6 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • August
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Quartet
  • Arts
  • September
  • Volume
CBC Radio's Lost Horizon; Pinocchio as Po-Mo Operatic Poster Boy; Meet the Curators (Crow, Bernstein, Ridge); a Global Music Orchestra is born; and festivals, festivals, festivals in our 13th annual summer music Green Pages. All this and more in our three-month June-through August summer special issue, now available in flipthrough HERE and on the stands commencing Thursday June 1.


WE ARE ALL MUSIC’S CHILDREN Our Summer Child Wallis Giunta Mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta was born and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. At 17 she began studies in singing at the University of Ottawa and then transferred to the Glenn Gould School in Toronto to finish her degree. After graduating from the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio in 2011, she completed the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and The Juilliard School Artist Diploma in Opera Studies. While completing her studies, Giunta sang Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Toronto’s Opera Atelier, and made a US debut touring with the COC as Pribaoutki in the Lepage production of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. She sang the role of Zweite Dame in the COC’s Die Zauberflöte, and made her debut at Opera Lyra Ottawa as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana. In 2013, Giunta returned to the COC as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito (and gave a much-acclaimed substitute performance as Sesto for the second performance), and made her Met mainstage debut as Contessa Ceprano in Rigoletto. Subsequent return engagements have included Opera Atelier, the COC, Opera Lyra Ottawa and the Met (including Olga in The Merry Widow for their 2015 Live in HD broadcast series), and debuts in Paris, Rome, Leipzig and Frankfurt. 2016/17 has included Opera Atelier’s Dido and Aeneas, debut concerts with the Munich Radio Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia, La Cenerentola at Opera North in Leeds (UK) and a recital debut in Vancouver. Giunta has ongoing engagements with Oper Leipzig in La Cenerentola, Le Nozze di Figaro and Die Walküre, with new roles already in place for next season in Die Fledermaus, Das Rheingold and Lulu. About that childhood photo? I remember the smell of summer in Ottawa, and how excited I got every year about the tulip festival. I totally loved going out with my family and seeing all the crowds and amazing beds of flowers. It still blows me away, actually. Who lived in your childhood home? My dad, who worked in radio and music programming and is also a top voice actor/narrator; my mom, who is a fabulous yoga teacher; my younger sister and brother, and occasional pet toads. Working musicians in your family? My uncle Patrick is a professional guitarist and bass player, working with several bands in Canada. My grandfather was a professional bagpiper in the Canadian military! Your earliest memories of hearing music? There was so much music in my childhood life, with my dad working in the music industry. I imagine my first experience was probably recorded music – we had speakers all over the house and music playing everywhere. My parents had fabulous and eclectic tastes: really cool, alternative, quality artists, the stuff with substance. My parents also took us to lots of live shows...everything from young people’s concerts at the symphony, to Sharon, Lois & Bram, Def Leppard with my Dad for his radio station... . A first instrument other than your own voice? Oh, definitely the pots and pans in the kitchen. I was an enthusiastic toddler percussionist. And part of my early piano lessons were group Suzuki music classes, where we would each get a wood block or an egg shaker or something, and go to town for some epic baby jam sessions. Other early memories making music? It would be my first piano MJ BUELL Wallis Giunta lives in beautiful Leipzig, in an unnecessarily large flat (hey, it’s East Germany!) with her guitar, Raven; her two bicycles, Tina and Nellie; and about 60 tomato plants. She fosters rabbits around the world when she is travelling for longer contracts, and has taken in 18 of them over the past six years. She loves cycling, mountains, sunshine, devouring books and exploring the new parts of the world that her wonderful career introduces her to. lesson, where I probably managed a bar or two of Twinkle, Twinkle, but spent more time playing under the piano than at it. I started piano lessons at age 5 and began singing in a choir at age 8. From then on I was actively making music myself, and have never looked back. I also started performing in musicals when I was 9, and took singing lessons from age 12, with the accompanying Kiwanis competitions, etc. I was pretty well immersed! Do you remember when you first performed for an audience? My first piano recital, which was and will remain the most nervous experience of my life. Let’s just say it’s a darn good thing I switched instruments! I have never been even close to that nervous singing, but every time I played piano in public, I would lose years of my life. What helped to form your appetite for staged works? Definitely performing in local musical theatre productions and musicals at high school. I loved every minute of it! At 15, I started singing in the chorus for Opera Lyra Ottawa, performing in La Bohème and Madama Butterfly back to back. This sealed the deal for me. When did you begin to think of yourself as a career musician? Pretty much as soon as I moved Butterfly Chorus Junior/Senior Kindergarten Ruby Chorus Grades 1 to 2 Principal Chorus Grades 6 to 10 Schedule Your Audition Today Apprentice Chorus Grades 2 to 4 Intermediate Chorus Grades 4 to 7 Youth Chorus Grades 10+, changed voices 416-366-0467 72 | June 1, 2017 - September 7, 2017

to Toronto at 19! I started booking recitals and was a Sidgwick Scholar with the Orpheus Choir, as well as singing with Opera Atelier in the chorus and eventually small roles. Even while still in school I knew music was going to be my career, and it was quickly starting to really happen for me. Music in your home? Well, my current obsession is my new guitar, Raven. She and I were introduced last summer, and we have been inseparable ever since. I travel with her, and we make music every day! I’ve only been playing guitar for 10 months, so I’m still pretty terrible, but I absolutely love it. If you were driving alone and could sing along to any recording, what would you choose? Patty Griffin – Living With Ghosts Please read Wallis Giunta’s full interview at UPCOMING… JUNE: Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins with the Toronto Symphony. I’ve been dying to perform this in its original version for about a decade, and it’s finally happening! Bonus – a couple weeks later I’ll get to do it again, in a new production in Spain. It never rains, but it pours... JULY: A recital for Music and Beyond (Ottawa), where I’m excited to perform Rufus Wainwright’s cycle Songs for Lulu with my wonderful colleague, Steven Philcox. Steven and I gave the Canadian premiere of this cycle a few years ago in Toronto. AUGUST: Two new productions at Opera North (UK) – the title role in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti; in Germany, singing La Cenerentola, Lulu, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Die Fledermaus, and Le Nozze di Figaro. I’ll also be back at Koerner Hall next April to celebrate the Bernstein centenary! CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS! ANN EYERMAN, HOMEYRA SEYEDOLHOKAMAEI and GREGORY MILLAR each win a pair of tickets to hear Wallis Giunta in The Seven Deadly Sins (June 14 and 15) by Kurt Weill and Bertholt Brecht. Giunta is singing “Anna I” – the role originated by Lotte Lenye, and Jennifer Nichols is “Anna II” – the role first danced by ballerina Tilly Losch. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s brand-new, semi-staged production of this 1933 satirical “ballet chanté,” conducted by Peter Oundjian and directed by Joel Ivany, includes performances by Owen McCausland, Geoffrey Sirett and Stephen Hegedus. The program also features works by Balfour, Barber and Bartók. ALL READERS WHO GUESSED CORRECTLY have won a special discount code from Ottawa’s Music and Beyond festival (July 4 to 17). You’re entitled to half-price tickets (that’s two for the price of one!) to hear Wallis Giunta perform in a recital with pianist Steven Philcox which will include Rufus Wainwright’s Songs for Lulu. Giunta is also a featured soloist in Music and Beyond’s Bach Mass in B minor. The discount can be applied to these performances or for the purchase of 3-day passes or full festival passes. Watch for a Music’s Children email providing you with the code! ~ A new contest will appear in September ~ ATTENTION Adult Amateur Musicians - we’re now accepting applications! “ I don’t know of any other program like this for adult amateur musicians. It was incredibly inspiring and so much fun. ” July 30-August 5, 2017 Piano Masterclass with Jane Coop A chance to perfect your skills and explore the limitless repertoire for solo piano! This program features daily masterclasses, individual lessons, and guest instructors at the highest level. Chamber Choir with Matthias Maute and Laura Pudwell A chance to refresh vocal skills and study the great works of choral literature in the intimacy of a chamber vocal ensemble. The week will culminate with a performance in Walter Hall. Chamber Music with TSO Principals Immerse yourself in the world of chamber music! Participants will be placed in ensembles with some of the best musicians in the city for a week of intense music-making, coaching, and camaraderie. June 1, 2017 - September 7, 2017 | 73

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