Lauren Halasz

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Lauren Halasz

Voice type: Soprano

Hometown: Ottawa, ON

Role in HSOF 2016: Prima Sorella Cercatrice in Suor Angelica

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Lauren Halasz still has the recording of her first singing recital.

She can now compare that first recital to another first: singing in a full-length, fully staged opera at this year’s Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

“It’s amazing to hear how different I sound,” she said.

The incoming junior at the University of Western Ontario was lucky enough to have a grandmother who took her to the opera two to three times every year. In fact, much of Halasz’s love of both music and opera began as a small girl: at three-years-old, she began singing in choirs, then she began piano lessons, and throughout all that, she was watching the “Met Live in HD” series, where she discovered her idol, soprano Anna Netrebko.

To honour her Czech grandmother, who originally introduced her opera, Halasz dreams of playing Rusalka in Dvorak’s opera of the same name.

“I would really love to honour that part of my heritage by performing in Czech operas one day,” she said. “The music is also amazing, and who wouldn’t want to be a mermaid?”

As much as Halasz thinks like a performer, she also knows how important audience is to opera. With many operas containing racist and/or sexist sentiments, directors and cast members must learn how to deal with these challenges in a modern context. For instance, Cosi fan tutte, one of the operas being performed at this year’s HSOF, is based on the premise said by Don Alfonso: all women cheat on their partners. Halasz knows this premise is false, but she also understands that Cosi is entertainment and Don Alfonso is a delight to watch.

“I understand that a lot of these operas are products of their time period. The sentiments are those that most people, hopefully, do not agree with anymore,” she said. “I think that, as an audience member, as long as the production doesn’t try to present sexist and/or racist plot lines as truth, I understand that it is not a modern opinion.”

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Completing undergrad at the University of Western Ontario in Honours Voice Performance
Expected graduation date: 2018

Training from The Canadian Operatic Arts Academy

Past performances 

Cast of Gold Fever Follies, a professional summer stock theatre company that puts on an annual show based on the early gold rush days in Rossland, British Columbia

Played the Female Scarecrow in R. Murray Schafer’s music drama, The Spirit Garden (Cobourg, Ontario)

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