Parksville tenor Hugh Sinnott and Nanaimo-based soprano Elise Boulanger admit opera can seem unapproachable to some. However, the classical singers hope that won’t be the case this weekend when they perform a selection of operatic duets, arias and classical pieces for the second performance in the Parksville Recital Series.
“You don’t need to be intimidated,” said Boulanger, adding that opera was once a form of entertainment “equivalent to going to the movies.”
To help put their audience at ease, Boulanger said she and Sinnott have chosen a set list filled with “approachable” music for their upcoming concert.
“They’re going to hear music they can relate too,” said Sinnott. “This is not a heavy opera program.”
The set list for the recital includes ehe Flower Duet, Belle Nuit, Bellini’s Prendi and Parigi, o cara by Verdi. There are also pieces by Schubert and Mozart, as well as selections from South Pacific and Moulin Rouge.
“It’s a very exciting program,” said Tatiana Vasilieva, director of the Vancouver Island Opera (VIO) and the recital series.
“(They’re) songs we enjoy singing,” said Sinnott.
Even though the audience may recognize some of the pieces, both singers said they will provide interpretations throughout the recital to keep everyone on track.
For the show, the duo will be accompanied on piano by Nikolai Maloff. They will also be joined by guest soprano Elizabeth Herman, who hails from Nanaimo, for a few pieces.
The upcoming concert will be the first time Sinnott, who has 68 years of singing experience, and Boulanger, who has sung for 13 years, perform together as soloists.
Before, Sinnott sang with the Victoria Civic Orchestra, the Parksville Community Choir, Pacific Opera Victoria and VIO, of which he is a founding member. Boulanger also sang with VIO, debuting in last fall’s production Rigoletto, after graduating from the Victoria Conservatory of Music with a diploma in classical voice.
The duo’s upcoming performance will take place on Sunday, April 26 in the McMillan Arts Centre at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door.