This week’s Artist of the Week is Canadian baritone, Gregory Dahl. Currently in Vancouver, he is in rehearsals preparing the titular role for Vancouver Opera‘s upcoming production of Donizetti‘s Don Pasquale running Feb 10-18 (info and tickets here).
His career has taken him across North America and Europe with notable performances as Tomsky in The Queen of Spades for English National Opera , Golaud in Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s Pelléas et Mélisande, The Dutchman in Opéra de Québec‘s Der Fliegende Holländer, Scarpia in Tosca with Calgary Opera, Opéra de Montréal, and Manitoba Opera, and Rigoletto in Verdi‘s Rigoletto with Calgary Opera and Opéra de Québec. Lucky for the next generation of opera singers, Gregory is passing on his wealth of knowledge by teaching at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.
During his down time, we chatted with Gregory about how he started singing, his love of weather and weather apps, and how working with young singers is keeping him young. Keep reading to find out more.
When was your first singing lesson (and with whom)?
My first voice lesson was with Lois Watson in Winnipeg, when I was 18 years old.
If you weren’t a singer you’d be…..
Tent or hotel?
Coffee or tea?
What was the first opera you ever saw?
Manitoba Opera’s production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera.
Are there more musicians in your family?
I come from a musical family. My mother is a fine singer who also plays the bassoon, my father plays the French horn and my sister plays flute and piano. They are all accomplished, amateur musicians who continue to play their instruments in orchestras to this date. I used to play clarinet in high school and we played woodwind quartets together.
What’s your favourite mind-calming practice?
I like to go for a long walk, especially in nature.
What’s the downside of being an opera artist?
Having to work away from my home and family.
Are you a cat person or dog person?
I’m allergic to cats so I’d say a dog person.
Are you happiest in the country or in the city?
Which TV show did you binge-watch last?
Do you sing in the shower?
No, I might vocalize the odd note.
What’s a big investment for an opera artist, but totally worth it?
Vocal coachings to assist in learning a role.
Do you enjoy cooking? If yes, what is your best dish?
Yes, I love to cook and BBQ, even in the winter. I have no one best dish, but on a show day I like to cook and then eat a steak, baked potato, roasted onions, peppers and mushrooms.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m a weather buff with 3 different weather apps on my phone.
What is one very popular thing that you have no interest in?
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken for a production?
Singing in a loincloth as Jochanaan in Salome.
Does singing help keep you young?
Yes, but also working with young singers keeps me young.
What is the ultimate goal of opera?
LEARN MORE ABOUT GREGORY DAHL
VISIT HIS WEBSITE
Iago in Otello – Calgary Opera (2012)
The Flying Dutchman – Vancouver Opera (2023)
Donizetti Don Pasquale
Feb 10, 15, 18
CONDUCTOR: Jacques Lacombe
DIRECTORS/SET/COSTUME DESIGN: Barbe & Doucet
YAP ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:
DON PASQUALE : Gregory Dahl
NORINA: Elisabeth Polese
ERNESTO: Josh Lovell
DR. MALATESTA: Phillip Addis
NOTARY: Willy Miles-Grenzberg
COOK: Stefano Giulianetti
PORTER: Thomas Jones
MAID: Colleen Winton
With the The Vancouver Opera Chorus
The Vancouver Opera Orchestra
Given a mid-20th century Technicolour makeover by the acclaimed creative duo of costume/set designer André Barbe and stage director/choreographer Renaud Doucet, Don Pasquale’s world bustles with a ramshackle vibrancy.
The aging bachelor’s scheme to marry and disinherit his rebellious nephew Ernesto is countered by a hilarious bait-and-switch caper hatched by Dr. Malatesta and Ernesto’s love, Norina, going undercover as Pasquale’s new and decidedly not-as-advertised bride.
With an all-star cast and music calibrated for virtuosity, Donizetti’s comic masterpiece of inter-generational jealousy and reconciliation, young love, and madcap machinations bursts with vivid colour and endlessly engaging melodies.
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