Mark S. Doss triumphs in Ottawa with Verdi’s Requiem, with performances in Hyogo and Turin next in the bass-baritone’s journey through the great works of Italy’s legendary composer
As the weather heats up, so too does my schedule, beginning with my run at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Hyogo, Japan, playing Giorgio Germont in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, with performances from July 14th to the 25th.
A springtime triumph in the Canadian capital
Before discussing my stage work for the second half of 2015, let me say that Ottawa’s Messa da Requiem marked an end to a period of several years since I had sung Verdi’s masterpiece, having previously performed it in Cleveland, Chicago and Paris. On this occasion, I shared the stage with some amazingly talented soloists, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (OSO) and the Ottawa Choral Society (OCS), all being expertly led by conductor Jordan de Souza.
My debut at the National Arts Centre was the grand finale of the OSO’s 50th anniversary season, as well as the lead-up to the 75th season for the OCS. I was extremely honored to be part of this cultural milestone in Canada’s capital city. Ottawa is becoming an international hub of classical and operatic performance, and I look forward to performing there again in the near future.
I was pleased that the Requiem was well received by audiences and critics alike, with the Ottawa Citizen’s review, stating in part:
“And stentorian bass-baritone Mark Steven Doss gave the most sensitive and attentive interpretation of the text of the quartet.”
Additionally, I was gratified to receive the following review fromWolfgangstonic.com:
“Bass-baritone Mark Steven Doss sang with the darkness of tone that went well with the gravitas of the text. The power of his Confutatis was most impressive.”
In leading up to the spring performance of Verdi’s Requiem, I shared with many of you the influence this great Italian composer has had on me, even before I first appeared on the operatic stage. If you would like to learn more about the impact that Giuseppe Verdi’s works have had on shaping my vocation, I invite you to read “Verdi’s enduring role in my career,” found in the April 27th posting about the Messa da Requiem on my web site.
Summertime in Japan with La Traviata
As noted earlier, I am entering the second leg of my current journey through the works of Verdi with La Traviata in Hyogo, singing the role of Germont. These performances also coincide with another special celebration – the 10th anniversary of Hyogo Performing Arts Center. The center itself houses an incredibly beautiful theater, which can only enhance the power and vocal presence needed for playing Germont – the classic Verdi baritone role.
As we start performances, I definitely find Germont to be more comfortable than when I began studying him several months ago with the help of Chicago Lyric’s former chorus master, Giulio Farario, and William Hicks, formerly on the MET’s coaching staff. While parts of the role are complex, I find elements from my role preparation master class to be extremely helpful. This includes using solfeggio, putting key words and emotions down on paper, and continuing to develop a pattern sheet for the role throughout the run of rehearsals and performances.
This production of La Traviata comes at a time of reflection for the Performing Arts Center and the residents of Hyogo. It has been 20 years since the great earthquake of 1995 that destroyed the Hyogo jurisdiction, taking some 6,400 victims. Maestro Yutaka Sado, the artistic director and principal conductor of the arts center, believes strongly in the healing power of the performing arts, even in the midst of disastrous situations. With this frame of mind, I hope that our performances, in some small way, will help to ease the pain of Hyogo’s collective soul.
Into the splendor of fall with Aida in Italy
Following an upcoming recording session, where I will sing the role of the giant in the children’s opera entitled “The Selfish Giant” (composer Stephen Collantti), I will then venture to Turin, Italy for my third leg of this wonderful “voyage of Verdi.” I will be singing the role of Amonasro in Aida with Gianandrea Noseda (Musical America’s 2015 “Conductor of the Year”) at the Teatro Regio, with performances from Oct 14th to the 25th. This final Verdi stop will give me close to 70 performances as the Ethiopian King, and it will be my 9th role with the Teatro Regio. This will break a tie of eight roles I have sung with another important Italian opera house, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
Please stay tuned for more news about my musical travels as I further delve into Verdi’s celebrated body of work.