To anyone familiar with Stuart Hamilton, the longtime Canadian intermission quiz panelist on CBC radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, his breezy, witty voice comes through loud and clear in his newly published memoir, Opening Windows: Confessions of a Canadian Vocal Coach.
For Toronto music and opera fans, the change with the greatest day-to-day impact would be the remaking of the 815-seat MacMillan Theatre from an all-purpose auditorium into a full-featured opera house, complete with horseshoe-shaped balcony seating.
Sung well, there’s nothing that moves the soul like Wagner’s vocal music. But its intense demands can, over time, abuse the vocal cords. Older Wagnerian tenors often sound ragged as they huff and puff and push out the notes.