Getting to know Sasha Djihanian: Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio Competition, grand prize winner
"Sasha Djihanian was born in Montreal and is a graduate of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with honours of First Prize and Great Distinction. She is a Jacqueline Desmarais Grant Holder, winner of the Third Prize at the Czech and Slovak International Competition, and Second Prize at the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. Ms Djihanian was a national finalist in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a semi-finalist in the 2011 Queen Elisabeth Competition and a finalist in the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Upcoming performances include Haydn's Die Schöpfung and Micaëla in Carmen at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy with Lorin Maazel conducting."
Tagged with: competition, opera, toronto, Canadian Opera Company, COC, Ensemble Studio
Operanation 8: A Muse Ball, the fundraising gala thrown by the Canadian Opera Company in support of the Ensemble Circle was definitely the highlight of my fall event season. It was my first time attending the bash and I was blown away by how many people (over a thousand) came out to support our great musical talent. I have a bunch of photos that I'll be putting up in a future post, but for now I hope you enjoy this video I produced. The best part is the amazing clip of Rufus Wainwright performing "The Art Teacher." I was standing so close I felt like I could reach out and play some upper harmonies with him on his baby grand. Look out for cameos by the outstanding COC Musical Director, Johannes Debus, and the ever charming General Director, Alexander Neef.
Video by Diana Di Mauro - Art Life and Stilettos
Tagged with: Joeffer Caoc, rufus wainwright, calla, Canadian Opera Company, COC, Operanation, A Muse Ball, The Four Seasons Centre, Ensemble Circle, Johannes Debus, Alexander Neef, Arthur Mendonca, Ashley Rowe
Welcome back friends, I am officially back in Toronto and excited as ever to have Art Life and Stilettos back up and running after an, admittedly long, summer hiatus. To fill you in, I spent much of this summer away from Toronto. My summer began with a short trip to Los Angeles, then led me across the ocean to Europe, where I spent five weeks in the gorgeous Italian island of Sicily. In July, I had the great opportunity to spend a month in the Munich, Germany. The weather was cool but the opera was hot. The Bayerische Staatsoper was in swing with their popular Munich Opera Festival, where I had the opportunity to see Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Conducted by Johannes Debus, with Jennifer O'Loughlin as Konstanze and Pavol BreslikDon Giovanni with Gerald Finley as the Drunken, swinging Don and Alex Esposito as a hilarious Leporello. Veronique Gens, and Erin Wall rounded out the cast; Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, conducted by Kent Nagano and production by Robert Carsen, with outstanding performance by Daniela Sindram as the heartbroken Komponist, and Daniela Fally as a smoking Zerbinetta; Maurice Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilèges with Alexander Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg, conducted by Kent Nagano and featuring Camilla Tilling as Die Prinzessin and Donna Clara, and Paul Gay as Der Sessel / Ein Baum and Don Estoban.
Besides hearing great opera, I spent my month pursuing my own operatic training, working on my technique, coaching with top professionals and attending acting workshops. It was a fabulous month for my vocal growth, that is for sure.
The cherry on the sundae after a musical month in Munich was a stunning Liederabend recital with pianist Helmut Deutsch, featuring works by Strauss and Liszt.
After saying goodbye to Munich, I went back to the south of Italy for some well needed beach time. Munich is beautiful but alas the cool, rainy weather left something to be desired. From la bella Italia, I'm back in Toronto.
I have a lot on the go with training, and graduate school but now that I'm back in the swing of things I am very excited to get Art Life and Stilettos back on her feet again. Just as the seasons change for opera companies and in fashion, this season Art Life and Stilettos will have a bit of a make-over too. Stay tuned for updates.
Tonight, I'm off to see opening night of the Canadian Opera Company's new season. Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris is slated to open the house and will feature the ever lovely Susan Graham as Iphigenia.
Tagged with: opera, munich, COC, art life and stilettos, Bayerische Staatsoper
Photo Credit: © 2010 Myung Hee Cho - Courtesy of Canadian Opera Company
Director Diane Paulus, who has worked on such varied stage works as David Lynch's Lost Highway, The Donkey Show, Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in Patria, and the Broadway revival of Hair, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award describes the COC production of the Magic Flute:
We have set the action in 1791, the year in which the opera was first performed, against the backdrop of the Enlightenment. The entire play-within-the-play is presented in the open space of a nobleman’s garden, itself a place of enchantment and symbolic power during this historical period. As the drama unfolds, the actors leave the theatre behind and continue to enact their story in an elaborate labyrinth that covers the grounds of the estate. The theatricality of their journey is enhanced by the mysteries of the outdoor world beneath the cover of night where they act out the rituals of the drama. All distinctions between fantasy and reality fade away as their pageant lasts through the night until dawn.
Everyone is all abuzz about our Canadian trifecta of opera goodness that will be performing. Isabel Bayrakdarian and Met Council Audition winner Simone Osborne will be sharing the role of Pamina, and Michael Schade plays Tamino.
The Canadian Opera Company's new production of The Magic Flute opened Saturday, Jan. 29 and will run for twelve performances through Feb. 25th. The Ensemble Studio will give a special performance on Feb. 17.
Check out the gallery below of costume sketches and production photos. It all looks very visually appealing.