National Academy Orchestra And Brott Opera Moves Training Online

HAMILTON ON—June 11th, 2020—The Brott Music Festival/BrottOpera adapts to the new Covid-19 world faced by performing arts organizations in moving their training online.

While Covid-19 restrictions forced Brott Music Festival to post-pone all of its in-person performances for the 2020 summer season they will continue to offer their training virtually.

 The Brott Music Festival is home to the National Academy Orchestra, Canada’s only professional training orchestra with its unique mentor-apprentice approach combined with a rigorous rehearsal schedule, performances opportunities, masterclasses and career enhancing seminars.

 This year, weekly masterclasses will be provided virtually with prominent international musicians including Amanda Forsyth, James Ehnes, Jens Linderman, Noah Bendix Balgly, Pinchas Zuckerman and Yehud Gilad. These interactive sessions will allow the participants not only to be coached live but also to play for their peers.

 Seminars will include: The Art of Self-Recording Audio, Online Teaching, An Introduction to Canadian Classical Composition, Introduction to Grant Proposal Writing in Canada, The Google Platform and An Exploration of Canadian Contemporary Music by esteemed Canadian composers Barbara Croall, Elizabeth Raum, Ana Sokolovic and Gary Kulesha.

An online portal has been created that is connected to the www.nationalacademyorchestra.com website for members of the NAO only. Participants can access their schedules, view course materials such as pre-recorded video tutorials and access written information on each course and assignments. There is also a chat forum allowing participants to communicate with each other as well as a place where they can upload their video assignments (recorded chamber music) directly to the NAO YouTube channel.

Many of these masterclasses will be made available online through our website www.brottmusic.com.While this online content is free to the public it is hoped that people will be inspired to donate. Now, more than ever, donations are important as we have no revenue from ticket sales.

In addition to the NAO program moving online, Brott Music will also continue their 2020 plans for BrottOpera. BrottOpera’s emerging artists program is unique; offering a professional stipend, daily classes, coaching, masterclasses, professional development and two grand performances with orchestra, one of PopOpera (opera excerpts concert) and one fully-staged operatic production.

This year the BrottOpera program will also become virtual—no orchestral accompaniment will be possible. The Emerging Artists in the virtual BrottOpera program will receive comprehensive musical and dramatic training on their role in the opera (Don Giovanni) and will leave the program prepared to undertake professional production. Much like the NAO, the singers will participate in the same vital professional development activities as originally scheduled including business and career advice, stage movement, dance, simulated sword fight training and Italian language training. The singers will participate in masterclasses with international opera stars Adrianne Pieczonka and John Fanning.

 The program will culminate in two public performances as part of the Festival’s Brott Music LiveSeries: a PopOpera on July 16th at 7:30pm and an abridged version of the opera Don Giovanni on July 30th at 7:30p.m. Both performances can be seen on Brott Music’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/BrottMusicFestival/) or YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp6FmcUVgHEgGKMh0-gXJAQ).

“I am thrilled that my colleagues from around the world have been so agreeable to participate in providing masterclasses to National Academy Orchestra musicians.

 This global perspective creates new opportunities both at the present and for the future in providing international mentorship for the National Academy Orchestra. Of course, we will miss large ensemble activity and its benefits, which has been at the heart of the National Academy Orchestra’s program for the last 33 years.

 Similarly, for BrottOpera, the challenges of working online is providing invaluable training for emerging professional singers in ways which will advantage their future projection; online auditions and virtual productions may well be a significant part of the future for performing arts organizations and professionals” said Artistic Director Boris Brott.

The Brott Music Festival is Canada’s largest not-for-profit orchestral and opera music festival and theonly festival with a full-time, professional orchestra-in-residence. The Festival is renowned for its high artistic standards, world class soloists, its exuberant orchestra and its eclectic mix of orchestral, opera, Broadway, chamber, jazz, pops, Canadian contemporary and education concerts at venues across Southern Ontario.