June Greetings!

As temperatures continue to rise here in the Northern Hemisphere, I find my spirits also rising. I’ve been enjoying the longer hours of sunshine and spending as many of those hours as I can in our gardens. I may have been overenthusiastic when I planted 8 dahlia bulbs back in March – they have all burst forth with vigor and I imagine will soon be fighting for room in front of our house. I’m looking forward to seeing what colors they actually are – one never truly knows from the packaging. Our province is just now emerging from a lock-down that started in mid-April, so I am all the more grateful to be able to have our own outdoor spaces (and that garden centers have been allowed to remain open during this time!).

In musical news, I have been keeping busy. Last week marked the last rehearsal for the Etobicoke Centennial Choir and hopefully it will be the last virtual rehearsal that we will have this year. We are all grateful that we could continue working together, but are really looking forward to being able to sing as a choir again in the fall (fingers crossed!).

My Opera Sustenida colleagues and I have been busy preparing for our Summer Opera Chorus Workshop called “Sing with the Divas!” We’ll be (virtually) rehearsing 4 exciting opera choruses from the Bel Canto and Romantic periods, as well as teaching participants special virtual staging for each piece. Each participant will then self-film their performances, which will be incorporated into our our September concert “Date with the Divas (Vol. 2).”

We were amazed at how quickly we filled the available spots and decided to create more opportunities for community members to participate. We are now offering three different “Auditor Packages” so you can still “Sing with the Divas!” Full details are available here!

If you’re looking for a creative outlet this summer, I’d like to direct your attention to the latest offer from D&D Music! We’re offering private, online lessons in our most popular instruments (piano, voice, and guitar) from July 6-August 26th. Lesson spots are available from 11am-7pm (EST) from Tuesday-Thursday. Students who pay for 7 lessons upfront will receive the 8th FREE! Secure your spot here!

And last but not least, Suzanne and I were honored to be included in a special “Asian Heritage Month” program hosted by the Department for Women and Gender Equality in late-May. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to resurrect some songs from my university days – Kundiman! Kundiman are a special form of art song from the Philippines which outwardly seem like love songs but are in fact a form of musical nationalism. We’ll be releasing a special mini-series on Kundiman on The Art Song Podcast later this month. Subscribe to the Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! Find more ways to Follow Our Podcast on our website.

I wish you fortitude and flexibility as we continue to navigate these interesting times.

With love and gratitude,
Daniella ?