Story by Sandra Williams-Hervé
This month the legendary Maria Callas would’ve celebrated her 90th birthday. The American soprano of Greek decent, born on December 2, 1923, helped place America on the map of the opera world. Now, it looks as though a new generation of opera heavyweights are among us — and they hail from the Great White North.
In the world of opera, Canadians have been held in high esteem in terms of work ethic, natural talent and genuine nature. You can see many operas in Canada’s theatres, but you’re also likely to discover the nation’s talents on stages around the globe. The world just can’t get enough Canadian talent. So if you’re planning on travelling outside of Canada in the next several months, keep your eyes and ears open for these performers.
Although her hectic schedule has her travelling all over the world, Measha Brueggergosman would rather have her feet planted on a gas pedal instead of stretched out on a plane. In an interview with Dreamscapes the Fredricton, New Brunswick native said, “I love the Rocky Mountain drive — from Calgary to Vancouver. I’ve done it three times. And I did the drive through the Grand Canyon and up to Zion National Park — crazy gorgeous. Then there’s the drive from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove. I’d still like to drive through Newfoundland and up to the Canadian North.”
She will ring in the new year in Berlin, Germany.
The Lebanese-born, Canadian-raised, Philadelphia-based soprano is now travelling the world doing what she loves the most. El-Khoury may have made her Canadian Opera Company debut this past October during the company’s staging of Puccini’s La Bohème, but the knowledge of her musicality and stage presence has been talked and written about for some time. If you plan on travelling to Amsterdam, Netherlands this spring catch her at the Concertgebouw.
Originally from Montreal, this Canadian baritone opera singer has been recognized for his rare versatility and unforgettable performances.
Finley kicks off 2014 in London, England.
Calgarian Erin Wall is a soprano of radiance and emotional depth. She has sung leading roles in opera houses and appears in the world’s best symphony orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Opéra Nationale de Paris.
If you plan on heading Down Under this year, catch one of her performances at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the summer of 2014.
John Relyea is a bass-baritone who calls Toronto his hometown. The award-winning opera talent is in high demand across the globe.
In February, you can catch him performing in Stockholm, Sweden.
Josh Hopkins has been described as one of the opera world’s breakout performers — not bad for chap from Pembroke, Ontario. He doesn’t feel pressured by this title; instead, he focuses on perfecting his performance and on improving his skills. Being an opera singer isn’t as easy and melodic as it may appear to those not on stage.
“The life of a singer is spent very much on the road, so if you like to travel it’s definitely a good fit,” says Hopkins. “I feel lucky that I have seen much of the Canadian landscape in my personal and professional travels … from skiing along the snowy slopes of Whistler to camping in Algonquin Provincial Park, I continue to be amazed by Canada’s boundless and majestic beauty.”
Head down to New York City and catch one of his first performances of 2014.
She’s from Penticton, British Columbia and has sets her sights on making her mark in the opera world. In 2014, Claire will make her Canadian Opera Company debut in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte and after that she can be seen at the Minnesota Opera.