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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Leslie Higgins: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Higgins performed in her first show when she was eight, and has pursued her musical goals ever since. She is joining HSOF as a soprano and is performing the role of “Giulietta”  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 Leslie Higgins 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 began taking private lessons when I was in grade 3. I immediately began the Conservatory training, and took my first voice exam when I was in grade 4. Since then I have completed my grade 10 voice, and also my grade 8 piano. Although I always preferred singing to playing piano, I am incredibly grateful for the musical development I got through my many years of piano lessons. It taught me so many skills that I never would have developed just from singing, particularly theory and ear training. I am currently entering my fourth and final year at Western University studying with Rachel Mallon.

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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:  When I was in grade 10 I had the opportunity to perform in a very special musical called ‘Emily of New Moon’; based off the books by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Montgomery is a strong Canadian symbol in PEI, but she also spent time living in Leaskdale, a small town within the Uxbridge Township which is where I grew up. The show had only been performed a handful of times before it returned to my hometown, and I was chosen for the leading role. The director was very close to the writer and composer, and the whole show was a very special, personal and unique experience. Similar to most of Montgomery’s work, this show centers around a strong female lead. Getting to portray her and explore her character was life-changing. Not only did I grow as an actor, but I also learned so much about myself and what kind of performer I am. That experience was a very big milestone in my artistic development, and so much of my current work ties back to lessons I learned from that production.

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Q:  What came first for you: theatre or music? Has your preference changed over time?

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A:  “I always loved to sing when I was a toddler, and I also loved to be the centre of attention. I was visually exposed to theatre first, as I would often watch my brother perform onstage. I can remember craving being on stage with him, but being too young to be in any of my towns productions. I began singing in choir a year before I did my first show, and absolutely loved both. I have always struggled defining which I prefer, and I considered pursuing musical theatre after high school, but my passion and drive for learning more about classical music was too strong to ignore, so I chose to pursue classical voice. I am incredibly grateful for my strong theatre background, however, as it allowed me to grow confidence and learn how to connect with a character and the audience.”

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Jodie Alcorn-Miller: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Alcorn-Miller grew up in a musical family where she played in band and took music lessons. However, she has always felt the most at home while singing. This year, she joins HSOF as a soprano playing the role of “Alcina” in Alcina! Find out more about Jodie’s opera 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 Jodie Alcorn-Miller 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 studied with my mother, Janice Alcorn, until grade 11 then through many teachers between high school and post-graduate studies. Right now I am not with a steady teacher. I aim to balance following my instincts and keeping a very careful awareness of technique. I have full intentions of being a student of voice forever- with “check-up” lessons scattered throughout!

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

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A:  I like meeting all the different people. For HSOF this year there will be many new faces and many that I know a little and some that I know well. 

Diving into a large work like this, especially in this workshop setting, is all-consuming. Despite missing a few glorious beach days, I absolutely adore waking up each day knowing I’m going to sing for hours and get my butt kicked.

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Q:What came first for you: theatre or music? Has your preference changed over time?

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A:  “Music came first, and still does. I enjoy many kinds of music, for teaching, listening, performing. With that said, theatre is another outlet to escape and have fun- the older I get the more I can stretch that escape, and therefore the fun!”

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

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A:  “I wouldn’t say he’s my biggest inspiration in the world, but definitely my most constant inspiration. This is my husband, Andrew the jazz drummer. His passion for growing, learning, the nitty-gritty, and not settling for anything less than the best possible is indeed inspiring. His expectations of himself and his colleagues are high; those around him, myself included, feel that passion and work to meet that standard.”

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Anastasia Pogorelova: 2019 Performer Highlight

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Originally from Russia, Pogorelova started playing instruments very early on in her life, and was motivated by her family who is deeply supportive of her career.  This year, she makes her debut with HSOF as Queen of the Night 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 Anastasia Pogorelova 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 sang in a choir since I was 4 but my first individual singing lesson happened when I was 12. Then this adventure of discovering the voice abilities has never ended and brought me to Galina Vishnevskaya College of Musical and Theatrical Arts, then to the Gnessiny Russian Academy of Music. Currently I always use help of voice teachers and coaches. I also teach singing for kids and beginners and always feel that this experience is also educational for me.

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

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A:  I think it is a satisfaction of learning and memorizing beautiful music.”

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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:  “Maybe it is just my recent strong impression but the first thing that came to my mind is Chernobyl, the story of people that suffered because of political interests. Since such details just began to be known to the world, since it is such a dramatic story to speak about, since there is a love line in it, I think it would be a very good material for opera.”

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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:  “The roles that I played back in Russia were not that meaningful for me and I have changed a lot with the emigration period. I think it is comparable with what awaits for me in this coming month!”

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