canadian Opera Company announced their 1998-99 season. The Fall concurrent offerings are new productions of Bellini's Norma with COC favourite Marina Mescheriakova and Puccini's classic Tosca with Sylvie Valayre as the diva and César Hernández as her lover Cavaradossi. In January 1999, Canadian baritone Russell Braun will revive the role of Figaro in Rossini's best known opera The Barber of Seville. Handel's Xerxes with a strong cast of Kimberly Barber, David Daniels, Kathleen Brett, Tracy Dahl and Phyllis Pancella completes the double-bill. The season concludes with Verdi's Il Trovatore as a platform for Canadian superstar tenor Richard Margison, and the world-premiere production of Randolph Peters' The Golden Ass with libretto by Robertson Davies and singers Gordon Gietz and Judith Forst as the leads. At the same time, the COC announced the promotion of conductor Richard Bradshaw from Artistic Director to General Director with a new five-year contract.
Opera Lyra Ottawa
Opéra Lyra Ottawa recently announced the dismissal of artistic director Jeannette Aster. Artistic conflicts were cited as the cause. Opera Lyra has been going through tough financial times lately. A benefit concert performance of Lehár's The Merry Widow will be held on February 21, 1998 at 8 p.m. at the NAC to aid Opera Lyra and the National Arts Centre. Joanne Kolomyjec, Theordore Baerg, Bruce Kelly, Dan Chamandy and Nathalie Paulin are the leads. Peter Jennings narrates while Timothy Vernon conducts the NAC Orchestra and Opera Lyra Chorus.
(c) La Scena Musicale