The 2015 Halifax Summer Opera Festival featured performer: Nova Scotian tenor Colin Frotten!

Artist Name: Colin Frotten
Voice type: tenor
Role you’re singing this year: Little Bat McLean and Elder Hayes in  Susannah

Tell us where you’re from! 

I’m originally from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and currently based out of Toronto, Ontario. I started playing piano at 6 years old, and singing a few years later. I’ve been singingand playing music on stage ever since! My hometown has a rich arts community, with music being at the centre of it all. I owe it to my high school drama classes for giving me the acting bug, but I never experienced/listened to any kind of opera until I was in university, doing my Bachelor of Music degree (in piano) at Mount Allison University. I worked as a collaborative pianist throughout my degree, and fell in love with the art of collaborating with instrumentalists and singers alike. Interestingly enough, it’s my playing for other singers that got me interested in learning more about the voice, and more specifically, my own voice! From there, I began working as a rehearsal pianist and doing some vocal coaching/musical direction work for the university’s musical theatre groups, the “Garnet and Gold Musical Theatre Society” and “Black Tie Productions”, working on productions such as The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, and Evil Dead! The Musical. I also performed in productions of Rent! and The Full Monty, and excerpt roles in Britten’s Albert Herring and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Mount Allison Opera Workshop.

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

I studied voice for a few years as a young child, but I only started studying formally in my third year of university. While working on my degree in piano, I began my voice studies with Dr. Jennifer Farrell and continued on to study with Canadian soprano Sally Dibblee, both of which provided me with a constant source of support, thanks to their thorough knowledge and expert guidance. I am now studying privately with Mark Daboll in Toronto.

Who are your favourite performing artists?

I’ve always been a fan of tenors Ian Bostridge and Juan Diego Flórez; two very different, but world-class voices!

How can we keep opera a relevant art form for young people? What is the future of opera?

I think for things to stay relevant, they have to adapt to a changing world. I love what’s happening right now with young, independent opera companies. Not only are they providing performance opportunities for young musicians and artists, but they are presenting opera in different forms, adapting them to more modern-day situations, and performing them in unusual spaces. This is what makes it exciting! Although I do believe it’s important for opera to be performed in its “truest”, most pure form to preserve important parts of our musical history, there is certainly room for both!

What are you most looking forward to about this summer?

I’m most looking forward to singing my first full role, and working with an exciting group of singers, musicians and creative teams! Also, returning to the beloved Maritimes for a month!

Thanks, Colin! Are you a participant or staff member this year? Why not submit your own answers to our questionnaire

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