Sevan Kochkarian: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Kochkarian is an Armenian soprano who got her entrance into music when her mother and grandmother sang classics from the likes of Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables to her. This year, she is teaming up with HSOF as both Morgana and Alcina (Cover). Find out more about Alcina here:

Alcina (1735)

 

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This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Sevan Kochkarian as a performer this summer!

Buy your tickets here:

https://www.tickethalifax.com/54495769/operafestival 

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Q:  When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

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A:  I started the Vancouver children’s choir when I was 8, then at the age of 11 I started my private vocal lessons in classical music. I’m studying now at McGill University getting my Masters!

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Q:  What is the best part about starting a new opera?

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A:  The best part is of course highlighting the score! Okay no in all seriousness: for me it’s figuring out my character, my objects, what I want, what my story arch is. I also think it’s just listening to the opera and falling in love with the music!

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Q:  Who is your biggest inspiration in the opera world?

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A:  “That is an impossible question. I think I have multiple inspirations for different things. I mean Anna Netrebko, Nadine Sierra, Danielle de Niese, Joyce DiDonato…. they all have taught me something different and I think that’s the beauty of this art form! Different people can inspire you in different ways.”

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Q:  Who is your biggest inspiration in the non-opera world?

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A:  “My parents are my biggest inspiration. They came from poverty, and they turned their lives around by working hard. They immigrated, they learned English, busted their tails off and now they are business owners and live happy lives. I mean they showed me if you want something with work hard you can accomplish anything. Even when things get hard you cannot give up. I hope to become like them because they made so many sacrifices just to help me achieve my goals and dreams. I hope to be just like them when I am a parent someday!”

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Rhian Merritt: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Originally from England, Merritt has been involved in choral community right here in Nova Scotia, and has loved every minute of it! This year, she joins HSOF as a soprano playing two roles: Second Spirit in The Magic Flute and Chorus in The Tales of Hoffmann. Find out more about Rhian’s operas here:

The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) (1791)

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Tales of Hoffmann) (1881)

 

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This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Rhian Merritt as a performer this summer!

Buy your tickets here:

https://www.tickethalifax.com/54495769/operafestival 

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Q:  When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

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A:  I first started studying in grade 7, but then stopped to pursue different things. I came back to lessons the year before I auditioned at university and am about to enter my final year of my Bachelor of Music degree at Acadia University. I am currently focusing in Vocal Performance under the direction of Dr. Christianne Rushton.

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Q:  What is the best part about starting a new opera?

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A:  Everything! I love being able to dive into the story and the characters and trying to find what makes the most sense for me. I enjoy trying to find how to show a bit of me through my character instead of totally mimicking what I think the character should be like. I also love to learn the music and meet all the fantastic people who are in the cast with me!

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Q:  Who is your biggest inspiration in the opera world?

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A:  “I am a BIG fan of Lucas Meachem. I love the emotion that he puts into every note and every piece of text. However, I most appreciate how he is so open about his singing and how he works. He often gives tips and voice lessons online and cares a lot about responding to questions and communicating with younger singers.”

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Q:  Are there any unusual skills you’ve acquired that have proved helpful for you while performing opera?

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A:  “I used to practice karate through junior high and high school and so that helps me a lot with movement and being aware of my body! It definitely helps me pick up choreography quickly! Maybe it will help me with stage combat too?!”

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Olivia LaPointe: 2019 Performer Highlight

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LaPointe loved singing and performing for as long as she could remember. In fact, she started studying classical voice when she was in middle school! This year, she is joining HSOF as a soprano, and is playing the role of Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann. Find out more about The Tales of Hoffmann here:

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Tales of Hoffmann) (1881)

 

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This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Olivia LaPointe as a performer this summer!

Buy your tickets here:

https://www.tickethalifax.com/54495769/operafestival 

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Q:  When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

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A:  I first began studying voice when I was 13 years old. I have always loved to sing and perform, and pursuing a degree in voice has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I am going into my fourth year at the University of Toronto for a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with my wonderful teacher Frédérique Vézina. I have had incredible experiences and opportunities and have met countless wonderful mentors and colleagues.

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Q:  What has been your onstage experience or role that has been the most meaningful, exciting or successful for you? What do you long to do next?

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A:  It seems impossible to choose a favourite role because I enjoy the challenge of embodying a variety of complex characters. However, one that stands out is when I played the title role in Theatre New Brunswick’s musical production of Mary Poppins. Having the opportunity to portray an iconic character like Mary Poppins was an unforgettable experience. I so loved being a part of bringing to life this beloved story that encapsulates a sense of child-like wonder in people of all ages.

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Q:  You are about to arrive in Halifax for the festival. Can you set the stage for us? What are some projects you have been working on recently? What are your emotions going into production? How have you been preparing for your work? What are your fears/expectations?

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A:  “Earlier this summer, I was in Edmonton, Alberta participating in Opera NUOVA. I performed in their mainstage production of The Secret Garden as Lily, and had the opportunity to sing in masterclasses and concerts. I am so looking forward to being in the beautiful city of Halifax and to have the opportunity to work and collaborate with multi-talented artists. This will be my first time at the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, so I am a bit nervous but mostly full of anticipation for a new performing experience!”

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Alexander Cappellazzo: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Originally from Scarborough Ontario, Cappellazzo is a tenor who did musical theatre in high school and pursued classical opera after that! This year, he plays Tamino in The Magic Flute with HSOF. Find out more about The Magic Flute here:

The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) (1791)

 

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This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Alexander Cappellazzo as a performer this summer!

Buy your tickets here:

https://www.tickethalifax.com/54495769/operafestival 

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Q:  When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

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A:  I started studying voice when I entered high school. I took lessons because I wanted to be serious about what I was doing. Eventually I was accepted to McGill University, where I continued my vocal and operatic studies until this year, in which I graduated.

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Q:  What is the best part about starting a new opera?

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A:  I love seeing the growth during the rehearsal process. You never know what choices everyone is going to bring to the table, so you have to see what they’re doing and adapt and react to them. Sometimes you may think you knew everything about your role, but through interaction with others you’ll reach a completely different conclusion.

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Q:  Who is your biggest inspiration in the opera world?

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A:  “My inspiration as far as opera singers go is Fritz Wunderlich. Every time I hear him it is always wonderful, and inspirational.”

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Q:  Who is your biggest inspiration in the non-opera world?

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A:  “I have always been inspired by Theodore Roosevelt, with regards to the sheer amount of things he did and so many various fields. If he wanted to try something new, he would set his mind to it and do it.”

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Laura Curiale: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Curiale is a mezzo-soprano who was introduced to the musical world though choir in her hometown of London, Ontario. This year, she is part of HSOF playing the role of the Third Lady in The Magic Flute. Find out more about The Magic Flute here:

The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) (1791)

 

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This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Laura Curiale as a performer this summer!

Buy your tickets here:

https://www.tickethalifax.com/54495769/operafestival 

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Q:  When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?

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A:  I actually didn’t start studying voice until university. Growing up the only technically training I got was from my Choir. When university came around, I knew I really enjoyed singing but I was to scared to do it in school so I became a pyschology major at Western University. After a hard first year, I decided to audition for the music program. I borrowed the grade eight Royal Conservatory or Music voice book and learned the audition requirements. I found a pianist that would play for my audition and I ended up being accepted. Now I’m going into my fourth year of studying voice Performance at Western University.

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Q:  What is the best part about starting a new opera?

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A:  I always love the first time everyone sings together. Especially since we’ve all spent weeks getting ready separately. That first time singing with everyone and hearing how the voices mesh together and being able to react to each other, it gives me fresh inspiration for the show.”

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Q:  What has been the most challenging thing about performing or preparing an operatic role for you so far? How are you dealing with it?

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A:  “I think that the most challenging part about preparing an operatic role is remembering that this is all happening within a contextual scene. Especially my role as third lady, I’m mostly finishing other peoples sentences or reacting to somethings that just been said. In preparation, I’m trying to really know what I’m saying and what the others around me are saying to make the exchanges on stage look and feel as natural as possible.”

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Q:  Which non-operatic artwork or piece of culture or history would you like to see become an opera?

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A:  “I think there are fun ones, like an opera about the Kardashian family could be really fun. But in second year of university, I sang a portion of Michael Tippett’s oratorio, A child of Our Time and, since then, I’ve always thought it would be interesting to see completely fleshed out and staged as an opera. It’s a true story about a young Jewish man in Germany in 1938 who assassinated a German diplomat in protest of how the Jewish population was being treated. The Nazi party used his actions as evidence that the Jewish population was violent and used it as justification to launch Kristallnacht.”

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