Reviewed by Paula Citron
There’s a new opera company in town. Producer Tonia Cianciulli’s brainchild is called Wish Opera and its mandate is to combine singing with high fashion.
At the Wish Opera launch at the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre at York University, the sides of the stage included two state-of-the-art living rooms which director Joel Ivany included in his staging. The female singers wore stunning gowns. It certainly was eye candy.
The singing was very impressive. At 71, remarkable tenor Ermanno Mauro brought a tear to the eye with his passionate performance, while veteran baritone Theodore Baerg was his usual smooth self. Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Fina, and sopranos Ambur Braid, Sinead Sugrue and Vania Chan were all fresh of voice and presentation.
Sabatino Vacca led the 24-member orchestra and he is very sympathetic to singers. However, when Wish Opera stages its Don Giovanni in June, Vacca better make sure that the bowing is even. The sound of these purportedly professional strings was singularly unpleasant.
Wish Opera Launch
Conducted by Sabatino Vacca
Directed by Joel Ivany
Starring Ermanno Mauro, Theodore Baerg, Ambur Braid, Jennifer Fina, Sinead Sugrue and Vania Chan
Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre, York University, Mar. 27, 2010