The project can be adapted to cater to any productions, lyric or ensemble groups. To date the project was exhibited with the Canadian Opera Company and featured in "Opera Canada". 13 opera singers were captured in Toronto and New York. The singers were asked to name their favorite aria; no specifics were given for their selection; it could be a repertoire piece, one of meaning or one of inspiration.
Arias were selected based on various elements: the words, their meaning, the music, their performance aspect, for their impact and inspiration they had on the singers. Through the shoot, opera filled the air, there was talk about the arias, their meaning within the operas and their overall meaning in life—even impromptu performances took place.

No postproduction other than conversion to black and white and slight contrast enhancement was applied to the captures. Ms Roux-Vlachova, a believer in people’s uniqueness, inner and outer beauty, worked solely with light and the personal essence of each sitter to achieve the final results.

LAUREN SEGAL

mezzo-soprano

aria: “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix”

opera: Samson et Dalila role: Dalila

Camille Saint-Saëns

French

Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix
comme s’ouvrent les fleurs
aux baisers de l’aurore!
Mais, ô mon bien-aimé,
pour mieux sécher mes pleurs,
que ta voix parle encore!
Dis-moi qu’à Dalila
tu reviens pour jamais!
Redis à ma tendresse
les serments d’autrefois,
ces serments que j’aimais!
Ah! réponds à ma tendresse!
Verse-moi, verse-moi l’ivresse!

Ainsi qu’on voit des blés
les épis onduler
sous la brise légère,
ainsi frémit mon cœur
prêt à se consoler,
à ta voix qui m’est chère!
La flèche est moins rapide
à porter le trépas
que ne l’est ton amante
à voler dans tes bras!
Ah! réponds à ma tendresse!
Verse-moi, verse-moi l’ivresse!

English

My heart opens to your dear voice
like flowers opening
to the kisses of dawn!
But, oh my love, to better dry my tears,
let your voice speak again.
Tell me that you are returning
to Dalila forever!
Repeat your former vows,
those vows that I loved!
Ah! Respond to my tenderness,
fill me with ecstasy!

As one sees cornfields
rippling under a gentle breeze,
my heart trembles,
ready to be comforted
by your voice, which is dear to me.

The fatal arrow
flies slower than your mistress
flying into your arms.
Ah! Respond to my tenderness,
fill me with ecstasy!

Translations property of Canadian Opera Company.
 

ALLYSON MCHARDY

mezzo-soprano

Aria: “Cruda sorte”

Opera: L’Italiana in Algeri | Role: Isabella

Composer: Gioachino Rossini

Italian

Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno!
Questo é il premio di mia fé!
Non v’è orror, terror, né affanno
pari a quel ch’io provo in me.
Per te solo, o mio Lindoro,
io mi trovo in tal periglio.
Da chi spero, O Dio, consiglio?
Chi conforto mi darà?
Qua ci vuol disinvoltura,
non più smanie né paura:
Di coraggio è tempo adesso,
or chi sono si vedrà.
Già so per pratica
qual sia l’effetto
d’un sguardo languido,
d’un sospiretto...
so a domar gli uomini
come si fa, sì.
sian dolci o ruvidi,
sian flemma o foco
son tutti simili
a’ presso a poco...
Tutti la chiedono,
tutti la bramano
da vaga femmina felicità.

English

Cruel fate! O tyrant love!
This is the reward for my fidelity!
There is no greater terror than
the terror raging in my heart.
I find myself in such danger,
all for my Lindoro.
Oh God, who will help me?
Who will comfort me?
I must be confident and brave!
I’ll show them what I’m made of!
I already know the effect
of a languishing look or a sigh.
I know how to tame a man!
Gentle or rough, cool or passionate,
they’re all alike.
They all ask for it,
they all want it,
yes, they all want the joy
a woman can offer.

Translations property of Canadian Opera Company.
 

JACQUELINE WOODLEY

soprano

Aria: “Deh vieni non tardar”

Opera: Le nozze di Figaro | Role: Susanna

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Italian

Giunse al fin il momento
che godrò senza affanno
in braccio all’idol mio.
Timide cure, uscite dal mio petto,
a turbar non venite il mio diletto!
Oh, come par che all’amoroso foco
lamenità del loco,
la terra e il ciel risponda,
come la notte i furti miei seconda!
Deh, vieni, non tardar, o gioia bella,
vieni ove amore per goder t’appella,
finché non splende in ciel notturna face
finché l’aria è ancor bruna e il mondo tace.
Qui mormora il ruscel, qui scherza l’aura,
che col dolce susurro il cor ristaura;
qui ridono i fioretti e l’erba è fresca:
ai piaceri d’amor qui tutto adesca.
Vieni, ben mio: tra queste piante ascose
ti vo’ la fronte incoronar di rose.

English

Finally the moment I’ve longed for
to be in the arms of my beloved!
May my fears be banished
and not upset my joy.
Heaven and earth seem to favour
my furtive endeavours.

Joy, do not delay.
Answer the call of love.
Come while darkness prevails
and the world is still silent.
A brook rustles here—and there, a playful breeze.
The sweet whispers restore the heart;
flowers laugh, and the grass is damp with dew.
All nature heightens the pleasures of love.
Come, my beloved.
I want to adorn you with a crown of roses.

Translations property of Canadian Opera Company.
 

ANDREW HAJI

tenor

Aria: "Una furtiva lagrima"

Opera: L'Elisir d'amore Role: Nemorino

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti

Italian

Una furtiva lagrima
negli occhi suoi spuntò:
Quelle festose giovani
invidiar sembrò.
Che più cercando io vo?
M’ama: lo vedo.
Un solo istante i palpiti
del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir confondere
per poco a’ suoi sospir!
I palpiti, i palpiti sentir,
confondere i miei coi suoi sospir!
Cielo, si può morir;
di più non chiedo.

English

A furtive tear welled up in her eye.
She seemed to envy those girls!
What more do I want!
She loves me!
To feel her heart beating for me,
if only for a moment!
My sighs becoming hers!
Heavens, I am ready to die!
I ask for nothing more.

Translations property of Canadian Opera Company.
 

CHARLOTTE BURRAGE

mezzo-soprano

Alto Rhapsody, Op.53

Composer: Johannes Brahms

Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German

Aber abseits wer ist’s?
Im Gebüsch verliert sich sein Pfad,
hinter ihm schlagen die Sträuche zusammen,
das Gras steht wieder auf,
die Öde verschlingt ihn.

Ach wer heilet die Schmerzen
des, dem Balsam zu Gift ward?
Der sich Menschenhaß
aus der Fülle der Liebe trank?
Erst verachtet, nun ein Verächter,
zehrt er heimlich auf
seinen eigenen Wert
In ung’nügender Selbstsucht.

Ist auf deinem Psalter,
Vater der Liebe, ein Ton
seinem Ohre vernehmlich,
so erquicke sein Herz!
Öffne den umwölkten Blick
über die tausend Quellen
neben dem Durstenden
in der Wüste!

English

But who is that, standing apart?
His steps recede into the bushes,
behind him
the thickets close,
the grass straightens up again,
the wilderness swallows him up.

Who will heal the suffering
of the person for whom balm turned out to be poison?
Who, from the fullness of love,
has sucked only hatred of humankind?
Despised at first, and now despising,
he secretly devours
his own worth
in insatiable self-love.

Father of love, if there is
a note on your psaltery
which his ear can discern,
then quicken his heart!
Reveal to his clouded gaze
the thousand springs
beside the thirsty man
in the desert.

Translations property of Canadian Opera Company.
 

KARINE BOUCHER

soprano

Aria: "Che gelida manina"

Opera: La Bohème | Role: Rodolfo*

Composer: Giacomo Puccini

Italian

Che gelida manina,
se la lasci riscaldar.
Cercar che giova?
Al buio non si trova.
Ma per fortuna
é una notte di luna
e qui la luna
l’abbiamo vicina.
Aspetti signorina,
le dirò con due parole
chi son, e che faccio,
come vivo. Vuole?
Chi son? Sono un poeta.
Che cosa faccio? Scrivo.
E come vivo? Vivo.
In povertà mia lieta,
scialo da gran signore
rime ed inni d’amore.
Per sogni e per chimere,
e per castelli in aria
l’anima ho milionaria.
Talor dal mio forziere
ruban tutti i gioielli
due ladri gli occhi belli.
V’entrar con voi pur ora
ed i miei sogni usati
e i bei sogni miei
tosto si dileguar!
Ma il furto non m’accora
poichè v’ha preso stanza
la speranza!
Or che mi conoscete,
parlate voi, deh parlate, chi siete?
Vi piaccia dir!

English

How cold your hand is!
Let me warm it.
What’s the use of
searching in the dark?
Luckily, it’s a moonlit night
and the moon seems
so close.

Let me tell you
who I am, what I do,
and how I live.
May I?
Who am I? I’m a poet.
What do I do? I write!
How do I live? I live!
I’m poor but happy,
squandering my dreams of love,
my castles in the air,
like a lord.
I have the soul
of a millionaire!
Sometimes my treasure is
ransacked by two beautiful eyes.
Those eyes came in with you just now.
And the dreams I once held dear,
my usual dreams, have vanished.
Yet I don’t regret the loss.
They are replaced
by a sweet hope.
Now that you know me,
tell me about yourself.
Won’t you tell me
who you are?

*Because participants were not given any restrictions in naming a piece of vocal music that was personally meaningful to them, some artists, like Ms Boucher, chose a selection outside their voice type—Rodolfo is a tenor role.

Translations property of Canadian Opera Company.
 

GREGORY DAHL

baritone

Aria: " Il balen del suo sorriso"

Opera: Il Trovatore | Role: Count di Luna

Guiseppe Verdi

Italian

Il balen del suo sorriso
d'una stella vince il raggio!
Il fulgor del suo bel viso
novo infonde in me coraggio!...
Ah! l'amor, l'amore
ond'ardo le favelli in mio favor!
Sperda il sole d'un suo sguardo
la tempesta del mio cor.

Ah! l'amor, l'amore
ond'ardo le favelli in mio favor!
Sperda il sole d'un suo sguardo
la tempesta del mio cor.

English

The flashing of her smile
shines brighter than a star.
The radiance of her beautiful features
Gives renews my courage.

Ah! Let the love that burns inside me
speak to her in my favour.
Let the sun's glance clear
the tempest raging in my heart.
What noise.
Oh heavens.
 

STEVE HEGEDUS

baritone

Aria: "Se Vuol Ballare"

Opera: La Nozze Di Figaro

Composer: Mozart

Italian

Se vuol ballare, signor contino,
il chitarrino le suonerò, sì,
se vuol venire nella mia scuola,
la capriola le insegnerò, sì.

Saprò, saprò, ma piano,
meglio ogni arcano,
dissimulando scoprir potrò.

L'arte schermendo, l'arte adoprando,
di qua pungendo, di là scherzando,
tutte le macchine rovescerò.

Se vuol ballare, signor contino,
il chitarrino le suonerò.

English

If you would dance, my pretty Count,
I'll play the little guitar for you, yes.
If you will come to my dancing school
I'll teach you the capriole, yes.

I will, I will learn, slowly;
Sooner every dark secret
by dissembling I shall uncover.

Artfully fencing, artfully working,
stinging here, joking there,
all of your schemes I'll turn inside out.

If you would dance, my pretty Count,
I'll play the little guitar for you.
 

ADAM FISHER

tenor

Aria: "Ich bin der Welt Abhanden Gekommen"

Composer: Gustav Mahler

German

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange von mir nichts vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben.

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgewimmel,
Und ruh' in einem stillen Gebiet.
Ich leb' allein in mir und meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied.

English

I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.

I am dead to the world's tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song.
 

KATHERINE GIAQUINTO

soprano

Aria: "Zeffiretti Lusinghieri"

Opera: Idomoneo

Composer: Mozart

Italian

Solitudini amiche, aure amorose,
piante fiorite, e fiori vaghi, udite
d’una infelice amante I lamenti,
che a voi lassa confido.

Quanto il tacer presso al mio vincitore,
quanto il finger ti costa afflitto core!
Zeffiretti lusinghieri,
Deh volate al mio tesoro:
E gli dite, ch'io l'adoro
Che mi serbi il cor fedel.
E voi piante, e fior sinceri
Che ora innaffia il pianto amaro,
Dite a lui, che amor più raro
Mai vedeste sotto al ciel.

English

Solitudes friendly, lovely breezes,
flowering plants, flowers and blossoms, hear
this miserable lover complain,
I trust that in you I can confide.
As long as I continue to omit my love to the man I love,
How it costs my afflicted heart!
Flattering Zephyrs,
Ah fly to my beloved:
And say, I love him
My heart remains faithful to him.
 

DION MAZEROLLE

baritone

Aria : Prologue to I Pagliacci

Opera: I Pagliacci

Composer: Ruggero Leoncavallo

Italian

Si puÚ? Si puÚ?
Signore! Signori!
Scusatemi se da sol mi presento.
Io sono il Prologo.
PoichÈ in scena ancor
le antiche maschere mette l'autore,
in parte ei vuol riprendere
le vecchie usanza,
e a voi di nuovo inviami.
Ma non per dirvi,
come pria: "Le lacrime che noi versiam son false!
Degli spasimi e dei nostri martir
non allarmatevi!"
No, no. L'autore ha cercato invece
pingervi uno squarcio di vita.
Egli ha per massima sol che l'artista
È un uom,
e che per gli uomini
scrivere ei deve.
Ed al vero ispiravasi.
Un nido di memoria
in fondo a l'anima
cantava un giorno,
ed ei con vere lacrime scrisse,
e i singhiozzi il tempo
gli battevano!
Dunque, vedrete amar
si come s'amano
gli esseri umani,
vedrete de l'odio i tristi frutti.
Del dolor gli spasimi,
urli di rabbia, udrete,
e risa ciniche!
E voi, piuttosto che le nostre
povere gabbane d'istrioni,
le nostr'anime considerate,
poichÈ siam uomini di carne e d'ossa,
e che di quest'orfano
mondo al pari di voi spiriamo l'aere!
Il concetto vi dissi,
or ascoltate com'egli È svolto.
(gridando verso la scena)

Andiam, incominciate!

English

Please? Will you allow me?
Ladies! Gentleman! Excuse me
If I appear thus alone. I am the Prologue.
Since our author is reviving on our stage
The masks of ancient comedy,
He wishes to restore for you, in part,
The old stage customs, and once more
He sends me to you.
But not, as in the past, to reassure you,
Saying, "The tears we shed are false,
So do not be alarmed by our agonies
Or violence!" No! No!
Our author has endeavoured, rather
To paint for you a slice of life,
His only maxim being that the artist
Is a man, and he must write
For men. Truth is his inspiration.
Deep-embedded memories stirred one day
Within his heart, and with real tears
He wrote, and marked the time with sighs!

Now then, you will see men love
As in real life they love, and you will see
True hatred and its bitter fruit. And you will hear
Shouts both of rage and grief, and cynical laughter.
Mark well, therefore, our souls,
Rather than the poor players' garb
We wear, for we are men
Of flesh and bone, like you, breathing
The same air of this orphan world.
This, then, is our design. Now give heed
To its unfolding.
(shouting towards the stage)

On with the show! Begin!
 

DARIA SOMERS

soprano

Aria: "È Strano / Ah, Fors'è Lui / Sempre Libera"

Opera: La Traviata | Role: Violetta

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi

Italian

È strano! È strano!
in core scolpiti ho quegli accenti!
Sarìa per me sventura un serio amore?
Che risolvi, o turbata anima mia?
Null'uomo ancora t'accendeva.
Oh, gioia
ch'io non conobbi
esser amata amando!
E sdegnarla poss'io
per l'aride follie dei viver mio?

[Aria:]
Ah, fors'è lui che l'anima
solinga ne' tumulti
godea sovente pingere
de' suoi colori occulti.
Lui, che modesto e vigile
all'egre soglie ascese,
e nuova febbre accese
destandomi all'amor!
A quell'amor ch'è palpito
dell'universo intero
misterioso, altero
croce e delizia al cor.

Follie! Delirio vano è questo!
Povera donna, sola, abbandonata
in questo popoloso deserto
che appellano Parigi
che spero or'più?
Che far degg'io?
Gioire!
Di voluttà ne' vortici perir!
Gioir'!

Sempre libera degg'io
folleggiare di gioia in gioia
vo' che scorra il viver mio
pei sentieri del piacer
nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia
sempre lieta ne' ritrovi
a diletti sempre nuovi
dee volare il mio pensier

Follie! Follie delirio vano e' questo!
Povera donna, sola, abbandonata
in questo popoloso deserto
che appellano Parigi
che spero or' piu'?
che far degg'io!
Gioire!
Di volutta' nei vortici perire.

Sempre libera degg'io
folleggiare di gioia in gioia
vo' che scorra il viver mio
pei sentieri del piacer
nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia
sempre lieta ne' ritrovi
a diletti sempre nuovi
dee volare il mio pensier

English

How strange! How strange!
I have these words engraved in my heart!
Would a serious love be a misfortune for me?
What's your decision, oh troubled soul of mine?
No man has set you on fire before
Oh what joy
I didn't know
being loved, loving!
And could I reject it
out of the barren insanity of my living?

[Aria:]
Ah, maybe he's the one who
often rejoiced painting my soul
alone amid excitements
with his occult colours
How modest and vigilant he
climbed the sad doorsteps
and lit up a new fever
arousing my love!
Such a love that makes
the whole universe palpitate
mysterious and lofty
crucifixion and delight for my heart

Madness! This is a futile delirium!
Poor woman, alone, abandoned
in this crowded desert
that's called Paris
what do I hope for now on?
What must I do?
Have fun!
Perish in the vortices of pleasure!
Have fun!

I must stay always free
cavorting from joy to joy
I want my living to run
trough paths of pleasure
day in and day out
always happy in hangouts
among always new delights
my thoughts should fly

Madness! This is madness, a futile delirium!
Poor woman, alone, abandoned
in this crowded desert
that's called Paris
what do I hope for now on?
What must I do?
Have fun!
Perish in the vortices of pleasure!

I must stay always free
cavorting from joy to joy
I want my living to run
trough paths of pleasure
day in and day out
always happy in hangouts
among always new delights
my thoughts should fly
 

DANIEL CABENA

countertenor

Aria : "I Know a Bank"

Opera: Midsummer's Night Dream Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove: A sweet Athenian lady is in love With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes; But do it when the next thing he espies May be the lady: thou shalt know the man By the Athenian garments he hath on. Effect it with some care, that he may prove More fond on her than she upon her love: And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.

Composer: Benjamin Britten

English

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:;
But do it when the next thing he espies
May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care, that he may prove
More fond on her than she upon her love:
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.