Canadian Opera Company presents

Voices of Mountains

An artist-led convergence of music, movement, and the natural world.

Fusing classical and contemporary opera repertoire with dance, Voices of Mountains features the world premiere of composer Ian Cusson’s “Fire.” Mezzo-sopranos Rebecca Cuddy and Marion Newman perform with pianist Gordon Gerrard from the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, while choreography from Aria Evans is set against some of Toronto’s most stunning backdrops.

Artists

Rebecca Cuddy, mezzo-soprano

Métis/Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Rebecca Cuddy is a two-time Dora Award Nominated performer who is quickly gaining recognition on Canadian operatic stages. Acknowledged as ‘fresh and funny, with a large supple voice’ (MacLean, Gigcity.ca 2018) ‘moving’ (Gilks, Opera Canada 2019) and ‘the next generation who are going to do incredible things’ (Newman, The Whole Note 2019), she made the 2021 CBC 30 Under 30 List. She is one of the recipients of the Dora Award for Outstanding Ensemble Work in Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys; Pimootewin and Gállábártnit.

Career highlights include La Métisse, in the world premiere of Riel; Heart of the North with Regina Symphony Orchestra,  Kwe in the world premiere of Shanawdithit with Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon,  Mercedes (Cover Carmen) in Carmen, and Dreitte Dame in Die Zauberflöte. Rebecca is the current Indigenous Artist in Residence at the National Theatre School of Canada, where she is studying directing, playwriting, acting and design.

Marion Newman, mezzo-soprano

Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations, English, Irish and Scottish mezzo-soprano Marion Newman “sings with rich, opulent tone, and her delivery pulses with the multiple meanings of her duplicitous existence.” (Opera News) and she has been noted as “a show stealer” (BBC Music Magazine). In her Irish debut with Cork’s Opera-2005 in the title role of Carmen, she was widely praised for her “superbly sinuous sexuality” and “as a very exciting new talent” by the Irish Examiner. She returned to Cork to appear as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Ms. Newman has appeared as Tisbé in Cenerentola, Margret in Wozzeck and Juno in The Tempest with Pacific Opera Victoria, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Vancouver Opera, Cherubino, Cinderella, Flora and Rosina for Opera Lyra Ottawa as well as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana and as Hansel for Opera Hamilton.

Highlights of Marion’s recent seasons include Dr. Wilson in Missing, by Brian Current and Marie Clements, Rosina with Opera Lyra Ottawa at the National Arts Centre, Da Ji in Dora Award-winning Alice Ping-Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan’s The Lesson of Da Ji with Toronto Masque Theatre and the lead role of Noodin-Kwe in the world premiere run of Giiwedin, a First Nations opera by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan. In a recital for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, Marion sang the world premiere of Bigiiwe, by Canadian Ojibway/Odawa composer Barbara Croall. International appearances include performances in the Czech Republic and Germany as Don Ramiro in Mozart’s Die Gärtnerin Aus Liebe and Ericlea in Il Ritorno di Ulisse and a tour in Lithuania with the Ergo Ensemble. As part of the Banff Centre new music program, she toured France with Richard Dubelski’s What’s Goin’ On.

Aria Evans, dancer/choreographer

Aria is a Toronto-based award-winning interdisciplinary artist working in dance creation, performance, and film. She draws on her experiences as a woman of mixed race (Mi’kmaq/Black/settler heritage) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through her interactive art. Collaboration is the departure point to the work that she creates through her company Political Movement.

Gordon Gerrard, piano
Julie McIsaac, dramaturg
Ian Cusson, composer

Ian Cusson is a Canadian composer of art song, opera and orchestral work. Of Métis (Georgian Bay Métis Community) and French Canadian descent, his work explores the Canadian Indigenous experience, including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity, and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures.

He studied composition with Jake Heggie and Samuel Dolin and piano with James Anagnoson at the Glenn Gould School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Chalmers Professional Development Grant, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award, and several grants through the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.  Ian was an inaugural Carrefour Composer in Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra from 2017-2019. He is currently the Composer-in-Residence for the Canadian Opera Company for 2019-2021. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers.

Program
“Fire”
Ian Cusson
Text by Joy Harjo”Mandoline” and “En sourdine” (Cinq Mélodies, Op. 58)
Gabriel Fauré”The Sage, The Dancer and the Fool”
Tomson Highway”Language Lesson”
Missing
Brian Current
Text by Marie Clements

“The Devil’s Language”
Ian Cusson
Text by Marilyn Dumont

“Sea Slumber Song” and “In Haven” (Sea Pictures, Op. 37)
Edward Elgar

“Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”
Les Contes d’Hoffmann
Jacques Offenbach

Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 7:30pm ET
To enjoy this free streaming event, visit: www.coc.ca


Canadian Opera Company
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The company enjoys an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. The company presents six fully-staged productions at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts annually.

The COC’s repertoire spans the history of opera from the baroque to the 21st century and includes several commissioned works and Canadian premieres. Professional opera artists from all over the world are engaged for COC productions, including a significant number of Canadian singers, directors, conductors and designers.  The company performs with its own professional Chorus and Orchestra.  The company also fosters emerging Canadian talent through its Ensemble Studio, Orchestra Academy and Company-in-Residence programs.

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