Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tri-City Gala Begins TOMORROW!!!

We are all very busy here at VanCOCO putting the final polish on our concert for our Tri-City Gala tour that begins TOMORROW in White Rock, BC, Vancouver on Saturday and finishing up in the beautiful city of Sechelt on Sunday!  While we hope that you have all taken advantage of our pre-sales through our website, we would like to remind you that you can buy tickets at the door as well!

As a final treat for all of you, we thought that we would share some fun facts from our dream-team as they prepare to amaze you all this weekend! Be sure to follow us on Twitter @VANCOCoOp and 'Like' our Vancouver Concert Opera Society page on Facebook to get some behind the scenes photos and reaction all weekend!

AG: Andrew Greenwood
NB: Natalie Burdeny
SS: Sunny Shams
AS: Arianna Sovernigo

What music do you listen to in your off time?
AG: I'll listen to singers. Like a collection of arias. Also, a lot of Baroque music.

NB: I recently discovered "Passenger", an indy-folk singer from the UK. I can't get enough of him, and I particularly love his song "I hate". The lyrics are brilliant - you have to listen to it.

SS: I love Classical music, especially from the Classical and Romantic period. Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, you name it! But also yes, a lot of jazz - Miles Davis, Bill Evans and also the crooners - Sinatra, Tony Bennett, some newer ones - Jamie Cullum and Diana Krall, Michael Buble. But really, I love all kinds of music - throw a bit of Indie in there, and you have my mix.

AS: Country...don't laugh but I do like it.  One favourite would be Brooks & Dunn.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

AG: Getting to sing two roles at the Prague State opera was pretty cool!!  Germont from La Traviata and Escamillo from Carmen.  Also, I had a chance to sing Amanasro in Aida, where the famous stage director was Hans Peter Lehmann. That was very lucky for me!  He really liked me!  I remember him saying to me that he had directed many Aida's, and  that I was one of the best Amonasro’s he had had.

NB: I made my debut this summer in the world-premier in Italy. I created the role of Old Camille in Camille Claudel in the Teatro degli Avvaloranti in Citta della Pieve, Italy. it was a world premier. I was hired 2 weeks before rehearsals started. Not because they had a cancellation, but because the composer/conductor had never heard a voice that he thought was suited for the role. I learned the entire thing in 10 days thanks to a brilliant coach. It was a great experience; wonderful cast, and an amazing opera. It deserves to be done again. 

SS: Well, probably this summer. My girlfriend and I met and studied for 3 weeks with Soprano Virginia Zeani, in Florida. And then from there we went to Spain and spent a month coaching with the head coach from Teatro Real, and then got to meet and sing for Montserrat Caballe, who selected us to sing in her final gala concert.  That was pretty amazing! I think another feat was when I sang 2 Rodolfo's back to back on the same day.

AS: I guess singing Musetta from La Boheme at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, but to me the biggest accomplishment is just being recognized as a singer every time I get hired.

If you could sing with any famous opera singer living or dead, who would it be and why?
Maria Callas

AG: Hmmm... Callas because of her amazing stage presence.
NB: Agh, that's hard... a toss up for me really but I have to say Dmitri Hvorostovsky... he is mad-sexy, and can sing to boot!

SS: I would love to sing with Maria Callas. Her dedication to the score and to the text is amazing! Her musicality is divine, and she embodied every role she portrayed. I think that's what took her voice too soon. That and she sang some heavy roles too early. But it was her 110% dedication to the composer and librettist that made her who she was. La Divina.

AS: I think Placido Domingo.  I have always loved him most out of the three tenors for his drama...he can sing like a god and still act the crap out of a role...he made me cry when I saw his Cyrano DeBergerac at the Met...and that's very hard to do.

How excited are you to bring this wonderful opera to White Rock, Sechelt, and Vancouver?.. or I suppose why is it important?

SS: I am delighted to bring such wonderful music and arts to these towns and cities. I think exposure is the best way to keep the arts alive and well, and it's great when you can bring fantastic artists and in turn present this incredible music to an audience. That's what we live for as artists - communication to the masses. Touching lives. I know the world needs more of that right now. It's great to give to the public. I'm really excited!

AS: Every opportunity I get to sing in my hometown is important to me.  I have lots of friends and family who support me and it's a shame not to be able to show them what I've accomplished.  I also think it's important because opera is not big in Canada or at least on the West Coast as it is in Europe.  We are not exposed to it daily and it's not part of our tradition.  I can't imagine what my life would be like if opera stopped being important.  It's a way of expression that helps to soothe the soul and help us escape the harsh reality of life so we can get back to it

Ok.  Rapid Fire!

Tea or Coffee
AG: Coffee
NB: Coffee
SS: Coffee
AS: Tea

Sweet or Salty
NB: Salty
SS: Sweet
AS: Salty

Wagner or Verdi
AG: Ha ha, Verdi!
NB: Both!
SS: Verdi
AS: Verdi

Kareokee - Yes or No
AG: No
NB: Yes
SS: Yes
AS: No

Pop or Rock
AG: Neither... Rock if I had to pick.
NB: Pop
SS: Classic Rock
AS: Rock

Favourite Colour
AG: Blue
NB: Teal
SS: Black
AS: Blue

Favourite Food
AG: Ribs
NB: Pasta with Truffles
SS: Mexican
AS: Thai

Yoga or Weights
AG: Weights
NB: Weights
SS: Weights
AS: Yoga

We hope that you have enjoyed getting to know our dream team and we very much look forward to performing for you all this weekend! See you soon!

~VanCOCO...All about the Music!