Here’s the ultimate “rock concert” – if you like gorgeous gems and baubles, then this is the show for you.Big thank you to Salim Moorani, Founder of The Gem Expo, for inviting me to come out to the spring show which opened today at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on King W in Toronto – show runs tomorrow, Saturday Mar.17th 10am-6pm and Sunday Mar.18th 10am-5pm. www.thegemexpo.com Salim greeted me at the door along with his charming wife and daughter (below) and then let me wander the aisles, meeting up with vendors and gem ambassadors.I was pleased to run into the lovely folks from Sonatona Natural Gemstones & Minerals (below) who I met last year…they’re always ready with a smile and willing to share their extensive knowledge about their precious and semi-precious stones. www.stores.ebay.com/sonatona Lots of ready made jewellery as well as loose gems for crafters and home bead-makers…. One new vendor I was delighted to meet was Deb from Karibu Beads, featuring hand-made Kazuri Beads from Kenya. The story of these beads is fascinating so I encourage you to visit www.karibubeads.com to learn more. Here are just some of the gorgeous colourful beads I saw…. The Gem Expo also features some stunning glass work, too, including these giant “crystal balls” and some spooky stone skulls. Groovy, baby! How about some fossils? Check out these prehistoric shark teeth…yikes!Meet another new vendor, Ryan Desantos of Laya Skye Jewelry (below). He brings in handcrafted designs from Bali and I particularly liked the amazing “floating” rings that are all sterling silver with a rotating element so you can fiddle away and calm your nerves with them. One of them almost fit…I was soooo tempted. His new website is currently under construction but do check it out next month: www.LayaSkyeJewelry.com More fabulous bling…..what’s a girl to do?! Lots to see and buy so come on down this weekend – most vendors take credit cards and Debit cards/Interac, plus there are cash machines in the hotel.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining owners Donald Drouin and Chef Ko as they celebrated their 1st anniversary of serving authentic north-eastern Thai cuisine to diners in The Junction neighbourhood as well as across the city. ISAAN DER is a cozy restaurant located along the Dundas Street W stretch known as restaurant mile and over the past twelve months, they’ve earned many loyal foodie fans who dine-in or order online for personal pick-up or via 3 of the city’s leading delivery services. www.isaander.comAttending the auspicious occasion were local City Councillor Sarah Doucette and her aide Catherine (below centre), online influencer Vernon Chang a.k.a. MoVernie (3rd from L), and local food producers/entrepreneurs Sandra and Carlos Dasilva from No.7 Hot Sauce (at left)who were on hand to raise a glass of cheer with Donald, Chef Ko and their staff.Regular diners were also treated to celebratory mimosas and some fruity treats…MoVernie interviewed Donald & Chef Ko for his blog and social media, then took some great close-up photos of his meal… To celebrate this special milestone, Isaan Der is actually giving gifts to their customers – complimentary $20 gift cards (while supplies last) when diners spend $50 or more (before tax, tips or alcohol) for in-house dining or online personal pick-up orders, so make sure you visit or order your pick-up meals between March 13 – 18 to take advantage of this great reward.So here’s to another year’s success and even more deelish Thai feasts with friends and family!
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Osvaldo “Ozzie” Napoli has been an artist all his life but only recently has he decided to share his creativity with the world. As he prepares for his first solo exhibition later this year at Urban Gallery in Toronto, Ozzie’s been reviewing his past work and assessing his latest for inclusion. From spectacular bronze sculptures and freestanding wire pieces that will stop you in your tracks, to imaginative 3D wall art comprised of cellphone and computer components, his work provokes conversation, inspiration and adoration! One of my favourite pieces is titled “Bliss” (see below) and is a piece that Ozzie holds dear to his heart….and we can see why. I recently joined Ozzie for a photo shoot at his Richmond Hill studio of his latest works to add to his website (see end of story for link) and I asked him a few questions about his life, his inspiration and his art.
What first inspired you to paint and sculpt? As a child I was fascinated by the wonders and colors of carnival season in Uruguay. I used to carve and paint masks from palm tree branches and my friend and I wore them mimicking the dancers and performers at the parades in my neighborhood. [that early influence is clearly reflected in his current work – below] Who was your sculpting mentor/teacher and how did he impact what you create now? My mentor and friend was Canadian artist, writer and philosopher Sorel Etrog, best known as a sculptor. He taught me to see subtleties between strengths and weaknesses of composition and content. He also encouraged me to always approach art from my heart with clarity and vision. You work predominantly in wire, creating stunning human-like characters and fantastical creatures – how do you come up with such ideas? My ideas come mainly from real life stories and situations that we all find ourselves in as part of our everyday life….but with an added touch of fantasy and whimsy. I interpret the mystical and esoteric aspects of people and incorporate those into most of my work.
You also incorporate components from cellphones and computers in freestanding and 3D wall art – where do you find these bits’n’bobs? Surely you don’t smash your own phones?! I rely on the generosity of family, friends and neighbors to supply me with their recyclable e-trash; they are more than happy to donate to my stockpile and at the same time, get rid of their unwanted electronics.
You have numerous pieces done in bronze – how difficult is it to cast and where do you undertake that task? I form the original work in sculptor’s plasticine or wax and then take it to the foundry to be put through a rigorous process where a rubber and plaster mold is made to create a wax-like figure which is then coated with a compound called ceramic. That is then melted afterwards to produce a new mold that can handle the molten bronze…et voila! The sculpture is done and ready to be colored by a process called patina. The whole procedure could take up to three months before its completion. Whew!
You are now starting to exhibit your work as a mature artist – has waiting this long to share your work with the public been beneficial to you as an artist? Yes, because I now have the confidence to create with conviction and sound craftsmanship. I felt that I needed that time to create a vast collection of work which I am now ready to share with the world.
In the fall, you have your first solo show at Urban Gallery in Toronto – what are your expectations? I’m excited to show my collections to the public and meet art lovers who come out to support the launch of my month-long show. I’m also hoping to receive a good response to my work and gain attention from art critics and collectors. I would love for my works to go out into the world to inspire, provoke, entertain and enhance people’s understanding of the creative process.Yes, I’m excited, too, to see Ozzie’s work in a gallery and see/hear how people relate and react to each piece. I myself was particular drawn to this caged heart (below) …a perfect metaphor for my Valentine’s this year…LOL!! You can find more photos of Ozzie’s work and learn about his artistic approach to each subject at: www.artbyozz.com and keep the month of October free to visit his solo show at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto.
It was another successful Artist Project here in Toronto for several of my artist friends who sold numerous works to enthusiastic collectors this past weekend. Hosted in the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place, I walked the aisles set up in the cavernous hall, meeting new artists as well as dropping in on old friends and colleagues. Join me for this virtual visit:Let’s start off with this exuberant and talented artist, David Shepherd (above), whose incredible cloud studies and hyper realism still life paintings blew me away. www.davidshepherdart.com
Then I discovered Lana Filippone, whose work mixes Edwardian-style parlour shadow frames with contemporary ceramic art (see below). Loved it!! www.lanafilippone.com Catherine McMillan welcomed me to her colourful booth where her stencil art was well-displayed, representing streetscapes (like Kensington Market, below) and various “smalls” with humourous subjects… I loved her psychedelic bunnies! www.catherinemcmillan.ca Quebec artist François René shared his thoughts on participating in this year’s show with his unique art, full of colour and lights. www.francoisrene.com
Keight Maclean offered classic Old Master-style portraits with a very 21st century twist. Wow! www.keightmaclean.com Now let’s visit with Joanna Bell (below) whose photographic art was both intriguing and calming. www.joannabell.com Time to sit-down and rest my “barking dogs” – I tell you, the show promoters really should install carpeting over the hard concrete floor to ease visitor fatigue as it’s a big show! Saw this great portrait of a goat (below) while I took a little rest…isn’t it great?Back to work….now here’s Chris Harms, a self-taught artist who sculpts using vibrant plexiglass. Fellow sculptor Osvaldo Napoli (pictured with Chris, below) found his work quite intriguing. www.chris-harms.co
Round the corner, more fun and colourful paintings…. Then look who I found…my dear friend Nancy Bennett who proudly showed off her painting (aptly titled “Paradise”) inspired by my sister Jennifer’s photograph of a Western Australian sunset. Can’t tell you how proud I am for both sister and friend!! Check out more of Nancy’s work at www.nancybennett.ca And now here’s Kirk Sutherland (below) one of the popular artists who frequently exhibits at Urban Gallery. I love his colour bars…so yummy you can almost eat ’em! www.kirksutherland.com What a delightful booth (below) – I loved Amey Lai‘s sparkly paintings…see more here: www.ameylai.com Here’s Liz Rae Dalton from Howe Island, Ontario. Many of her encaustic sculptures are created from found materials washed up on the lakeshore. Awesome! www.lizraedalton.com Now meet “the marble dude”! Bryan Wilcox shows off the beauty contained within these tiny everyday glass orbs with his close-up photographs, perfectly framed and presented…loved ’em! www.wilcoxcameraart.com Speaking of “art dudes”, two of my favourites, Mark Gleberzon and Morgan Sheardown where side-by-side. Here’s Morgan’s signature “Raining Cows” display (below) … www.morgansheardown.com…and here’s Mark’s fun fab art (he’s working on a special wee painting for me with lots of sparkly blue – can’t wait!) www.facebook.com/MJG-Gallery-by-Mark-Jeremy-Gleberzon Always love running in to Kari Serrao – her work makes me smile! www.kariserrao.com/encausticgallerySpent some time chatting with the delightful Lori Ryerson (www.focalocity.ca) below, who told me about her recent works.
Delighted to meet Gene K. Tempelmeyer (pictured below with his lovely wife/booth babe!) who won 2nd Place prize for his urban streetscape, “Life’s Short, Call Now”. Congrats, Gene, I really like your work, in fact there’s one painting I may have to secure for myself (Lady in Red) …LOL www.GKTart.com Joel Sullivan is Canada’s very own “iron man”. Just look at these awesome metal sculptures. I loved the little robot men lamps….the science nerd in me really came out in Joel’s booth! www.joel-sullivan.com Nice to see Mark Berens (below) – I saw his work at a big group show in The Distillery District last year. See more of his paintings at www.markberensart.com (he’s in the Untamed Things en plein air group show at Blue Mt. Village in April)So I eventually caved in and purchased a small painting from Mirek Bialy (www.mirekbialy.com) pictured below. I fell in love with his bold paintings that incorporated strands of copper. Yes, that’s it now hanging on my wall underneath Colin Nun’s “Coop” graphic painting.
So there you have it…another Artist Project done and dusted! Thank you to all the talented creative folks who welcomed me to their booths, and big thanks to Ozzie and France for taking me again on Sunday – it was cool to view the art thru your eyes, Ozzie.
Mark your calendars for next year’s event at the end of February here in Toronto. Visit their website for details and dates: www.theartistproject.com
Congratulations to the performers and in particular, artistic directors KRISTINA KULIKOVA, ANTON AZANOV and CHANTAL FRY-SALETTI on last night’s opening of THE SHIVER SHOW at the Glenn Gould Studio theatre in Toronto. So many hours of rehearsal and sweat-equity have gone into this stunning blending of dance, figure skating, circus arts, music and operatic singing, as well as beautiful costuming, hair and make-up.The brainchild of Kulkat Entertainment’s Kristina Kulikova, the Shiver Show blends 7 different disciplines of dance with figure skating, aerial circus arts, a little burlesque, video and some very talented musicians into this unique theatrical experience that had the audience on their feet more than once throughout the show!
Prior to showtime, several of the performers were interviewed backstage by Fairchild TV – here’s Kristina, Anton, opera singer Dina Shikhman and Kristina’s talented sister Elena Kulikova (singer/painter) chatting with the news crew. Out in the lobby, one of the charming ballerinas entertained the crowd prior to the show with a very unusual performance….move over Edward Scissorhands!
One of my favourite routines was this stunning flamenco dance, accompanied by Dina singing Carmen.
And to close the show, all the performers came out to take their bows to a standing ovation…bravo!
Afterwards, the dancers schmoozed with the excited audience and I was thrilled to accompany Toronto’s leading online influencer, MoVernie, introducing him to all the performers, starting with Kristina herself. There are 2 more shows today, Saturday Feb 10th at 4pm and 7:30pm – so there’s still time to catch THE SHIVER SHOW. Info and tickets available at: www.ShiverShow.ca or call 1-888-407-4520
Thank you for supporting Canadian talent…and if you’re looking for the perfect entertainment for your corporate event, festival or gala, please contact Kristina to see how she can customize a show just for you. You can reach her via the website.
Meet CHANTAL FRY, Founder of Glisse on Ice and now Director/Producer and skating choreographer for the upcoming SHIVER SHOW (Feb 9 & 10) at the Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto.The Toronto-born professional figure skater and performance artist previously competed in North American and European championships – after completing four golds under Skate Canada, Chantal entered the performance world with Innovations on Ice. She then toured with Holiday on Ice in Europe, the Lido de Paris, and the Cirque du Miroir in Montreal.In 2000, she combined her creative side with eight years of classical ballet, jazz and dramatic arts training to create Glisse on Ice. The skating troop toured France and later relocated to Canada where they enjoyed success on a plastic ice surface, performing with Cirque du Soleil and many of Canada’s most prestigious venues. Chantal now brings Glisse on Ice to the Shiver Show where the skaters will collaborate with performers from 7 styles of dance, as well as music, burlesque and circus artistry. A show definitely not to be missed!
I recently sat down with Chantal and asked her about her work with Shiver Show and Glisse on Ice……
You must be really excited to be a part of the Shiver Show, bringing your unique ice skating ballet to theatre audiences – what are you most looking forward to? We are so very excited to be apart of this unique and ambitious project with Kristina and Anton. I created Glisse on Ice to bring the art of skating to places you least expect and so this is an absolute perfect setting for our shows. We’re really enjoying the process of learning from and collaborating with dancers.Have you enjoyed collaborating with Kristina and Anton (pictured below), directing and choreographing your various segments? Their dance talent is exceptional, flawless even. Figure skaters have so much to learn from dancers; their discipline and execution of movement. It’s an honour to work with them and truly identify not just the differences in our performance styles but also to experience the process.You trained with outstanding coaches Debbie Wilkes and Tommy Litz when you were actively competing – how important is a good coach for inspiration and career aspirations? A good coach is one who truly understands the emotion behind the athlete. When they are able to channel the specific aspect of their students’ talent everyone gains form the result. Training with Tommy in Lake Placid every summer for six years taught me the importance of daily work and preparation. He recognized my passion for performance and the arts and put me in the Saturday night shows for tourists visiting the Olympic village. It was there that I realized there was a whole exciting show skating world. Debbie Wilkes, herself an Olympic champion, agreed with Tommy and in between her segments as a skating commentator for CTV, she produced a skating show. While I was still in high school she trusted me to go on tour across Canada performing as the lead skater in a Christmas show. I was hooked for life from that moment on. A good coach sees the hidden potential and provides the platform to reach your dreams and goals.Your Glisse on Ice shows have been presented around the world and in public and corporate venues. What, so far, has been the most exciting or challenging event you’ve performed? The Shiver Show is so new and ambitious that I would say it equals the time Glisse on Ice was invited by the Cirque du Soleil to present our unique concept at their annual Holiday party in Montreal. We collaborated with the artistic directors of Cirque and provided an unexpected evening for their staff who have seen and dreamt it all! It was such a huge honour my legs quivered for days! The elaborate white tulle and crystal dress I designed for that event has been the reason for countless bookings in the event industry. But there are so many to choose from. The Lido de Paris was probably my most gratifying show and touring with Holiday on Ice in Europe gave me such a great perspective that I stayed in France doing shows for 8 years then went on to create Glisse on Ice in Marseille.
[I frequently run into Chantal and the Glisse on Ice exhibitions at special events shows, like this one – below]
What do you hope the Shiver Show audiences experience with your beautiful “ice dancing” segments? We strive to capture the sheer essence of the feeling skating brings, yet completely out of context and far from a rink. We hope that audiences will be surprised and enchanted to see skaters twirling about on stage in the midst of beautiful dancers. The contrast between dancers and skaters is fascinating, very different yet linked. The Shiver Show embodies all these elements. And if someone wants to book Glisse on Ice, how do they contact you? Our weblink offers detailed background, lots of pictures and contact info: www.glisseonice.com and we’re also on Instagram @glisseonice so please follow us! Our shows are perfect for corporate galas, weddings and festivals as we set/strike the ice rapidly to ensure great flow at events. The Glisse skaters are all wonderfully talented and have competed at a national level; they have also toured the world with Disney on Ice, Holiday on Ice and various other professional tours. We have become the Glisse family, from the skaters to the all-female ice crew, costumes, sound, makeup…. and I am proud to be the appointed Glisse Maman!
You can come see Chantal and all the talented dance/skate artists in the SHIVER SHOW Friday evening Feb. 9th and Saturday Feb 10th. Details and tickets are available from: www.shivershow.ca
Seniors discounts (20%) and Students can purchase tickets for 50% off for the Saturday matinee show.
Next month, the SHIVER SHOW takes the stage at the Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto (Feb 9 & 10) and I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the show’s Artistic Director and lead Choreographer ANTON AZANOV.
The handsome and talented artist (pictured below) has a string of major accomplishments and brings all these to the Shiver Show along with co-producers Kristina Kulikova and Chantal Fry.Anton, you’ve won multiple Latin and ballroom dance world championships – what was your most memorable win? Was it your first youth championship or the first one as an adult? Definitely my most memorable accomplishment was winning the World Championship with my former partner in ten dance, which means across both the Latin & Ballroom dance programs. This is something I had worked very hard towards my entire dance career and was blessed to achieve.You have dedicated much of your life (so far) to dance – long hours training and show rehearsals with lots of blood, sweat and tears! What have you had to sacrifice to reach the current point in your career? Generally, I have no regrets in life as I am extremely happy with the direction my life has taken and I don’t think of anything as sacrifice. A lot of the choices I made have brought me success but I am also thankful for those choices that did not, as they taught me many lessons for success in the future. We all sacrifice something, but when you have a goal, it doesn’t matter. Were you born in Russia and did you do your training there? I was born in Siberia, Russia, and initially began my training there. After several early success both my parents and I understood that in order to further my dance career, I had to relocate to Moscow where all the major clubs and trainers were. So at age 11, I moved to Moscow where all the current world champions trained.
You’re choreographing the upcoming Shiver Show in Toronto – are you enjoying working with the wide variety of performers in such a show? Yes, it’s a great pleasure to work with incredibly talented performers and other choreographers including professional tap dancer Adam who has performed and choreographed for many Broadway shows, Ukrainian national & Canadian National Ballet ballerina Julia, authentic flamenco choreographer and performer Sofi whose family has been dancing flamenco for generations, Blackpool Dance finalist Dora, Canadian Pole Dance judge Elisabeth and others. I feel very excited to be able to choreograph the Ballroom & Latin sections of the show while incorporating other dance elements.Are you also performing in the Shiver Show and if so, please tell us what style of dance you will personally present? I will be presenting Ballroom & Latin. But it will not be what you’re used to seeing in dance competitions; we want to show the public that Ballroom dancing can be combined with elements of other genres such as lyrical, acrobatic, jazz and much more.
You’re currently a trainer and coach at Toronto’s Dance Life studio – what do you enjoy most about working with young dancers and emerging artists? What advice do you enjoy most sharing with your students? I enjoy sharing my knowledge with the younger generation and inspiring them to follow their dance dreams, like I had the ability to follow mine. I try to serve as an example that anything is possible when you focus and are ready to work hard. The best advice that I’ve received as a dancer and would like to pass on is simply…Dance and be happy!
When you take your final bow at the Shiver Show, will you be thinking of your next project and if so, what is that? To be completely honest, currently my focus is on the show and to inspire the audience with what we have created. A more long term plan is to ideally take the show on tour in 2018 and 2019 and be able to offer the cast a chance to further share their talent and passion with the world. We are excited for what is to come after the show, as it’s also adaptable to non-theater spacing and can be performed at festivals, events, on movie sets & much more!
And….do you have a website people can visit to learn more about you and your work? I’m a simple guy [smiles]. Anyone is free to contact me through Facebook- you can find me as Anton Azanov – and I’m always happy to help in any way I can. My contact details are of course also on the Shiver Website.
You can come see Anton and all the dancers and figure skaters (yes, there’s even ice skating) in the SHIVER SHOW Friday evening Feb. 9th and Saturday Feb 10th (matinee + evening show). Details and tickets are available from: www.shivershow.ca
Stunning young soprano Barbara Suhodolčan won lots of new Canadian/Croatian fans when she performed at the Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church in Oakville on New Year’s Eve. This marked Ms. Suhodolčan’s Canadian debut but thanks to the overwhelming response from the audience, local promoter Katica Visic of Cronnexion Entertainment is hoping to invite Barbara back to Canada later this year for a mini-tour in Southern Ontario and possibly beyond. I had the opportunity of speaking with Barbara just before she flew back home to Croatia earlier this week and here’s what she had to say about her experience….
Barbara went on to tell me about upcoming shows, especially one about which she is very excited…
And she is especially proud of her mum and dad for their support and dedication to helping her career. Both accompanied her to Toronto, along with her piano accompanist and another musician.
She is totally delightful to chat with and is most definitely destined for fame in the very near future. After the interview, Barbara and I had some fun taking photos in her hotel lobby where we found a great big Christmas tree still in tact.To learn more about this lovely, talented artist, you can follow her on Facebook & Instagram, or keep an eye on my blog for news of her (hopefully) return to Canada. Here’s a recent video of her performing a Victor Herbert classic.
Happy new year and what better way to celebrate a new beginning than to attend an exciting new theatrical presentation that features 7 different genres of dance such as Ballet, Ballroom, Latin, Tap & Burlesque, elements of circus arts including Lyra & Pole performances, musical interludes with beautiful operatic vocalists and of course the magic of Figure Skating. Introducing….the SHIVER SHOW! The brainchild of two outstanding Canadian women entertainment entrepreneurs, the Shiver Show started simultaneously and separately in the minds of KulKat Entertainment Founder Kristina Kulikova with her partner Anton Azanov, former World Ballroom & Latin Champion (picture below), and Chantal Fry, Founder of Glisse on Ice Shows. Seeing each other’s work online, Chantal & Kristina decided to share their ideas about a grand theatrical presentation over coffee… and so Shiver Show was born. From a small joint project, the idea grew into this unique large scale production debuting next month in Toronto.I recently spoke with Kristina about the show and she graciously shared her thoughts on this this truly one of a kind production:
Kristina, where did the inspiration for Shiver Show come from? It has always been a personal dream of mine to create a theater show that showcases the incredible performance talent that we have in this great city and give them the opportunity to truly shine- I can honestly say that the dancers themselves were the real inspiration. I wanted to create something unique, something eye catching and unexpected, which is where the chance meeting with Chantal came in at exactly the right time! Putting ice on the theater stage and incorporating over 7 genres of professional dance was the gem I was looking for. Finding the perfect venue and partnering with the incredibly creative and passionate Ballroom/Latin choreographer/performer and coach Anton Azanov fueled that idea and essentially made it a reality! Chantal Fry, the founder of Glisse on Ice, has created a spectacle on “artificial ice” for the show – how difficult is it to choreograph ballroom dance, flamenco, tap, aerial, pole & burlesque dance and integrate it with figure skating onto the restrictive stage of Glenn Gould Studio? We all fell deeply in love with all of the elements Glenn Gould Studio had to offer including their sophisticated lobby and reception area, incredible acoustics, and most of all the non-traditional no-curtain seamless stage which allows the audience to feel closer to the performers and truly enveloped in the show. From there – getting creative with best use of spacing was easy. Led by inspiration and the 2 brilliant minds of Anton & Chantal (pictured below), we divided the stage essentially in half to give the required surface to both the dancers and skaters in order to showcase their skills. It took 3-4 iterations of different positioning to get the set up just right, and we are very excited for the final product!The beautiful aspect to this show is also that each act showcased can be booked separately for various corporate functions, events, festivals, etc so aside from being a theatrical production, the acts are gorgeous on their own accord. We have already received requests to perform the full show program at dance schools, theater schools and festivals, so it is definitely something that can be taken out of the theater setting and still look marvelous.Requests for booking any of the talent involved in the show or separate acts, performances or demonstrations, can be arranged through me at KulKat Entertainment (for the dancers, circus arts & singers) www.kulkat.ca or Chantal Fry of Glisse on Ice (for the figure skaters) www.glisseonice.comShow times: Fri & Sat Feb 9 & 10 @ 7:30pm (doors open 6:45pm) plus Sat. matinee @ 4pm (doors open 3:15pm)
For group discount on tickets, use promo code: SHIVERGROUP (for groups of 10+)
Full details and tickets: www.shivershow.ca
Thanks to my friend and local musical promoter, Katica Visic, I’ve been introduced to the talented young classical singer and flutist from Croatia, Barbara Suhodolčan. Barbara (pictured below) is making a special guest appearance this coming New Year’s Eve, performing at the Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church in Oakville for an audience of Croatian Canadians. Barbara will be sharing the entertainment bill with her father, Rajko, a much-loved singer/celebrity known to Croatians around the world. The multi-award winning, classically trained young singer made her debut in 2010 with the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin as Hanna in Franz Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow, and has performed as a guest soloist with many Croatian and international orchestras including the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Tambura orchestra and Symphonic orchestra of HRT (Croatian Radio Television), Varaždin chamber orchestra, Croatian Military Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Nova Philharmonic Orchestra (Slovenia), Symphony Orchestra of Ravensburg (Germany), and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra (China). Barbara has appeared in concert at many international music festivals both as vocal soloist and as an accomplished flutist, an instrument on which she excels.
Thanks again to Katica, I was able to conduct a brief online interview with the beautiful and talented artist, asking her questions about her career to date, her inspirations and aspirations for continued success. I will be sitting down for a video chat with Barbara and possibly her dad, too, just before the New Year’s concert.
Here is what Barbara shared with me….
You play flute as well as sing – can tell us a little about your music training? My first contact with music was singing, it all started in children’s choir and music TV shows for kids. At the age of 8, I started my musical education as a flutist. Later, I continued with both singing and flute in high school, and then at the Zagreb Academy of Music where I got my Master’s Degree in opera last year.
What was your first professional performance and how excited were you to take the stage? First professional performance was at age 16 when I made my debut in Croatian National Theatre as “Hanna” in Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow. I have to say that I got rid of stage fright long before that, because my dad encouraged me to do a lot of solo concerts and public appearances. He said it’s the only way to fight stage fright, and he was right. I was really excited on the day of the operetta’s premiere, I couldn’t sleep for a few days before and I couldn’t wait to perform on the stage! It all went pretty well; I was happy and overwhelmed the days after it!Your father, Rajko, is a well-respected music professional – how has he influenced your career and future aspirations? It’s all his fault! [laughs] I don’t know if I would ever be a professional musician if it wasn’t for him, and now I wouldn’t change it for the world! I think I’m blessed to be able to have such a wonderful job. My father taught me about all the cruelties and beauties this “music world” can bring. Although we’re not in the same music genre, he really knows a lot and was always very supportive and open minded about my ideas and aspirations.
Are there any classical (or other) music performers who have inspired you? There are so many. I don’t want to name them individually, because my “inspirations” changed over the years of my musical development and personal maturation. In fact, I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes those who are not classical musicians have inspired me to do some things in classical music, and visa versa. I think one should be open to music of all genres.
Are you planning any recordings in the near future that your fans around the world can purchase? Actually I do. I haven’t recorded any albums yet but I have a few projects planned for 2018 and if everything goes well, at the end of the year I should have not just one, but two albums. I’m really looking forward to that.What’s next for you – any big performances with symphony orchestras or other collaborations? I have a big solo concert on January 26th that I’m currently working on with the Croatian Armed Forces Symphony Orchestra, and collaborating with other artists in two shows with the same orchestra earlier that same month. I also have a number of recitals planned, accompanied by an organist. But the big concert on January 26 will be something that hasn’t been presented to Croatian audiences before – a concert of greatest opera, operetta and musical numbers, jazz and pop songs. As I’ll be singing all of the numbers, we are practicing really hard now as we want it to be a spectacle.
You can follow Barbara on Instagram: www.instagram.com/barbarasuhodolcan
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Barbara, and just to tease Canadian audiences a little bit, here’s a music video from a recent recital:
For details & tickets to the NYE gala concert in Oakville, Ontario….
Svecani docek Nove 2018. godine
(Croatian New Year’s celebration)
Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church
2110 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, ONDoors open @ 6pm
Gourmet dinner, midnight buffet, bottle of champagne on each table
For info & tkts, please contact: Leo 905-602-9178, Stjepan 416-436-1215 or Ivan 905-308-8038