Pacific Opera Victoria's Resident Artist Program is designed for singers who have completed advanced university study and/or young artist training programs, and have begun their professional careers.
The current career trajectory for a Canadian Opera singer often involves university training, private study, and a year-round young artist training program with one of North America's largest companies. Once artists complete this study progression, they join the many artists seeking employment in a competitive field. Out of work, often without professional management and the musical support system afforded to them by a relationship with a larger company, these artists are now at risk of early burnout, audition fatigue, and financial concerns.
POV's Resident Artist Program addresses this need by offering young artists a residency with our company.
The Resident Artists take on roles in one mainstage production (Madama Butterfly in April, 2015). They also receive extensive coaching by musicians active in the industry and career development counseling with experts in marketing, recording, and auditioning.
Singers appear in concert performances at selected community venues and seniors' residences throughout the region, presenting selections from the mainstage opera in which they will perform, as well as other mutually agreed upon repertoire.
Each performer is engaged under an agreement with Canadian Actors Equity Association. The fee for the engagement is based on Equity minimum, supplemented by travel and housing in Victoria. All artists must be or agree to become members of Canadian Actors Equity Association, and be citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
Participants are selected from national auditions.
Also notably impressive are four young singers drawn from POV's Resident Artist Program: soprano Miriam Khalil and mezzosoprano Sylvia Szadovszki, as Carmen's gypsy friends, and tenor Riccardo Iannello and baritone Andrew Love, as the smugglers. (The four join McHardy in an exuberant Act 2 quintet.)
There is some excellent work in smaller roles, too – Flora, the baron, the marquis and especially Violetta's maid, Annina (the rich-voiced soprano Betty Waynne Allison).
Vocal honours were even between Lucia Cesaroni, Letica Brewer and Erin Lawson as the Queen's ladies-in-waiting. They brought delightful campy humour to their singing and acting, particularly when blending seamlessly to compete with each other to stay with the unconscious Tamino with Ich, Ich, Ich.
The Suzuki of the young Québécoise Michèle Losier was nothing less than a revelation: focused singing, effective acting, a winning stage presence are the harbingers of, I'd bet, a young star in the making.
The minor roles were nicely taken. Eric Olsen has a proven comic sense and the POV has found a gem of a comprimario tenor in him, his Goro the marriage broker, not only ably sung but shot through with nuances . . . as Prince Yamadori Peter McGillivray delivered idiomatic performances, with acting skills to boot.