Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear, Opera Chorus

One of the things close to my choir girl heart is the Opera Chorus. Yes, I realize that since I was a member, I have a complete bias towards these group of performers. However, when I entered the chorus for Tales of Hoffmann, I was just mesmerized by the diversity of talent and background of my fellow choristers. I was exposed to a new group of people in the city; many of whom I had never come across in my years of community choral singing.

These singers exude boundless energy on stage, take independence for creating their individual characters, and help to bring the world of the Opera to life. The chorus plays a large role, not by merely populating the stage, but by filling in the emotional and visual energy of the stage. They memorize pages of Russian during music rehearsal, sweat through hours of dance rehearsal to portray the posh flair of aristocratic Russia, and don heavy costumes underneath hot stage lights. These are not conditions for a performer lightweight.

My attempt is to provide glimpses of the chorus and the work that they do through this back-stage series. It is ambitious project to attempt to capture the energy and spectrum of talent of the chorus; however, it is about time somebody tried.

In my audio interviews below, hear the diversity of backgrounds of the chorus members. Learn who among the chorus in the daytime works as a librarian, IBM systems architect, and speech therapist as well as which chorister entered an Opera party dressed as a clown.

Disclaimer: Firstly, there was no way I was able to individually interview the 30+ wonderful members of the Opera Chorus in this production. Therefore, please treat the following audio interviews as a small sample and not generalizable to the chorus population as a whole. Furthermore, I ask my fellow choristers for a pardon if they were not highlighted. Instead, I will direct them to Nanc, my photographer, to fill in the missing links.




Photography by Nanc Price

As well, the Edmonton Opera Chorus is booking auditions on May 3-5, 2013 for their 2013-14 season. This season includes Die Fledermaus (sung in English) and Puccini's Madama Butterfly (sung in Italian and features the famous "Humming Chorus"). Getting paid to sing? The best.

Eugene Onegin Tickets

Date Time Buy Tickets
Friday, April 19, 2013 8:00 pm Purchase online
Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:00 pm Purchase online
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:30 pm Purchase online
Thursday, April 25, 2013 7:30 pm Purchase online

1 comment:

betty said...

Sable, this is fabulous. I love all the work you put into showing what goes into preparing an Edmonton Opera production, including the backstage personnel as well as the chorus, director and so on. You've put a real human face on E.O.A and showed that opera is not just for 'high brows'or elitists.Keep it up and I'm sure more than a few who read your blog will venture out and experience the opera, whether in the audience, backstage, or on stage.
Betty K