13 opera myths, busted

By Robert Rowat for CBC

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Soprano Simone Osborne. Photo: CBC

“Opera singers come in all shapes, sizes and ages,” says soprano Simone Osborne. “We wear jeans, drink coffee, take our dogs for walks, have normal families and lives (outside the theatre), just like everyone else. You have probably shared a subway or streetcar ride with one of us at some point and never known it.”

While its practitioners may be standing next to you in the Starbucks lineup, for outsiders, opera still has a reputation for being stilted, old-fashioned — even intimidating.

But is that reputation justified? Not according to Osborne, star of the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, opening Oct. 11 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

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