Conversation with Alexander Neef, General Director, Canadian Opera Company, MAY 21, 2020, 3 – 4 P.M. EDT
Mr. Neef has graciously accepted our invitation for a Zoom conversation and interview with opera journalist Joseph So, hosted by the IRCPA’s Debra Chandler, followed by a Q & A opportunity.
Alexander Neef came to the COC in 2008 from the Paris Opera, where he had been head of casting. His career has also taken him to the Salzburg Festival, Germany’s RuhrTriennale, the New York City Opera and was recently appointed artistic director of the Santa Fe Opera.
Under his leadership, the COC has risen to higher prominence on the international opera scene.
Check it out – one hearing is not nearly enough!
2020 Encounter with Theodore Baerg, OCTOBER 23,
CONCERT TEN SINGING STARS-NEXT GENERATION, NOVEMBER 6th, 7:30 EST
IRCPA PRESENTS ENCOUNTER WITH THEODORE BAERG FOR SINGERS OCTOBER 23. SIGN-UP DEADLINE: OCTOBER 9
TEN SINGERS CHOSEN FOR ENCOUNTER WILL PERFORM IN IRCPA’S TEN SINGING STARS – NEW GENERATION CONCERT NOVEMBER 6.
The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, is launching its fourth edition of Ten Singing Stars – New Generation Concert.
One of Canada’s leading baritones, Theodore Baerg will work as a mentor with 10 singers, Friday, October 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in downtown Toronto. With Rachel Andrist at the piano, he will offer each singer suggestions on artistic skills, and provide valuable career information and guidance, stressing the need for professionalism and striving for excellence.
There is no cost to the selected singers. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, mentor of the IRCPA’s 2018 Ten Singing Starsprogram, comments, “Most programs cost a lot of money. Every participant in an Encounter and Concert has not had to put up money to be there. In fact, they get a stipend, and a mentorship, which is really great.”
Thanks to the generosity of private donors, these mentorships are given in the name of an accomplished Canadian musical artist past or present.
Sign-up forms are available from here, and will be accepted until Friday, October 9 at 5 p.m.EDT. The IRCPA’s vocal advisory group will announce the 10 selected singers for the October 23.
TEN SINGING STARS – NEW GENERATION:CONCERT/LIVE BROADCAST NOVEMBER 6
The artists will perform operatic arias and art songs with pianist Rachel Andrist, in the concert/live broadcast Ten Singing Stars – New Generation. Presented by the IRCPA, it takes place Friday November 6, 7:30-9 p.m. A post-concert party with the artists follows.
Tickets, $20, and info are available by calling 416-362-1422 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IRCPA’s 2020 mentor, Theodore Baerg, is well known internationally for such roles as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Marcello in La Bohème. He has sung leading roles with opera companies across Canada and the U.S. and oratorio and other concerts with orchestras in both countries, in addition to performances in Europe and Asia. He is currently professor of voice and coordinator/director of the opera program at Western University in London ON.
On behalf of the young professionals who benefit from the specially designed IRCPA programs, the International Resource Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of the Azrieli Foundation, the Toronto Arts Council, private donors, supporters and business partners.
In Conversation with Barbara Hannigan
Mark your calendars! On Monday, September 16, 4:30-6:30 pm at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Av. in Toronto, the IRCPA hosts a live, up close and personal conversation with Barbara Hannigan, phenomenal Soprano, Conductor, Ojai Festival Artistic Director, and Founder of Equilibrium, a program for emerging professionals, which she founded in Europe. She generously “gives back” by sharing with young colleagues her knowledge of the international music industry.
Writer/critic William Littler will interview Ms. Hannigan about her personal experience and general advice for emerging professionals. Their conversation will be followed by a Question and Answer opportunity.
Singers, conductors, coaches, teachers, in Toronto and across the country, are invited to send in their questions for Ms. Hannigan in advance to: email@example.com. They will be posed to Barbara by Mr. Littler.
SOPRANO SARA SCHABAS GOES TO NEW YORK!
RECEIVES IRCPA’S “CAREER BLUEPRINT” AFTER NEW SINGING STARS PERFORMANCE AT ZOOMER HALL
Soprano Sara Schabas of Toronto has been named recipient of a valuable “Career Blueprint” at the National Opera America Center in New York.
The announcement was made Monday night at Zoomer Hall in Toronto after the concert New Singing Stars, featuring 11 young professional singers, presented by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, and broadcast live on The New Classical FM with host Jean Stilwell.
As a result of receiving the Career Blueprint, Ms. Schabas, 28, will spend three days at the National Opera America Center in New York, where new photographs, video and audio recordings, website consultation, mentoring with professionals, and more are provided.
She was selected by internationally celebrated Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who had worked with the singers beforehand in an Encounter, organized by the IRCPA. Each singer had received a scholarship donated in the name of a renowned Canadian singer. Sara Schabas had received hers in the name of the great soprano Lois Marshall (1924-97). Schabas performed Sophie’s aria Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren from Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.
The singers, who all performed with pianist Rachel Andrist, were the following:
Sopranos: Tonia Cianciulli, Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, Jocelyn Fralick, Beth Hagerman, Teiya Kasahara, Kathleen Promane, Sara Schabas, Rebecca Townsend
Mezzo-soprano: Georgia Burashko
Tenors: Zachary Rioux, John-Michael Scapin
In the audience were IRCPA founder and director Ann Summers Dossena, and special guest Joan Dornemann, well known, recently semi-retired iconic Metropolitan Opera coach. Ms. Dornemann had encouraged artist manager Summers to found the IRCPA 35 years ago and had come to Toronto to conduct several Encounters – in which both Pieczonka, Stilwell (a mezzo-soprano) and Rachel Andrist (pianist) had taken part early in their careers. At the reception that followed the concert, Dornemann, Pieczonka and Summers all cut a special 35th-anniversary cake.
The selection of singers for the 2018 encounter and Singing Stars concert was made by the IRCPA’s vocal advisory group – all well-experienced artists: Adrianne Pieczonka, baritones Brett Polegato, and Theodore Baerg, artist manager Kathy Domoney (also an IRCPA alumna), and master teacher Mary Morrison.
Ann Summers Dossena founded the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists in 1983 as a non-profit, charitable organization with the support and advice from contralto Maureen Forrester and Arnold Edinborough, a founder of Business For The Arts. Its goal is to assist Canada’s musicians to achieve sustainable, fulfilling careers that meet or exceed their goals. Summers notes, “Once their formal training has been completed, singers and instrumentalists have to pay for their lessons, coaching, studio rentals and related expenses. There can be a gap of up to five years between training and employment. Meanwhile, the musicians’ costs have been rising dramatically. They must now pay $1,000 to audition in New York. What other industry requires such an outlay for a job interview? With the IRCPA program, we have reduced the employment gap to as little as two years.”
Through its Encounters, workshops, round-table discussions and other programs, the IRCPA provides such resources as opportunities for musicians to keep skills sharpened, preparing new repertoire correctly, and learning where auditions are taking place or who and what employers are looking to hire.
Scholarships or other donations honoring an artist or arts worker in support of the IRCPA and its programs may be easily made at ircpa.net, or by telephone, 416-362-1422. Tax receipts will be issued by the IRCPA or Canada Helps.
The IRCPA acknowledges with thanks the support of the Ontario Arts Council, the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation, the Canadian Opera Company, The 519, The New Classical FM, Remenyi House of Music, Qi Natural Food, Le Paradis, Barista & Chef, private donors, partners, sponsors and volunteers.
Andrew Andersin interview Ann Summers Dossena
Ten Singing Stars: The New Generation
IRCPA NAMES 10 SINGING STARS TO PERFORM
NOVEMBER 5AT ZOOMER HALL
ONE TO BE NAMED RECIPIENT OF VALUABLE CAREER BLUEPRINT
The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, a service organization for Canada’s musicians, has selected the lineup of young professional singers to perform in Ten Singing Stars: The New Generation.
The performance will take place Monday, November 5, 7:15 p.m. at Zoomer Hall, home of The New Classical FM, 70 Jefferson Avenue (King and Dufferin area in Toronto’s Liberty Village).
The following singers were chosen by the IRCPA’s Vocal Advisory Panel from 25 applicants. They will perform operatic arias with pianist Rachel Andrist.
Sopranos: Tonia Cianciulli, Jocelyn Fralick, Beth Hagerman, Teiya Kasahara, Kathleen Promane, Sara Schabas, Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor
Mezzo-soprano: Georgia Burashko
Tenors: Zachary Rioux, John-Michael Scapin
One cover (alternate) singer has also been named in case of illness.
Tickets ordered online or by phone are $25, $20 seniors and arts workers; or $30 at the door.
Tickets and information may be obtained here or by calling 416-362-1422. Free parking is available.
All of the singers will have taken part in the IRCPA’s one day Encounter with internationally celebrated Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka. Ms Pieczonka herself was a former participant in an Encounter with iconic Metropolitan Opera Coach Joan Dornemann in the 1980s. As she recently wrote, “I still recall the aria I sang and the comments and tips Joan offered. It was very exciting for me to work with this renowned coach from New York.” Besides suggestions on artistic skills, Ms Pieczonka will have provided valuable career information and guidance, stressing the need for professionalism and striving for excellence.
A post-concert reception will celebrate the IRCPA’s 35th anniversary. During the event, one of the singers will be chosen to receive a coveted IRCPA Career Blueprint. The recipient will spend three days at the National Opera Center in New York, where new photographs, video and audio recordings, website consultation, mentoring with professionals, and more are provided.
NAME A SCHOLARSHIP: Each of the singers will have attended the Encounter on a scholarship in the name of an important Canadian musical artist past or present, donated by private individuals through the IRCPA’s third Name a Scholarship campaign.
Scholarships or other donations honouring an artist or arts worker in support of the IRCPA and its programs may be easily made here or by telephone, 416-362-1422. Tax receipts will be issued by the IRCPA or Canada Helps.
The selection of singers was made by the IRCPA’s vocal advisory group – all well experienced artists who agree that it is more difficult each year to make the selection: Brett Polegato, currently performing in Ireland; Theodore Baerg in London, ON; Adrianne Pieczonka, just back from Paris; Kathy Domoney, artist manager; and Mary Morrison, master teacher.
The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1983 by award-winning, innovative artist manager/producer Ann Summers Dossena. Its goal is to assist Canada’s musicians to achieve sustainable, fulfilling careers that meet or exceed their goals. An ever-growing number of musicians have been empowered to succeed through the IRCPA’s programs.
The IRCPA acknowledges with thanks the support of the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation, the Canadian Opera Company, The 519, The New Classical FM. private donors, partners, sponsors and volunteers.
An Encounter with New York’s Pulitzer Prize Winning DORIAN WOODWIND QUINTET for Wind and Brass Players or Ensembles.
- Deadline to Apply: October 12, 2018
- Encounter: Saturday, October 27, 2018, 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
The original Dorians met and worked together at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Now in their current generation, they continue international touring, commissioning and recording, most recently with jazz pianist, Billy Childs. They have generously accepted our invitation to conduct an Encounter in Toronto, prior to their concert for Mooredale Concerts, the next day.
Wind and Brass players or Chamber Ensembles are invited to perform briefly for artistic feedback/career ideas. Hear first-hand how to build sustainable careers over 60 years! Deadline October 12, 2018
TALKING WITH SINGERS: CLARENCE FRAZER
Baritone Clarence Frazer, recipient of the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA) 2017 Career Blueprint Award, speaks thoughtfully about his chosen career as an opera singer, in an interview with Jenna Simeonov of Schmopera. An illuminating read.
If you are not already a member, we invite you to join IRCPA, get involved and stay in the loop!
Membership is without charge
- To get the most from membership, get involved by contributing ideas, bringing your challenges and colleagues to the table for networking, “talking shop” or sharing experiences.
- We welcome volunteers to help with members’ news, the Round-Table Discussions, Focus Groups or Brainstorming sessions.
- Until we have a permanent home, smaller group events (discussions etc.) are held in party rooms or living rooms of willing and able volunteers
The IRCPA serves both as a community hub for networking musicians, and as an incubator where career-enhancing programs help artists meet or exceed career goals.
Keep Us Informed!
Performances, CD or DVD launches, and other important news or events by members are important. Your news will be shared on our social media, presenters, media, programmers, and friends of the IRCPA.
From League of American Orchestras
Updated information from the League about new executive order on U.S. travel restrictions
Updated information from the League about new executive order on U.S. travel restrictions
The White House has revoked the executive order concerning international travel announced on January 27, 2017 and has issued a new executive order that takes effect on March 16, 2017. While the legal and arts communities continue to study the order more fully, the League of American Orchestras’ Artists from Abroad website has been updated with information about key ways the new rules intersect with travel by artists from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. In addition to restrictions on travel by artists from those countries, global changes include immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP); all nonimmigrant visa applicants must have in-person interviews. The elimination of the VIWP option will create more demand for consular appointments, so artists should allow extra time for the visa approval process. Vetting and screening procedures will be heightened at all levels of the immigration process. Artists from Abroad provides arts-specific guidance on the immigration and taxation procedures needed to present international performing guest artists in the U.S. Click here for more information.
Posted March 9, 2017
Behind the US Justice Department ruling about music-licensing royalty agreements
“The American Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had concluded a two-year investigation into the complex world of music licensing and decided against making changes to the regulatory agreements that govern ASCAP and BMI, two large clearinghouses for performing rights that process about $2 billion in royalty payments each year” for composers and music publishers, writes Ben Sisario in Friday’s (8/5) New York Times. “BMI quickly said it would challenge the decision in federal court, and ASCAP said it would ‘explore legislative solutions’ to the problems of music licensing in the digital age.… Since 1941 [ASCAP and BMI] have been bound by regulatory agreements called consent decrees. Two years ago, both organizations asked the Justice Department to change these agreements … to secure fair royalty rates in the digital era…. The Justice Department [instead] added a requirement, saying that for ASCAP and BMI to comply with the existing regulations, they must offer ‘100 percent licensing’ of their songs. Many songs have multiple writers, and those writers don’t always belong to the same rights society…. The Justice Department is giving the music industry a year to comply… It is unclear how this would happen, but industry executives say it could include the creation of new databases to share data that previously was proprietary.”
Posted August 10, 2016
Ian Smith, Chairman of the European Music Commission, has given this statement:
Dear members and friends of the European Music Council,
I write as Chair/President of the European Music Council to express my deep regret and sorrow that at yesterday’s referendum, the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. The EMC remains at the core of my being and my responsibilities as Chair are if anything strengthened by this regrettable vote. I am happy to report that Scotland voted by a clear majority of 62% to remain as part of the EU and that could, of course lead, not only to the break up of Europe, which we all fear, but the break up of the UK too.
The majority vote has come almost entirely from an English-based populace who fear continuing immigration and want to retain control of the UK which is, in my view a misplaced priority and fails to grasp that we are stronger together. From a cultural and artistic perspective this is certainly the case and is why the European Music Council is strong and that strength comes from our members and our shared priorities and vision for music as a universal language that knows no barriers wherever it is practiced across all genres, all abilities and for the benefit of all peoples.
We will remain strong and focussed on our European and global agenda and I hope it is clear that what has just happened in the UK must make us all vigilant and ensure that we unite through the common language of music that is and remains our passion.
Ian Smith, Chair of the EMC
Visas: seeking more expedience, not expense!
This week, the League led a broad coalition of national performing arts organizations calling for immediate improvements to the U.S. visa process for international artists. Amidst lengthy processing delays, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed making it more costly to apply for the required visas for foreign guest artists, increasing the filing fee by 42% from $325 to $460. The date for implementing the proposed fee increase has not yet been set. The League has submitted comments on behalf of orchestras – and in partnership with a national nonprofit performance arts coalition including the American Federation of Musicians, Performing Arts Alliance, The Recording Academy, and many others – urging USCIS to make immediate improvements to the artist visa process.
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Proposed Legislation to Help Touring Canadians Enter U.S.
April 11, 2016 – As recently reported, visa processing delays by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers have become a major problem for Canadian touring artists and U.S. presenters. In an attempt to resolve the issues, a bipartisan legislation was recently introduced in the Congress.
The proposed “Bringing Entertainment Artists to the States” (BEATS) Act is intended to streamline the process of obtaining a P-2 classification for Canadian artists.
The P-2 classification is for artists and entertainers, individually or as a group (including essential support personnel), performing in the United States under a bilateral, reciprocal exchange program. The only P-2 programs at the moment are conducted under the auspices of the American Federation of Musicians (with the Canadian Federation of Musicians) and Actors’ Equity (with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association).
Under the BEATS Act, Canadian artists would be able to file a P-2 petition for admission into the United States with an immigration officer at any Class A port of entry located on the border of the United States and Canada, or at any pre-clearance station at a Canadian airport, right on their way into the US. The Act would also provide Canadian artists the flexibility to alter the dates and venues of performances listed in the original petition. The only stipulation is that the additional performances or engagements cannot be more than one third of the performances or engagements listed on the original petition.
The proposed Act however has limitations. First, it would only assist Canadian artists applying for a visa through one of the P-2 union reciprocal programs that are currently established with the American Federation of Musicians and Actors’ Equity. Second, artists choosing to process their petition at a port of entry would run the risk of seeing the petition turned down by a border official, which would result in last-minute cancellations. Third, it is unlikely that Congress will pass the Act before the November election.
In spite of this, the Beats Act, just like the Arts Require Timely Service Act, is another positive step towards raising awareness of the challenges related immigration for Canadian artists touring in the United States.
New Ivory Rules Support Musical Instruments.
On July 6, 2016, new rules will take effect related to both international travel and domestic commerce with musical instruments that contain small quantities of African elephant ivory. The League played a key leadership role in national conversations with White House officials, top leadership at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Congress, and conservation organizations to successfully seek solutions that would address urgent conservation concerns while also protecting international cultural activity.
The rules broaden access to travel permits, allow for domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments containing small quantities of ivory, and very helpfully clarify that legally-crafted musical instruments are not contributing to the African elephant poaching and trafficking crisis.
In announcing the rules to reverse current travel restrictions and provide opportunities for ongoing domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments, the USFWS stated that, “We listened carefully to the legitimate concerns raised by various stakeholder groups and, as a result, are allowing commonsense, narrow exceptions for musicians, musical instrument makers and dealers…to trade items that have minimal amounts of ivory and satisfy other conditions. These items are not drivers of elephant poaching and do not provide cover for traffickers.”
What does that mean?
For international travel, the new rules remove the current prohibition on travel with musical instruments purchased after February 25, 2014 that legally contain African elephant ivory. This removal of the purchase date restriction is a significant improvement. By July 6, the USFWS will issue a revised Director’s Order clarifying the policy change, and musicians who purchased instruments after February 25, 2014 that legally contain ivory will be eligible to apply for a travel permit.
That sounds good, but there will still be problems with over-zealous Customs officials.
Under the new rules, a musical instrument that contains African elephant ivory may qualify for a travel permit if the worked African elephant ivory meets all of the following criteria:
– The African elephant ivory contained in the instrument was legally acquired and removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976;
– The instrument containing worked ivory is accompanied by a valid Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) musical instrument certificate or equivalent CITES document;
– The instrument is securely marked or uniquely identified so that authorities can verify that the certificate corresponds to the musical instrument in question; and
– The instrument is not sold, traded, or otherwise disposed of while outside the certificate holder’s country of usual residence.
This is not over yet.
Further requests of the music community related to easing international travel restrictions will be under consideration in separate U.S. rulemaking procedures, and as CITES is renegotiated in 2016.
Here’s how to board Airberlin with a viola or violin
Fiona Stevens has nailed it:
I had a very pleasant conversation today with Frau Unger from Airberlin head office who has helped many of us violinists in the past. She allows me to post the following procedure for taking violins on board until the wording of Airberlin terms & conditions is changed.
Anyone wishing to take a violin/viola on board should write to firstname.lastname@example.org stating their flight & booking number, and the dimensions & weight of their instrument case. They should then receive written confirmation that they will be able to take the instrument as handluggage at no extra cost.
For anyone wondering why, whilst top management has decided to change policy in favour of musicians, it is taking so long for the official wording to be changed: this is (much the same as my recent post re Eurowings) because changing the wording of general terms & conditions requires every department (including legal) to ok the new wording, and this simply takes time.
Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition:
April 26 – 29, 2017 Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. Application Deadline: December 5, 2016.
A new Canada-wide Music Composition Competition
McGill University’s Schulich School of Music has announced a new competition open to all Canadian composers age 35 or younger.
The competition will be funded by a $1 million donation from McGill alumnus Dr Graham Sommer.
The Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers will “shine a spotlight on the best young composers from across Canada, bringing them to the attention of the Canadian public and the international musical world,” said Schulich School of Music’s Interim Dean, Julie Cumming.
The first annual competition is slated to begin in the Spring of 2017 and will commemorate Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th-anniversary celebrations. Contest details will be release later this year.