Aviva Fortunata

 

Soprano

 

 

Aviva Fortunata

Soprano

Canadian Citizen

 

Italian-Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata has been praised as being “blessed with a gorgeous voice of richness and amplitude” (Musical Toronto). Ms Fortunata was a finalist in the 2016 Operalia Competition in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she performed under the baton of Maestro Plácido Domingo in the historic Teatro Degollado. Representing Canada in the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, she was a finalist for the Song Prize.

2016/17 season credits include Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with the Canadian Opera Company and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Saskatoon Opera. Cover roles with the Canadian Opera included Dritte Norn and Gutrune in Götterdämmerung. Filling in for her indisposed colleague, Ms. Fortunata was praised in Opera News as “a fine Gutrune and commanded the stage in the scene in which Gutrune anxiously awaits Siegfried’s Return.”

A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Ms Fortunata’s main stage roles include Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Helmwige in Die Walküre, Berta in The Barber of Seville, Annina in La Traviata, and Clotilde in Norma.

Ms. Fortunata’s cover roles at the Canadian Opera Company include Norma in Norma, Anna in Maometto II, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes. Other notable credits include Desdemona in Otello and the Lady with a Cake Box in Postcard from Morocco with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Concert Opera Group, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and the University of Toronto; and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

At the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre – Four Seasons Centre – Ms Fortunata performed the Canadian premiere of John Greer’s piano quintet arrangement of Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder; other performances for this popular lunch-time series include Olivier Messaien’s Poèmes pour Mi and Benjamin Britten’s Ekho Poeta.

Ms Fortunata received Bachelor and Master Degrees from the University of Toronto, where she won the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song, as well as the Peter and Helen Hunt Graduation Award in Opera. She has also received grants from the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and Alberta Foundation for the Arts.                                  

September 2017

 

 

OPERA

Argento Lady with a Cake Box POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO
Bellini Norma NORMA
Bizet Micaëla CARMEN
Britten Ellen Orford PETER GRIMES
  Female Chorus RAPE OF LUCRETIA
Mozart Contessa Almamiva LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
  Donna Anna DON GIOVANNI
  Erste Dame DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE
  Fiordiligi COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Puccini Tosca TOSCA
Rossini Anna MAOMETTO II
  Berta IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
Verdi Alice Ford FALSTAFF
  Amelia Grimaldi SIMON BOCCANEGRA
  Desdemona OTELLO
  Elisabeth de Valois DON CARLOS
Wagner Gutrune GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG
  Dritte Norn GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG
  Gerhilde DIE WALKÜRE
  Helmwige DIE WALKÜRE

ORATORIO

Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem
Britten Ekho Poeta
  War Requiem
Mendelssohn Elijah
  St Paul
Messaien Poèmes pour Mì
Mozart Mass in C minor KV 427 (2nd soprano)
  Vesperae Solennes de Confessore KV 339
Poulenc Gloria
Rossini Stabat Mater
Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder (various orchestral excerpts)
Verdi  Messa da Requiem

 

 

 

 

As Countess Almaviva, in Le nozze di Figaro 
“Last night it seemed very much about the Count and Countess, not least because of a quite stunning performance by Aviva Fortunata. This really was a bit special. From the first notes of Porgi amor to Più docile io sono she was commanding and very affecting.” 
John Gilks, operaramblings.com

“Soprano Aviva Fortunata has a powerful and gorgeous lirico-spinto that’s destined to go places. Her “Porgi amor” showed off her excellent sense of pitch, lovely legato and gleaming tone, with a nice dolcissimo high A-flat ending. Her “Dove sono” deservedly received huge applause from the audience.” 
Joseph So, Musical Toronto

“As The Countess, soprano Aviva Fortunata showed a new picture of professionalism and poise onstage; there was new maturity in the voice, a level of comfort with Mozart’s music that allowed us to pay attention to her smart acting abilities. She made a real person out of the brooding Rosina, including fantastic comic timing in the kerfuffle-like scenes. She was a force alongside Gordon Bintner as Count Almaviva; the two of them had a chilly relationship that was ever so slightly cartoon-like, and wonderfully familiar.” 
Jenna Douglas, shmopera.com

“And speaking of singers I missed in the 2014 Ensemble Cosi, there’s Aviva Fortunata, with a voice & commitment to match Bintner.  I wouldn’t dream of saying her voice sounds like anyone. It’s unique, but paticularly when she lets fly at the top of her range, it’s clear that the sky’s the limit.” 
Leslie Barcza, barczablog.com

As Clotilde, in Norma 
“Aviva Fortunata made a highly favorable impression, her attractive, substantial soprano imbuing each of Clotilde’s phrases with such real quality that it reminds us the great Sutherland once herself made quite an impression in this secondary role.” 
James Sohre, Opera Today

As Berta, in The Barber of Seville
“Aviva Fortunata sounded even more impressive the second time, her big voice showcased in this little role in one of the more interesting casting choices of the season, her colour adding a wonderful dimension to the ensembles she’s in.”
Leslie Barcza, barczablog.com

“As Berta, Rosina’s governess, Aviva Fortunata was hilarious. She had all that “listening action” that can be so full of comic moments; I want to see it again, and sit a bit closer, because I have a feeling Aviva had some priceless facial expressions. I was glad they kept Berta’s aria for her, too.” 
Jenna Douglas, schmopera.com

“Soprano Aviva Fortunata applied a brilliant, dramatic tone and natural style of acting to the supporting role of the servant Berta.” 
Arthur Kaptainis, The National Post 

“With power to spare and a well formed sense of expression Ensemble Studio soprano Aviva Fortunata’s portrayal of Rosina’s Governess, ‘Berta’, established her as a dominant presence even when she sang recitatives. Her big number in the second act was thrilling. Occasional awkwardness when standing still was transcended by the easy flow of her movements when she was central to the action. She has everything needed to be stealing scenes in the near future.” 
Brian Hay, norules-nolights.com

 “Aviva Fortunata, blessed with a full, rich soprano, gave such a fine account of Berta’s “Il vecchiotto cerca moglie” one wished Rossini had given her character a larger role.” 
Christopher Hoile, Opera News, Vol. 80 – No. 1

As Helmwige, in Die Walküre 
“Fortunata is blessed with a gorgeous voice of richness and amplitude, with excellent squillo. She can make a big, well-focused sound, as evidenced in her current gig as Helmwige in Die Walkure – the high B’s and C’s hold no terror for her….” 
Joseph So, Musical Toronto blog

“Soprano Aviva Fortunata, as Helmwige, started off the “ho-jo-to-ho” sequence with what were the most solid and satisfying octaves I’ve ever heard sung.” 
Jenna Douglas, schmopera blog 

As Fiordiligi, in Così fan tutte, by Mozart: 
“Fortunata made a very impressive job of Come scoglio.”
John Gilks, operaramblings

“… Aviva Fortunata introduced Fiordiligi as the perfectly relatable girl that [she is]; … made me laugh, and [she] sang superbly. As Fiordiligi, Aviva’s was some of the most impressive singing of the night. Her ‘Come scoglio’ earned tons of applause, and rightly so; she was fierce and hilarious, all channeled through her powerful instrument.” 
Jenna Douglas, schmopera blog

 “The first act Fiordiligi, soprano Aviva Fortunata, has a big, soaring voice of infinite spinto coloratura possibilities. Is there a Lucia, or even a Brunhilde in her far future? She absolutely nailed her big aria Come Scoglio.” 
Paula Citron

“The women’s voices blended beautifully, and Fortunata’s creamy tones were a delight whenever she sang.” 
Jon Kaplan, Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine

As Desdemona, in Otello, by Verdi: 
“Soprano Aviva Fortunata returned at evening’s end to offer a fine-grained and deeply moving account of the ‘Ave Maria’ in Otello.” 
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

“The evening closed with a beautiful, devastating version of “The Willow Song” from Verdi’s Otello sung by Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata.”
John Marcher, A Beast in a Jungle

As A Lady with a Cake Box, in Postcard from Morocco, by Argento:
“As A Lady with a Cake Box, soprano Aviva Fortunata sang with much power. Her voice is robust and penetrating, but her quiet notes were loveliest.”
Opera Tattler

“Soprano Aviva Fortunata (A Lady with a Cake Box) showed us voice equally strong and face equally enigmatic, but her emotional commitment managed to break through the haze. As with Glueckert, she touched the heart. Only when the two of them interacted did we have a sense that something profound was unfolding amidst Nicholas Muni’s simple sets and Argento’s masterful score.”
Jason Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice 

“soprano Aviva Fortunata gave a heartfelt and perfectly lovely reminiscence of a bygone romance.”
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), by Strauss, arr. John Greer
I am happy to say Aviva Fortunata sang it very beautifully. First of all, her voice has the right weight and timbre for this cycle. Right off the bat, “Fruhling” has a very high tessitura with long, arching phrases. Fortunata tackled it nicely with rich, refulgent tone and ample breath! “September” is equally demanding, with a long phrase on the word “blumen” that sits low in the soprano range that often gives the singer trouble. Aviva did it marvellously. This was followed by arguably the most difficult passage for the soprano, several long, arching phrases up to a B natural and then drops to the lowest part of the soprano range, a line that has defeated many a great singer in the past. Impressively, Fortunata did it with rich, opulent tone and with plenty of breath.
Joseph So, Musical Toronto

Poèmes pour Mì, by Messiaen
“Aviva Fortunata sang them with great commitment and near perfect diction; no mean feat with such demanding music.  She was intensely physical in the bookend movements, using her full voice to great effect, especially in the ecstatic closing monosyllables of Épouvante.  But she also throttled back beautifully in the middle movements.  It was really quite impressive”
John Gilks, operaramblings blog

 Setting of Pushkin’s Ekho Poeta (The Poet’s Echo), by Britten
“The concert closed out with soprano Aviva Fortunata singing the Pushkin settings Ekho Poeta/The Poet’s Echo  written for Galina Vishnevskaya.  These are angry, dramatic pieces and do call for a full blooded sound, which Fortunata delivered.  Good stuff.”
John Gilks, operaramblings

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition
“Last but not least was Canadian dramatic soprano Aviva Fortunata. She has a rich and round tone, carrying easily over the orchestra but never heavy. She carried off Elsa’s dream aria from Wagner’s Lohengrin with aplomb and showed a sound technique in Anna’s aria ‘Ah! Che invan su questo ciglio’ from Rossini’s little known Maometto II.  ‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’ from Puccini’s La rondine, with its beautiful soaring melody, was a lovely aria on which to end her programme, and she met its challenges well.” 
Wales Arts Review, Cath Barton

“The third soprano of the evening was a very different proposition from the high-flying voices earlier, a full, creamy lirico-spinto with just enough additional heft for the Wagner.  I doubt Aviva Fortunate will ever graduate to Brünnhilde or Isolde, but the lighter (relatively speaking) roles are already well within her grasp, judging from the excellent interpretation of Elsa’s Dream.  And this was an interpretation, with a degree of acting that we hadn’t seen previously this evening.  During the orchestral introduction (and the orchestra was playing extremely well tonight, throughout), she looked around the auditorium with a fearful gaze, turning the audience into the crowd present at her trial, and the jury into Elsa’s judges.I have to admit that I detest Doretta’s Dream, it’s Puccini at his most saccharine and it gives me tooth-ache, but Fortunata sang it seductively, floating her top notes with elegant ease.”
Row B Seat 37 blog

NEWS

10-11-03-MC-D-0709 – Michael Schade as Tamino (centre) in a scene from the Canadian Opera Company production of The Magic Flute, 2011. Conductor Johannes Debus, director Diane Paulus, set and costume designer Myung Hee Cho and lighting designer Scott Zielinski. Photo: Michael Cooper Michael Cooper Photographic Office- 416-466-4474 Mobile- 416-938-7558 66 Coleridge Ave. Toronto, ON M4C 4H5

Photo: Michael Cooper

Aviva Fortunata sings First Lady with COC
Soprano Aviva Fortunata sings the role of First Lady in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.  She is joined by soprano Jacqueline Woodley, who sings the role of Pamina, tenor Owen McCausland , who sings the role of Tamino, Michael Colvin, who sings the role of Monostatos, and director Ashlie Corcoran. The production runs from January 19 to February 24 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre. 

Donna Elvira with Saskatoon Opera
Aviva Fortunata appears in Saskatoon Opera’s production of Don Giovanni running June 15 to June 24.

“At the Haunted End of the Day” from Troilus and Cressida by William Walton