Opera meets hard rock

Opera underground by Calgary Concert Opera Company

Popular tunes from classic operas will meet the hard rock of underground on September’s First Saturday when members of the Calgary concert Opera Company perform for the Sullivan Mine  and Railway Historical Society.

The concert will take place underground in the tunnel on September 6, 2014, which means that only 60 people — one trainload — will have the opportunity to take part in this special event.

“The acoustics are incredible,” said railway president Mick Henningson. “Years ago we had the Men of  the Deeps sing underground. The sound was incredible. And it will be a unique experience for the singers too.”

A $30 ticket gets you a ride on the train, mining tour, concert and wine and cheese reception back at the station. It all begins at 6:30 p.m. September 6. Tickets are available at the station or call 250-427-0022.

Those unable to get a ticket can get a taste of the full concert with a couple of popular Opera songs as part of the 1 p.m.  and 3 p.m. underground Interpretive Centre Tours that day.

The railway’s season ends the next day — a good season, Henningson says, with ridership up from last year.

Performing in Kimberley are:

Barbara King – Mezzo Soprano

Barbara King is thrilling audiences with her “exquisite vocal command of a three octave range” and the possession of a “warm, agile mezzo-soprano voice”. A native of Montréal, Québec, Barbara currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, where she sang as Countess Ceprano with Calgary Opera in Rigoletto.

Barbara’s credits include Maddalena (Rigoletto), Carmen (Carmen), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Romeo (I Capuleti ed I Montecchi), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) , Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), Charlotte (Werther), the Third Lady (The Magic Flute), and Frugola (Il Tabarro).

Ms. King has had the pleasure of singing with Calgary Opera, Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy, Opera by Request in Toronto, Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, Barrie’s Colours of Music Festival, Opera Nuova, Calgary Concert Opera Company, Cowtown Opera and Mercury Opera.

International concert performances include Carnegie Hall (New York), Felton Fleet Academy (Surrey, England), The Opera Institute of California (San Jose), Coesfeld Germany, and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montréal.

Upcoming roles include Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte) and Laura (La Gioconda).

Uwe Dambruch – Bass-Baritone

German born and Calgary based Bass-Baritone Uwe Dambruch has performed with Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein Duesseldorf, Zuerich, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Bayreuth Festival, Taiwan Symphony, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Hamilton, North Carolina Opera Company, Florentine Opera in Milwaukee, Alberta Ballet and sang Wagnerian excerpts in the Cannes award-wining film Wahnfried.

His repertoire includes Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Don Basilio (The Barber of Seville), Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Timur (Turandot), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Ramfis (Aida), Mefistophele (Faust), Daland (The Flying Dutchman) and many others.

Michèle Cusson – Soprano

Calgary born soprano Michèle Cusson completed her Bachelor’s degree at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, Master’s degree and post-graduate diploma at l’Université de Montréal and specialist’s diploma at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.

Upcoming engagements include Julie in Dvorak’s Jakobin with Opera by Request in Toronto, concerts with Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique in Montréal, concerts with Calgary Concert Opera Company in Kimberle.0y, BC and Airdrie, AB and Dvorak’s Gypsy songs with the Mountain View Connection Concert Series in Calgary.

Recent engagements include orchestral concerts in China with the iSing! Festival in Suzhou, Hangzhou and Beijing where she learned to speak and sing in Mandarin, an artist residency at the prestigious Banff Centre to record a CD of Russian Romances, a grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to study Wagner and Verdi repertoire in NYC, orchestral concerts with The New York Concerti Sinfonietta and concerts in Burgundy, France at La Roche D’Hys Domaine des Arts.  Michèle is a proud recipient of multiple grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Banff Centre and Calgary Arts Development.

A finalist in the Liederkranz Wagner Competition, semi-finalist in the Loren Zachary Competition, prize winner at the Zara Dolukhanova Art Song Competition in Kalingrad, Russia and a Laureate of Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, her roles include: Jenufa, Julie/Jakobin, Liza/Queen of Spades, Zemfira/Aleko, Suor Angelica, Giorgetta/Il Tabarro, Alice Ford, Donna Elvira, Rosalinde, Countess and Micaëla.   Michèle has performed in Russia, China, Israel, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, France, England, Austria, USA and Canada, in venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Madison Square Gardens and The Great Hall of the People in Tian’anmen Square, Beijing.