La Scena Musicale

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Ottawa Bass-Baritone Philippe Sly One of Five 2011 Met Auditions Winners

by Wah Keung Chan

Ottawa native and McGill student bass-baritone Philippe Sly has been named one of five winners of the 2011 Met Auditions according to a news flash on the Metropolitan Opera website. The five winners are:

  • Joseph Barron, bass-baritone from Pittsburgh
  • Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone from Suffolk, VA
  • Michelle Johnson, soprano from Pearland, Texas
  • Joseph Lim, baritone from Seoul, Korea
  • Philippe Sly, bass-baritone from Ottawa, Canada

The other three finalists include Montreal soprano Sasha Djihanian who will also represent Canada in the BBC Singer of the World Competition in May 2011 as well as the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium. Soprano Deanna Breiwick from Seattle and bass Nicholas Masters from New Canann, Connecticut round out the finals.

> Review by Mike Silverman

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This Week in Toronto (Mar. 14 - 20)

Pianist Andreas Haefliger (Photo: Marco Borggreve)

We are in "Spring Break" where the majority of schools - not university level, however - have the week off. Perhaps this explains the relatively sparse concert offerings. Even the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is in hiatus. However, there are a number of interesting events happening this week, particularly piano recitals. Well known Swiss pianist Andreas Haefligher is in town under the auspices of Music Toronto. The son of the late, celebrated Swiss tenor Ernst Haefliger, he combines virtuoso flair with uncommon musicality, as revealed in the liederabend with German baritone Matthias Goerne for the Toronto Summer Music Festival last July. It is good to have him back in town, this time appearing with flautist Marina Piccinini, in a program of Franck's Flute Sonata in A and Liszt's Les Annees de Pelerinage: Suisse. The concert takes place at the Jane Mallett Theatre on Tuesday March 15 at 8 p.m.

Another piano recital of interest features the CD launch concert of Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico in Glass Houses Revisited, a program dedicated to the works of Ann Southam who recently passed away. I was unable to find more program details. It takes place at the Glenn Gould Studio on Thursday March 17 7:30 p.m.

Canadian pianist Jane Coop returns to Toronto after a long absence to give a recital of Beethoven and Scriabin at Walter Hall, on Sunday March 20 3:15 p.m. The recital is presented by Mooredale Concerts At 1:15 p.m. is Music and Truffles, a special program designed for young audiences. Details at

The Met in HD series continues with Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor on Saturday 1 p.m. at selected Cineplex cinemas in the GTA. French diva Natalie Dessay reprises her triumph from 2008 in the Mary Zimmerman production. This time, the Edgardo is the sensational Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja. He has been getting the most fantastic ovations since opening night, and his performance this Saturday is not to be missed. Enrico is French baritone Ludovic Tezier and Raimondo is Kwangchul Youn. Patrick Summers conducts. Details at