• Russell Thomas on Diversity, Activism, and Blackface in Opera

    By Russell Thomas

    "Too bad you're
    black."

    No, I didn’t choose that title in order to be provocative or controversial. It’s a direct quote from a conductor that is/was the music director of a small Midwestern American opera company. I was 20 years old and had just sung an audition that I was actually proud of. Following the audition, as my accompanist and I were leaving the hall, the gentleman thanked me for my audition and showered me with compliments. Then, in a very serious tone he uttered those words as if he were compelled to warn me.

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    Posted in NOTES
  • Strength and Song: Soprano Erin Wall's Cancer Journey

    By Erin Wall


    In truth, nothing could prepare me for the life-altering experience of being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. From the moment I asked my family doctor to examine me because something “seemed off,” I knew the news was bad.

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    Posted in NOTES
  • NOTES, Issue 8: First Encounters

    By Guest Writers

    Whether it was a school play or a concert, dance lessons, drama camp, or just listening to music on the radio, there was probably a moment in your life when the performing arts first revealed their magic to you. We may not have realized it at the time, but those first impressions leave a lasting impact and shape how we interact with the world. In this edition of NOTES, three young arts professionals, all of whom interned with the Canadian Opera Company early in their careers, explore how their first encounters with the arts opened up the world and connected to a larger sense of belonging.

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    Posted in NOTES

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