nancy hermiston

Arts on Air: An opera classic and teaching Indigenous texts

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin was actually written for students, according to Hermiston, and not only demonstrates the lead characters’ singing strengths but also that of the chorus. Arts on Air spoke with some students about their characters, how they came to opera, and what it feels like to use their bodies as their instruments.

Choir Practice (Documentary)

Enjoy the UBC Opera Ensemble with Jonathan Girard conductor and members of the UBC Symphony Orchestra in Choir Practice, recorded by the Canadian Music Centre.

Choir Practice, a fresh, contemporary opera by librettist Tara Wohlberg and composer Stephen Chatman.

An unlikely cast of misfits promises to take audiences on an entertaining ride through a choir rehearsal. From the onset, everything appears to go downhill: the choir is terrible; the philandering conductor has no conducting skills; and two competing soloists attempt to kill each other. A stuttering tenor, a blind woman, a diva, a belly dancer and a clown round out the hilarious cast.

Grand historical or political themes are absent—but a blind lady transforms the choir.

Set in Vancouver, circa 1985, warm-ups, roll call and a healthy dose of sexual innuendos follow as the rehearsal for the national competition in Toronto begins.