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After the Dust Settles

21 Jan

What to say after all this time…

There was a part of me that wanted to follow up on the performance for my blog readers, but I was overwhelmed by the new-found freedom, and there were more than enough people sending congrats and asking how it went to satisfy my need to remove the moment (a few dozen times…).

I short, the performance was a huge success. It was well attended, well performed, and well received.

Here’s a review.

It took a little while to get a hold of the footage we shot (both of the performance and the audience feedback), and I’m just now editing that into a promo video.

Despite all the requests, I won’t be posting the full performance online. As happy as I was with the performers and their work, it was still an unstaged workshop performance.

I’m thrilled to have so much interest being expressed in the project, so the goal is to convince opera companies and diabetes organizations around the world to mount full productions!

Stay tuned for some promo videos!


Meet the Cast: baritone, Peter Alexander

1 Oct

I’ve had the pleasure of performing with Peter in a few different contexts, and he never ceases to impress me with his wit, charm, and impeccable musicianship. Without giving away the costumes for Diagnosis: Diabeteslet’s just say his performance wardrobe includes tuxedos, tutus, and leather chaps!

In addition to his role in the Question Time Chorus, Peter will be singing the role of the Endocrinologist who diagnoses Charlie, Charlie’s oldest friend, and Andy, his co-worker.

Read below for more about Peter Alexander.

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Meet the Cast: mezzo-soprano, Cathleen Gingrich

1 Oct

Cathleen_Gingrich_MichelleDohertyPhotography13I met Cathleen Gingrich during my UBC days. Not only was she a fabulous singer, but she was a hardworking academic to boot! I’m certainly not surprised at the amazing and multifaceted artist she has become in the years since. She is currently active as a performer, administrator, and a brilliant force of positive energy. Who better than her to sing the mezzo role in Diagnosis: Diabetes.

Throughout the opera, she joins the Question Time Chorus to help get the audience involved, and she also sings the roles of nurse and Charlie’s boss.

Read more about Cathleen below!

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Meet the Ensemble: pianist, Nina Horvath

29 Sep

Nina HeadshotNina is a fantastic pianist, so when I found out she’s also diabetic, she was a natural fit for the opera. But then she moved away last year, so I was distraught… But then she moved back right at the moment when we were finalizing the ensemble and cast. Perfect. Timing!

The opera has more than enough of my perspective and experience as a diabetic, so I asked Nina to tell me a little bit of her diabetic story , and here it is for you to read:

I was diagnosed at 19 with Type I which was a pretty big surprise and quite the dramatic event. I went backpacking for three months by myself in Europe, felt shitty for the last few weeks (you know the drill, sleepy, peeing a lot, but hey who wouldn’t be when you’re sleeping in hostels for three months in 40 degree weather?), managed to get home. Was sleeping on the couch, apparently I smelled like nail polish remover, so my parents took me to the hospital. I was pretty advanced ketoacidosis, had managed to deplete my Potassium levels to zero and had a blood sugar too high to be read by the meter. Oops.

So I was quite the exciting event for a small town hospital, gotta hang out in ICU for a few days and then I went home, got stabilized and have been trucking along ever since. Making all the good food and exercise choices all the time…ahem…

So there you have it. Read more about Nina below!

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Meet the Cast: mezzo-soprano, Melanie Adams

17 Sep

Melanie1imageI’ve had the pleasure of working with Melanie a few times within the Erato Ensemble. I’m not sure if it was her amazing voice, her impeccable musicality, or her kick-ass sense of humour, but I knew from the start that she would be perfect for the Narrator.

In this opera, though, the Narrator is not simply the story teller, she’s what brings the audience into the action of the story. She starts off as the funnest person you could ever want to meet, but it’s not long before….(no spoiler! Come to the premiere to find out more!

While you wait, read below for more about Melanie!

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Meet the Cast: soprano, Dorothea Haley

15 Sep

Bench_NYI met Dory a few years ago, and have been waiting for the chance  to work with her ever since. But she hasn’t been waiting around for me…

After relocating from Montreal, Dory has been busy singing and running the Blueridge International Chamber Music Festival. I’m thrilled that she’ll be joining Erato Ensemble to sing the soprano role in Diagnosis: Diabetes.

The soprano role is a perfect example of the creative casting often necessary in new chamber opera. Throughout the opera, Dory will sing Charlie’s mother, his co-worker, his eye-doctor, and she’ll play a key role in allowing the audience to decide what happens to Charlie. If there’s anyone up for the challenge, it’s Dory!

Read more about Dory below:

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Meet the Cast: tenor, Will George

11 Sep

willheadshotjpgI’ve had the pleasure of working with Will George in a number of contexts over the past few years. As artistic director of Vancouver’s Erato Ensemble, Will shows his passion for new music by filling concerts and seasons with new works written by local and living composers! He’s been a key component of Art Song Lab‘s performance faculty and sings in a rock band called Horse Opera, to show that he’s not just a one-trick pony!

I love his voice and he’s a delight to work with, so I’m thrilled he will be singing the tenor role in Diagnosis: Diabetes. In most scenes, the tenor role is Charlie, the opera’s protagonist, but he also sings his own father in Scene 1, when Charlie is just a child.

Read more below, and stay tuned for more introductions!

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