Opera’s alive and well in Orangeville

September 16, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 9.21.08 PMCan you measure how you feel about opera by how much you know about it? Did you know, for instance, that operas were originally written for people of every class, from kings to working people?

Did you know that opera is alive and well in Orangeville?

Not that there are world famous singers performing full productions of the great operas at the Opera House on Broadway, but the Galaxy theatre does participate in the broadcasting from New York’s Metropolitan Live HD broadcasts on Saturday afternoons.

In order to entice those of you who reckon you know little or nothing about opera, or not enough to want to attend a performance: any hesitation that keeps you from enjoying this great art form, which encompasses so many art styles, like every stage production, here is a chance to change your mind and become an enthusiast.

Dufferin Arts Council is bringing Iain Scott to Orangeville to tell you all about opera, why it is so much fun and what is fun, not “long haired” about it.

For the last few years, Iain Scott has been coming to Rosemont Hall, to speak, to teach, about opera and, in particular, to encourage people with little knowledge but some enthusiasm to learn how to enjoy opera.

His focus is the upcoming season of operas being broadcasted live from New York to the Galaxy in Orangeville.

Mr. Scott is one of Canada’s best known and most popular educators in opera, as the information we received from Dufferin Arts Council (DAC) stated.

He has a rare knack of presenting opera in a manner that is rich with humour and interest.

At the invitation of the DAC, he has been speaking at Rosemont Hall for some years, entertaining and engaging old fans and newcomers alike to the world of opera. He will be at Rosemont Hall again this year on Monday, September 28 with his annual talk at 10:00 a.m. until noon.

For the first time, Mr. Scott will also be appearing in Orangeville on Sunday, September 27, at the Westminster United Church from 2 to 4 p.m. DAC says that he will direct his discussion primarily to opera’s newcomers, to crush the illusion of the impenetrability of the art form.

He will talk about the differences between French, Italian, German – and the many other languages – operas.

They have diverse styles and similar subject matters (sex, love, power, revenge and so forth).

The best operas, those lighter, humor- ous productions, for early introduction to opera are part of his suggestions to those whose experience of opera is yet to be tried.

At both these events, Mr. Scott will show video clips from previous pro- ductions of the operas scheduled to be broadcast this season to let the audiences understand the differences in the upcoming performances.

Past President of the DAC, Harvey Kolodny, told us that when the operas were first being broadcast at the Galaxy, the attendance was poor. How- ever, as people became more aware of them, the audience grew in numbers, which are still lower than wanted.

Iain Scott’s first appearance in Oran- geville will, the DAC hopes, draw atten- tion to this tremendous opportunity for the local residents to enjoy actual operas being performed live, even if still on a screen. It is a perfect compromise between cost and privilege.

“My sisters live in Montreal and they have to line up to see these operas in the cinemas,” Mr. Kolodny commented. “Here, you can just walk in. Mr. Scott’s talk will offer more ideas about different types of operas to encourage opera audiences.”

Bringing opera to Orangeville began early in the life of the DAC, when it sponsored an art school, wherein artists did classes for artists. When others took this over, the DAC “backed off” and began to offer three-day courses on all kinds of art including jazz, film and opera.

Eventually, only the opera was con- tinued but down to one day rather than three.

Mr. Kolodny told us, “Now 60 or 70 people come to the cinema opera as people in Toronto learn that these are being shown here.”

Most importantly, as he remarked, “this is in effort to teach younger people who have some interest in opera but haven’t had the chance to explore it.”

So, Iain Scott will speak on Sunday, September 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. in West- minster United Church and on Monday, September 28, at the Rosemont Hall from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

The first opera, Il Trovatore by Verdi, will be shown at the Galaxy on Sunday, October 3 at 2:00 p.m.

For reservations to see Iain Scott, please call Ann Wilson at 519-941-7982 or email her at eastviewmono@gmail. com.

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