Laura’s Adventures in Montreal: The Opera

Photo by @MustangJoe / @pixabay

Photo by @MustangJoe / @pixabay

Well it’s been a while since my last adventure, but next week I’m off on my next one. This time I’m heading to the opera! Now I know opera is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it gets a bit of a bad rap. Or maybe it’s just people don’t often have the opportunity to experience it. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s more accessible than you might think.

I attended my first opera during my undergrad. It was an university production at the University of Ottawa and a bunch of us went, mainly because we didn’t have other plans and it felt classy. But I was surprised how much I enjoyed the spectacle of it. The music, the vocals, the drama, it was astounding! And thus began my interest in opera. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to attend a number of performances both here in Montreal and elsewhere.

So, if you feel like checking out an opera, how do you go about it? Well I have 2 recommendations for you; Opera McGill or Opera de Montreal. I’ve seen several performance by both companies and not only were they spectacular, but they both offer student discounts for the budget-conscious grad student. (more…)

Until the Fat Lady Sings

The Archetypal Opera Singer, as rendered by the author

The Archetypal Opera Singer, as rendered by the author

Many people regard opera as elitist, boring, and on the wane. A relic of past grandiosity that is out of touch with present aesthetics and popular culture. Something that soon will go the way of the dodo or Hostess snack cake

As the saying goes, however, the future of opera is not so easily prophesized. The “fat lady” might in fact be singing, but it most certainly is not over. (more…)

Summer Job

I don’t want a summer job.

All year, I was supported by my Teaching Assistantship, my scholarship, grants, and bursaries, and my *ahem* parents.  I am in the mood to make music, to be a poor artist, to declare my passion and refuse to do anything else.

What to do, what to do?

I have no idea how much money I can make in one week just by busking in the metro, but this is the current plan.  If I absolutely must, I will look for a part-time job, but how fantastic will it be to make money doing what I am actually certified to do by McGill University?


Guest Post: Why Opera is Important

This post is reproduced with permission from Mark Ellis Gough, opera singer with Opera Lyra in Ottawa.  I feel he conveys a very important and convincing message, which is important for everyone curious about opera to read.  Thank-you, Mark!

Why Opera is important

By Mark Ellis Gough

When Ty Paterson asked me to write something for the Opera Lyra Ottawa Conductor’s Blog I wanted to write something that was important to me. I’ve decided to write a little blurb about how I feel about my art. The vast majority of this little essay is based entirely on my opinions and gut feelings and unfortunately has no academic clout whatsoever. This is unfortunate as I really want to convince my fellow arts lovers and theatre goers that Opera is an important, relevant, passionate, and beautiful genre. When I tell people that I’m an opera singer I’m often greeted with surprise, “Really? People still sing Opera? I had no idea!” I find this state of affairs unacceptable. The Operatic Arts are not in decline as some people think but they are evolving into a provocative medium for drama, comedy, and some of the greatest music ever written. I want to write a few paragraphs that will help convince you not only of the relevance of Opera to our cultural life, but that it is superior as an art form.


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