Dich, teure Halle: Tannhäuser (Richard Wagner) Aviva Fortunata, soprano
Stéphane Mayer-Paradis, piano
Canadian-Italian soprano Aviva Fortunata, named twice as one of CBC’s Top 30 Canadian Classical Artists Under 30, is earning international attention with her “velvety timbre”, “gleaming tone”, and voice “of diva soprano quality and strength”. To great acclaim, she stepped in last-minute to replace an ailing colleague in the title role of Norma at The Dallas Opera, securing the bel canto heroine as one of Ms. Fortunata’s signature roles.
Postponed due to COVID-19, Ms. Fortunata’s rescheduled 2020/21 season sees her as Donna Anna in Pacific Opera Victoria’s upcoming production of Don Giovanni (TBD), as Hanna Glawari in Calgary Opera’s The Merry Widow and making her l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec debut in early 2022.
In the 2019/20 season, Ms. Fortunata took her Norma to Calgary Opera in a triumphant company debut, “where her vocal strength, brilliant top register, and excellent coloratura singing were heard to thrilling effect.” (Kenneth DeLong, Calgary Herald). She headlined Il trittico at Pacific Opera Victoria (2019) as Nella in Gianni Schicchi, a “standout” Giorgetta in Il tabarro, and in the title role of Suor Angelica, where “Fortunata’s heart-rending ‘Senza mamma’...was tremendous, sung with creamy lyricism and thrilling high notes.” (Times Colonist) Internationally, Ms. Fortunata joined the ensemble of Deutsche Oper Berlin, singing in their recent productions of Die Zauberflöte (First Lady), Das Märchen von der Zauberflöte (First Lady), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Berta), and Nabucco (Anna). Ms. Fortunata’s return to DOB, which was to include Sacerdotessa in Verdi’s Aida, was cut short by COVID-19.
In recent seasons, Ms. Fortunata has been a notable presence on the stage of the Canadian Opera Company. While covering the title role in Norma for Sondra Radvanovsky, she also sang the role of Clotilde in the same production. In the same season, she appeared as First Lady in the COC’s production of The Magic Flute, and later made a last-minute step-in as Third Norn and Gutrune in the Götterdämmerung. Additionally, Ms. Fortunata has spent the last few seasons making significant role debuts at houses Canada-wide, including Leonore in Fidelio with Pacific Opera Victoria, Tosca with Opera on the Avalon, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Saskatoon Opera.
Ms. Fortunata is an alumna of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Program (2013-2016), where she took the mainstage as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Helmwige in Die Walküre, Annina in La traviata, and Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Additionally, she covered Anna in Maometto II, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program (2012-2013), Ms. Fortunata sang Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, and Lady with a Cake Box in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco.
On the concert stage, Ms. Fortunata performed Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony under Music Director Andrei Feher, and excerpts from Wagner’s Lohengrin (Elsa) with the Victoria Symphony. Ms. Fortunata gave several recitals in the Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, including Messaien’s Poèmes pour Mi, Britten’s Ekho poeta, and the Canadian premiere of John Greer’s piano quintet arrangement of Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder.
Ms. Fortunata was a 2016 Finalist for Operalia, The World Opera Competition, and she was Canada's representative in the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, where she was a Song Prize Finalist. She holds a Masters Degree in Opera from the University of Toronto. Ms. Fortunata was generously sponsored by the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award.