March 12, 2012
I’ve been adjudicating in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and its Orpheus Theatre. One aspect I have enjoyed is that it is across the corridor from… a hockey arena! What a terrific combination of arts and sports.My adjudicating here is now winding down. I have been so inspired and buoyed by the high level of Calgary’s singers. Some are verging on a professional level of artistry with Bach and Mozart, with a tremendous amount to commend them to careers. Time, training, opportunities, networks, happenstance and of course, fine singing, will converge to decide the rest. I have also enjoyed adjudicating the occasional string and woodwind classes with my colleagues.
Sonatas for flute, oboe and violin, and it’s been a fascinating experience to share in the universal qualities of phrasing, articulation, style, ornamentation, and production. My many years of recital and jury adjudicating have allowed me to always write in pen, and to finish writing when the singing has finished. I do this, too, so that there is time for master class and workshop time with singers. Lots of fun! Developing demonstrative performance skills, discovering balanced resonance instead of nasality, breathing issuesfor baroque coloratura, and developing a solo singing quality instead of a high and locked laryngeal position. These are just some of the great opportunities we’ve shared together here. I’d love to discuss singers I’ve particularly enjoyed, and performances that have been wonderfully memorable, but… I cannot. I can say that the high standard of singing has made this an exciting experience for me. I took a few pictures today with my old Sony Cybershot “point and shoot” as I walked around the SAIT campus. Along with Mount Royal University and Conservatory and the University of Calgary, Calgary is bustling with thriving post-secondary institutions.
As much asthe University of Calgary’s Music Department has been shrinking over the past few years, Mount Royal University’s music has been exploding. It is set to open new performing arts training and performance facilities between 2013 and 2014. Long-time friends treated me to La Brezza Italian restaurant last night. The food was really delicious, and other than the annoying wobble of the Neapolitan singer on the recorded Italian music playing in the background (LOL), the atmosphere was really enjoyable. Somewhat endearing was the owner who gifted us with shots of limoncello, but the catch was that we had to agree to vote his restaurant as #1 on tripadvisor.ca. He would not leave our table until we agreed, plied with instruction sheets on how to access the voting website!