Stuart Hamilton has been one of Canada’s premier vocal coaches for 65 years. He is founder and artistic director emeritus of Opera in Concert and was the first artistic director of the Canadian Opera Company ensemble. Hamilton gives master classes in vocal interpretation across Canada and lectures around North America. He lives in Toronto.
A vocal coach who has been in the vanguard of classical music in Canada for more than six decades.
Stuart Hamilton is a well-known Canadian musician who has been in the forefront of music in Canada for more than 60 years. Here, in this memoir, he recounts his sometimes hectic assault on the Canadian music world. Along the way, Hamilton encountered, as a vocal coach and accompanist, most of the great Canadian singers of the last half of the 20th century, and some international ones as well.
For 27 years Hamilton was an erudite and funny personality on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. He has appeared across Canada with such beloved artists as Lois Marshall, Maureen Forrester, Richard Margison, and Isabel Bayrakdarian. In Opening Windows, Hamilton takes the reader into his confidence on numerous matters that have influenced musical life in Canada for decades.
[Opening Windows], like Hamilton's much-missed weekly visits via the radio, is an entertaining way to spend a few short hours with a doer. There are belly-laugh-meets-terror moments (almost always at Hamilton's expense), such as when he turned pages for Arpad Sandor for an Elisabeth Schwarzkopf recital at Eaton Auditorium and, at one point in the second half, the pages went flying to the stage floor. There are moments that left me stupefied, such as when Hamilton talks himself into conducting a run of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in Buffalo without ever having conducted an orchestra before.
Lotfi Mansouri has been a notable international opera director for decades. In addition to a career in Europe, he has headed up both the Canadian Opera Company and the San Francisco Opera. He was named a Chevalier in the French Legion d'honneur, and in 2009 received the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors award. He died in San Francisco in 2013 at the age of 84.