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IN MEMORIAM | Renowned Canadian Soprano Erin Wall Dies At Age 44

By Anya Wassenberg on October 9, 2020

Erin Wall In memoriam

Canadian soprano Erin Wall has died at the age of 44. She had been living with cancer since 2018.

Born to American parents — both musicians — in Calgary, Erin studied as a child at the Vancouver Academy of Music, and sang in choirs. She earned a Bachelor of Music from the Western Washington University — where she was recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010 — and a Masters in vocal performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Wall quickly graduated to a professional career in 2001. In 2003, she represented Canada at the finals of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in Wales, just a year after her international debut with the London Symphony Orchestra. She would go on to appear with the LSO frequently with conductor Sir Andrew Davis.

Erin Wall sings “Ich kann nicht sitzen” from the COC’s Elektra

In 2011, The Guardian praised her performance in Massenet’s Thaïs in Edinburgh. “Her glamour is magnetic: you understand why, at the start, men are prepared to bankrupt themselves for Thaïs. More important, however, is the extraordinary ease and sumptuousness of her tone, and a hovering, ecstatic quality in her singing that makes her so convincing as both sexual icon and saint.”

Erin became known for her lovely tone and theatrical talent, and went on to perform at the world’s most renowned opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera House, Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Bergen National Opera, Den Norske Opera Oslo, Theater an der Wien, and the Bayerische Staatsoper, among others.

With a vast and versatile repertoire that included three centuries of material from Mozart to Britten, she also performed in concert halls all over the globe, and with the world’s renowned symphonies.

Josep Pons with Erin Wall – Strauss: Vier letzte Lieder (Human Rights Concert in Geneva)

Erin appears on a recent recording of Britten’s Peter Grimes with the Bergen Philharmonic on the Chandos label, based on a 2019 tour of the opera in the UK. The release has been garnering excellent reviews, with many reviewers noting her performance in particular.

Erin spoke candidly about her struggles with cancer in interviews in 2019, when she was in a period of remission. From her Twitter account, Erin left a last message:

“Once I was an opera singer. Then COVID-19 and stage IV cancer changed everything. Please don’t use the word “battle” to refer to my life or illness.”

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Anya Wassenberg

Anya Wassenberg is a Senior Writer and Digital Content Editor at Ludwig Van. She is an experienced freelance writer, blogger and writing instructor with OntarioLearn.
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Follow me

Anya Wassenberg

Anya Wassenberg is a Senior Writer and Digital Content Editor at Ludwig Van. She is an experienced freelance writer, blogger and writing instructor with OntarioLearn.
Follow me
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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Music Livestreams You Absolutely Need To See This Week (Oct. 26 – Nov. 1)

By Joseph So on October 26, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of October 26— November 1.
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CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical Music Livestreams You Absolutely Need To See This Week (Oct. 12 – 18)

By Joseph So on October 12, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of October 12 – 18.
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MAJOR CHORDS | Car Culture Meets The Orchestra At The Drive-In

By Peter Goddard on October 7, 2020

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra's drive-in series is a savvy musical expedient during the COVID-19 pandemic that offers the sort of isolation and social distancing difficult to maintain in concert halls.
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