Fall Salon

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It is so very rare

to encounter duets or trios in art song, most songs being for solo voice and piano.  Exceptionally, our Ukrainian composers have left us with more than 40.  In duets, together with the piano, there are 3 individual voices; in the trios there are 4.

The compositions do not simply create harmony.  Each musical line has a life of its own, sometimes singing against each other, sometimes together.  Most importanly, each voice and piano line expresses an individual  feeling, sometimes in harmony, but often in conflict.

This evening's salon presents a pot-pourri of ensembles by Mykola Lysenko and Jakiv Stepovyi.  But, we have also a solo, performed by each of our artists.

Andrea Ludwig, Mezzo Soprano, Kateryna Khartova, Soprano, Ariane Meredith, Mezzo Soprano, Olenka Slywynska, Mezzo Soprano, accompanied by Albert Krywolt, Piano.

Artists in Performance: Ukrainian Art Song Summer Institute 2018

Join us, August 19th, 3pm at the Royal Conservatory's Temerty Theatre, for a delightful afternoon of Ukrainian Art Songs featuring North American participants from this year’s Ukrainian Art Song Summer Institute held at the Royal Conservatory of Music. This is a rare opportunity to hear eight extraordinary rising stars as they interpret the works of Ukrainian composers such as Ostap and Nestor Nyzhankivsky, Myroslav Volynsky, and Jaroslav Lopatynsky, accompanied by collaborative pianists Albert Krywolt and Robert Kortgaard. Host and Artistic Director, the internationally renowned bass-baritone, Pavlo Hunka will provide lively and insightful commentary.

The featured artists include Douglas Graham (baritone), Julie Gulenko (soprano), Kateryna Khartova (soprano), Ariane Meredith (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Skitko (tenor), Olenka Slywynska (soprano), Oleksandra Verzole (soprano) and Allison Walmsley (soprano).

At this concert, the UASP will launch the much awaited Galicians II recording of a further 82 Ukrainian art songs. The UASP has now reached yet another milestone; of the 1,000 art songs, a total of 388 have now been recorded and published.

Tickets are available through the RCM box office  

the summer institute

The Ukrainian Art Song Summer Institute  2018 will take place August 13-19 at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. 

This year, artistic director Pavlo Hunka and fellow faculty members Dr. Melanie Turgeon, Dr. Anna Ferenc, and collaborative pianists Albert Krywolt and Robert Kortgaard will once again guide eight talented emerging artists through the unique world of Ukrainian art songs. This week of master classes and intensive coaching will culminate in the final concert, Artists in Performance on Sunday, August 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Royal Conservatory's Temerty Theatre, 273 Bloor Street West.

Free public auditing will be available, giving music lovers the opportunity to watch a master class and experience how a performance is crafted. 

To purchase tickets for the Artists in Performance concert see below

Summer Institute Participants 

past events

Your Spring Opera season starts here

This evening's theme explores the roots of Ukrainian Art song to a Galician exprecience through the works of composers; Mykola Lysenko, Ostap Nyzhankivsky,  Nestor Nyzhankivsky and Stefania Turkewich.

Andrea Ludwig, Mezzo Soprano, Laura McAlpine, Mezzo Soprano, Andrew Skitko, Tenor and accompanied by Robert Kortgaard, Piano


when & where 

Thursday, May 24 - 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Gallery 345

345 Sorauren Ave
toronto, ON

Tickets: $30.00 (includes complimentary glass of wine). $20.00 students tickets at the door, with ID


the performers

Andrea Ludwig, Mezzo Soprano

Andrea Ludwig, Mezzo Soprano

Andrea Ludwig, Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Juno-nominated and Dora award winning mezzo soprano, Andrea Ludwig, is an artist of depth and versatility. Hailed by Robert Harris of the Globe and Mail as a" tremendous tour de force of powerful vocalization" she has performed numerous roles with the Canadian Opera Company, as well as Edmonton Opera, Tapestry Opera, Philadelphia Opera, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Stage, Vancouver Opera and the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Andrea recently finished performing in the wildly successful, The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring, composed by James Rolfe and libretto by Morris Panych.  Concert performances have been with Soundstreams, TSO Chamber Players, Toronto Masque Theatre, Symphony New Brunswick, Symphony Nova Scotia, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Against the Grain Theatre. Recent recordings include Responsio, by Peter Togni, Schubert Orchestrations with Symphony Nova Scotia and the Ukrainian Art Song Project. Upcoming performances will be Little Match Girl Passion with Soundstreams and Handel's Israel in Egypt with the Bach Elgar Choir.  Andrea is pleased to be taking part in this year's Spring Salon!

Laura McAlpine, Mezzo Soprano

Laura McAlpine, Mezzo Soprano

Laura McAlpine, Winnipeg born mezzo soprano, has been acclaimed for her “mellifluous singing and flashes of wit” (Opera Canada), an “impressive voice that jumps off the stage” (Classical96.3 FM), an “expressive voice with fine artistic sensibility” (Whole Note Magazine), and praises like, “the stand out was Laura McAlpine’s Jenny; varying style and technique appropriately.” (Opera Ramblings).

Chamber and concert performances include, North American premiere of Krystof Maratka’s VABENI, at TSO’s New Creations Festival, with conductor Peter Oundjian, and world premiere of Christopher Mayo’s Under Dark Water, at the 21C Music Festival with Esprit Orchestra, and Alex Pauk. Laura sang with Victoria Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Alain Trudel, was the alto soloist in Messiah, with the Elmer Iseler Singers, Amadeus Choir, and Lydia Adams, and most recently the alto soloist for The Cellar Singers concerts of Handel’s Messiah, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with conductor Mitchell Pady.

Chamber works include, Spirit Dreaming (Maurice Ravel’s Chanson madécasses, Peter Sculthorpe’s Island Dreaming , and Tanu by John Beckwith), with Talisker Players, and music of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, in remounts of Laura Jones/Talisker Players shows, Anything Goes and Puttin’ on the Ritz. Laura self-produced A Poet’s Love, a two-act staged recital, and recording of the Dichterliebe song cycles by Robert Schumann, and Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko, with pianist David Eliakis, available on iTunes.

In opera, Laura’s roles include Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutté, Madame Flora in The Medium, Charlotte in Werther, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Siebel in Faust. New opera roles include Sarinder in Factory Theatre’s production of Savitri and Sam, Aunt Luce Gertrude for Opera in Concert’s premiere chamber version of Charles Wilson’s Kamouraska, and created the role of Caterpillar/Butterfly for Opera NUOVA in the premiere performance of Isaiah Bell’s children’s opera, The Lives of Lesser Things.

Laura is also a member of the Elmer Iseler Singers, and the Canadian Opera Company Chorus.

Andrew Skitko, Tenor

Andrew Skitko, Tenor

Andrew Skitko earned his B.M. and his M.M. at Westminster Choir College.  Through Westminster, he performed with the world’s leading orchestras at venues such as Carnegie College and Lincoln Center.  Andrew sings with the Opera Philadelphia Chorus, The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, The Philadelphia Voices and The Same Stream choir.  He participated in The Oxford University Choral Institute with Williamson Voices and sang on Williamson’s Grammy-nominated album Annelies:  The Anne Frank Oratorio.  Andrew has also performed in Les Misérables with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.  He is also an alumni of the inaugural 2017 Ukrainian Art Song Summer Institute held at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Andrew is the artistic director of Theoria Chamber Choir, which performs Slavic choral repertoire.

Robert Kortgaard, Pianist

Robert Kortgaard, Pianist

Robert Kortgaard was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Calgary, Alberta.  He completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City.  As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England.  

He has performed as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China and Japan. Mr. Kortgaard is Artistic Director of the Indian River Festival on Prince Edward Island and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario.  He was musician-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick from l993-l998, and has given piano masterclasses at Universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia and China and served as an adjudicator at many national music competitions.   He is also a faculty member for the Ukrainian Art Song Summer Institute (2017 & 2018) held at the Royal Conservatory of Music.Mr. Kortgaard has performed with sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald, Adrianne Pieczonka and Erin Wall, mezzo soprano Susan Platts, violinist Joshua Bell, and with prima ballerina Veronica Tennant on a production entitled “Invitation to the Dance”. He has recorded French and German Cabaret programmes with mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell for CBC Records.  His CD with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both Juno and East Coast Music Awards. Mr. Kortgaard tours with flutist Susan Hoeppner, cabaret artist Patricia O’Callaghan. baritone Brett Polegato, mezzo soprano Julie Nesrallah, renowned music theatre actress/singer Rebecca Caine and with piano duo partner Peter Tiefenbach.  A CD of the music of Olivier Messiaen, recorded with soprano Suzie LeBlanc, was released on the ATMA Classiques label and has received an Opus Award for best recording of 20th century music.