2020 | 2021
Jun 18, 2021 1:00pm
Bringing Music to Life
Witness the transformation from singer to creator as Pacific Opera’s resident citizen artists are mentored by industry professionals from across Canada.
You are invited to follow along here, where we’ll share photos and artist vlogs (video blogs) showcasing the artists’ process, their a-ha moments, and each of the personal journeys as they discovering their own creative potential. The year culminates in a series of eight Music Alive video recitals.
Soprano Charlotte Siegel, mezzo-soprano Simran Claire, tenor Kaden Forsberg, and baritone Micah Schroeder and were scheduled to participate in 40 Days of Opera this past summer, an event that was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19. Instead, they will spend the 2020/21 year as Music Alive’s Civic Engagement Quartet, being mentored by artists accomplished in a variety of performing arts disciplines through a process of creation, story telling with voice, and authentic personal connection to song. They then in turn will mentor four local voice students, the Apprentice Civic Engagement Quartet, in diverse, authentic ways to engage in community, creating a peer-to-peer learning program that supports artists at all different stages in their journey.
Through artist-led learning, fostering creativity, and cultivating community, Music Alive brings music to life.
Louis Dillon | A Nature Documentary
Constantly searching for a state of calm, Louis Dillon finds himself turning to nature to quiet his mind. In his Music Alive recital, A Nature Documentary, Louis invites viewers to his outdoor sanctuary, hoping to bring us the same sense of comfort that it brings him.
“Nature helps me slow down and understand stillness, and inevitably my own problems shrink in comparison.” – Louis Dillon
Kyla Fradette | Passing Through
Like people, the places in our lives have a profound impact on who we are. Passing Through is Kyla Fradette‘s love letter to Victoria, acknowledging and honouring the ways it has molded her life over the past four years.
“This project is not only an ode to the beauty of this land, but also a celebration of the experiences and surroundings that have shaped my sense of belonging.” – Kyla Fradette
Chelsea Kutyn | Awaiting the Dawn
Watch as Chelsea Kutyn takes you into the depths of her COVID-19 recovery journey, baring the fears and the struggles that began during her 29 days in isolation and have continued to impact her life over the past year.
“I hope that even though this story is about my experience, others might be able to see themselves in this as well and take comfort in the fact that even though we are all isolated, we are united by this shared experience.” – Chelsea Kutyn
Ai Horton | Tenebris
Join Ai Horton as she fearlessly delves into her own story of mental health to bring comfort and strength to those who need it most. Fitting for release on Good Friday, Ai sings Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater”.
“I would like to dedicate this project to anyone and everyone who is affected by a struggle with mental health. Whether you are someone who is experiencing it first-hand, or you are close to someone who is, or you are someone who has not yet been able to face your darkness and give it a name, this is for you.” – Ai Tsuda Horton
Simran Claire | Dadima
Dadima by Simran Claire, the final Civic Engagement Quartet Recital, merges two cultures in a beautiful and seemingly unnoticeable way to tell a story of life and family.
“Dadima (meaning grandmother in Punjabi) tells the story of my grandmother’s life, beginning on her wedding day in Punjab, 1960. Using the framework of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben, Dadima is a tale of arranged marriage in four vignettes: Vyah (wedding), Muklava (first sight), Pyar (love) and Khushi (happiness).” – Simran Claire
Charlotte Siegel | This I Wish
Listen intently as Charlotte Siegel shares her feelings on the current state of the world, and her hopes for a better future in her Music Alive recital, This I Wish.
“’Be safe’ is what my mother always says to me when I’m leaving somewhere. It doesn’t matter where I am or where I’m going, those are the last words I hear. I used to take offense to it…as if she didn’t trust who she raised me to be. As I got older though, I realized it had nothing to do with me and everything about outside.” – Charlotte Siegel
Kaden Forsberg | Something’s Coming
Join Kaden Forsberg as he takes us through his moving transformation from a jaded artist into someone willing to be vulnerable in order to make art that is real and that is “worth hearing”.
Kaden creates the feeling of old friends chatting with an openness that aligns perfectly with his end message of creating art that is true, and that can cut through all of the noise and hit people in a way that matters.
Micah Schroeder | Denkmal
Micah Schroeder’s Denkmal, the first Music Alive recital, is dedicated to his grandmother Ursula Schroeder.
Denkmal is a German word used to describe a monument, but more directly translates to “think once, or think for a moment”, and this recital perfectly embodies that sentiment. As Micah reflects on the life his grandmother led as a German immigrant, it causes all to pause and think for a moment on their own circumstances.
Reflections from the Civic Engagement Quartet
Join the Civic Engagement Quartet as they look back on the process of creating their Music Alive Recitals and share their creative journey with you, each in their own personal way!
Keep an eye out throughout the month of April for more of the Civic Engagement Quartet as they work to cultivate community and bring music to life through authentic conversations and programs with the people around them. (Spoiler: the first video is coming Sunday!)
Learn something new with the Greater Victoria Public Library and Pacific Opera Victoria’s Civic Engagement Quartet for Opera 101 every Sunday, where they give you insider tips and tricks on all things opera, telling you everything you need to know to become an opera aficionado!
The first lesson: how to prepare for your first opera.
Celebrate Poetry Month with Pacific Opera Victoria’s Civic Engagement Quartet and the Greater Victoria Public Library as they delve into music’s poetic bones, showcasing how music and poetry are two sides of the same coin.
“As we transition to becoming singing professionals, we need to explore what makes us special as artists and what we have to say as people. We need to find ways to reach our communities and make a positive impact on our art and our surroundings. One of the most impactful ways to do this is to embrace and share who we are and where we come from. To explore how that directly colours the way we make music and relates to text and experience. I would like to explore these different possibilities in our work together and encourage these wonderful singers to step outside what is accepted as traditional classical repertoire and expectations and to explore what might be already in their back pocket but not yet viewed as valid or enough.” – Miriam Khalil, Music Alive Mentor
Civic Engagement Quartet
Apprentice Civic Engagement Quartet
- Taiwo Afolabi
- Denise Ball
- Kimberley-Ann Bartczak
- Nicholas Borg
- Chris O’Connor
- Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde
- Tom Diamond
- Bradley Dick
- Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor
- Paulina Grainger
- Rebecca Hass
- Parker Johnson
- Lisa Mercure
- Giuseppe (Joey) Pietraroia
- Sara Rhude
- Timothy Vernon
What is a “citizen artist”?
Yo-Yo Ma defines citizen artists as those who “transcend technique in order to seek out the truth in our world in a way that gives meaning and sustenance to individuals and communities.”
It is a bridging of “high art” and “community art” that both serves artistic excellence and discourse, and uses artistic innovation to create social or civic impact.
While participating in Music Alive, the citizen artists in the Civic Engagement Quartet will work in collaboration with Pacific Opera’s civic partners, including the Inter Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, the Victoria Public Library, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, and local educators to bring music to life for our community in new, meaningful ways.
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2020 | 2021 Recitals
Behind the Scenes
Music Alive Artists and Mentors in a Zoom Webinar!
Join tenor Kaden Forsberg and baritone Micah Schroeder as they pull back the curtain for the Royal BC Museum to show you ‘A Day in the Life of a Professional Opera Singer’, sharing the high notes, the low notes, and everything in between!
Enjoy Episode 15 The Listening Party Podcast, where Simran Claire and Charlotte Siegel join Rebecca Hass and Jenn Treble to speak about mentoring students as a part of Music Alive!
Listen here as Simran Claire join's CBC Victoria's Kathryn Marlow on All Points West today to talk about Music Alive and her recital, Dadima!
Learn more about what happens behind the scenes of Music Alive on Episode 18 of the Listening Party Podcast, where the Civic Engagement Quartet joins Rebecca Hass to look back on their journey to becoming Civic Engagement Artists!