"Farewell, I go to sleep..." Thus begins Gustav Holst's remarkable early piece, "The Evening Watch." Opus 8 performed this piece in our very first concert of the same name, back in February of 2015, and we're looking forward to revisiting it on our upcoming program, "What Is Our Life?"
As we (re)approach this music of parting, we're also saying a fond farewell to soprano Ellen McAteer, who has been with Opus 8 through almost two full concert seasons, a full-length (début) recording, several fundraisers, a great many rehearsals, innumerable beverages, and too much wonderful singing to quantify. Ellen is departing Opus 8 as her growing career calls her away from Toronto ever more often, and we're celebrating her well-deserved success even as we know how much we'll miss her presence in the group. You can hear Ellen with Opus 8 on our recording Melancholy & Mirth, and on our Soundcloud page, as well as follow her post-Opus 8 activities at her website, www.ellenmcateer.ca.
Reprising this glorious piece by Holst also gives us an opportunity to look back at Opus 8's early days, and to recognize the singers who were essential in forming the group but who are no longer singing with us. Emily Wall was a founding soprano of Opus 8, singing with the group until November of 2015, when she flew off for an exciting adventure living in France; these days, she keeps in touch with her French side in Montréal, where she is singing regularly. Founding alto Olga Tylman also departed Opus 8 for an overseas adventure, and is currently living and singing in England. Soprano Jana Miller has also crossed the pond, and currently bases her flourishing career in Berlin. And founding bass Jordan Scholl is active in Toronto not only as a singer and voice teacher, but as a speech-language pathologist, helping people heal and strengthen their voices. We're so grateful for all of their contributions to Opus 8.
Moving forward, we're thrilled to welcome soprano Katy Clark to Opus 8! Katy is a 2017/2018 Rebanks Fellow at the Royal Conservatory of Music and a seasoned performer in choirs, concerts, and operas throughout North America. We're delighted to have her on board. Katy's début with Opus 8 is coming up at our May 5 concert, What Is Our Life? Until then, you can find out more about Katy, and hear her glorious singing, at her website: www.katyclark.ca.
Keep an eye on this space, where we'll periodically post thoughts, updates, reflections, and other writing from our singers. Here you might find updates on new concerts, projects, or recordings from Opus 8; more historical background about the pieces we sing than we have time to go into in our concerts; personal reflections or reactions to the music from our singers; things we think are interesting in the broader musical community; or really anything we think might be vaguely of interest to at least a few of you! We're looking forward to using this blog as a chance to engage more deeply with all of you, as well as a chance for you to get to know our members a bit better, so please comment and join the conversation. In the meantime, we hope we'll see you all at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields at 7:30 on May 5th!