Halifax Summer Opera Festival
July 23 – August 14, 2022

Featuring Gluck’s Armide

The Halifax Summer Opera Festival will relaunch in 2022 from July 23 to August 14 culminating in four fully-staged performances of Gluck’s Armide.

This year’s Festival will include extra classes in acting, Alexander Technique and movement, as well as masterclasses, regular rehearsals for the opera, special rehearsals for our annual Pride event, Opera Backwards, and for concerts at the Halifax Public Library. . All rehearsals, classes and performances will take place at the Maritime Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

There are still a few roles left, and applications are open until all roles are cast.

Renaud – tenor leggiero / haute contre
Le chevalier danois – tenor
Ubalde – baritone
Aronte/Plaisir – mezzo
La démon Melisse — soprano or mezzo

2022 Festival Season Repertoire

Armide by Christoph Wilibald Gluck 
sung in French 

conductor: Eszter Horvath
stage directors: Andrew Pelrine and Nina Scott-Stoddart
pianist: Giancarlo Scalia
vocal coach: Maurren Batt
vocal coach: Angie Aldarondo

Performances August 11, 12, 13 (7:30 pm) and 14 (2:00 pm)
Lillian Piercey Concert Hall
Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts

Armide by Gluck  
Armide, a sorceressAgnès MénardMegan Cullen
Renaud, her enchanted lover, a crusader
Phénice, her friendAmanda GodinVivien Illion
Sidonie, her friendJoanna Loepp ThiessenClaire Hartlen
La Haine, the personification of HatredEmma YeeJoelle Kontos
Démone LucindeElizabeth FastClare Lowe
Démone MelisseMelanie Dupuis
Artemidore/Le chevalier danois, a crusaderAllan Krisna
Ubalde, a crusaderMarKo Hubert
Aronte/PlaisirAnna O'Drowsky
Naïde, a water nymphAnnika WilliamsJulia Jordan
La bergère, a shepherdessMaria GallaugherMegan Wakefield

In 1777, the French composer Christoph Willibald Gluck daringly decided to set Quinault’s libretto for Armide to music. It was daring, because the last composer who set this libretto was the immortal Lully, and with this choice Gluck was basically throwing down the gauntlet to claim mastery over French opera.

The original story is set in Syria during the Crusades. The sorceress Armide, along with the citizens of Damascus, hope to overcome the knight Renaud and his followers. She manages to ensnare her enemy with her magic spells, but, at the moment she raises her dagger to kill him, she finds herself falling in love with him. Armide casts a spell to Renaud him love her in return. Upon returning to her castle, she cannot bear that Renaud’s love is only the work of enchantment. She calls on the Goddess of Hate to restore her hatred for Renaud, but fails to escape from her feelings of love for him. The Goddess condemns Armide to eternal love. Before Armide can return to Renaud, two of his fellow soldiers overcome Armide’s enchantments, rescue Renaud and break Armide’s spell. Renaud manages to escape from Armide, who is left enraged, despairing, and hopeless.

It’s a story about a clash of cultures and about male versus female power, but most of all it’s about the many ways that love can enchant, confuse, torment and destroy us.

There are many wonderful roles for all voice types, and every role has at least a very nice featured solo. The music is mid-Classical, with flavours of Haydn, early Mozart and solid French style. We’ll be performing it in French from the edition downloadable from IMSLP (the Choudens Edition arranged by Louis Narici).

The participant fee for HSOF 2022 will be $1900 Canadian, which will cover all classes, coachings, and performances. The participating artist is responsible for travel to and room and board in Halifax for the duration of the program.

How to Apply

HOW TO APPLY TO HSOF

The Halifax Summer Opera Festival is open to all performers, regardless of nationality or age.  

We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. For every role we seek qualified performers, without regard to race, age, color, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, within the confines of voice types (and sometimes not even then!) We strongly encourage trans singers to apply.

You must be willing to abide by all existing Nova Scotia and Halifax regulations in place at the time of the Festival regarding COVID-19. We ask that all participants and staff be double vaccinated. 

DISTANCE AUDITIONS for 2022

After you’ve submitted your application form and paid your $20 application fee via PayPal (no PP account needed), you’ll receive a confirmation email with information about sending us your materials.

Prepare recordings of pieces as specified below. You’ll be able to upload audio or video files or submit links to them.

You’ll also need to submit a covering letter and a digital headshot and upload a bio and resume.

If Nina hasn’t worked with you before, a letter of recommendation is also highly appreciated!

While we will accept distance applications until all roles are filled, the first round of submitted materials will be reviewed just after February 26, 2022.

WHAT SHOULD YOU SING?

Please record three selections:

1. One should be an aria for the character for which you wish to be considered, if that character has an aria. Or you can sing an excerpt from the role. This should be in the original language. Or pick an appropriate (language/style/voice type) substitute.

2. An aria, musical theatre number or art song in English, if #1 isn’t in English. If your #1 pick is already in English you can choose anything else that shows you off.

3 . Any other song or that really shows off your personality and voice. Personality and acting ability are very important to us, much more so than you might be used to. Nina casts lots of people on this basis. 

If you don’t have any opera repertoire whatsoever, and are just getting started in this genre, we’re happy to listen to whatever you can bring. Musical theatre is just fine by us, as are art songs, if you’ve got nothing operatic. If the opera you want to be cast in is in a foreign language, do try to bring us something in that language. Most importantly, we want to see you and what you bring to your pieces. We have roles available for performers of varied strengths and experience.

Email Nina at ninascottstoddart@gmail.com
Phone Nina at 902-521-8577

Or apply today!