May 2010 Edmonton Festivals Attract Opera Lovers with the Vocal Arts Festival

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Presented by Opera Nuova, the Vocal Arts Festival: A Season of Shakespeare begins in Festival City on May 21, 2010

Kim Mattice Wanat went searching across Canada to find some of the biggest possible players to fill her stage at the 12th annual Vocal Arts Festival, Canada's only summer opera festival and one of the much anticipated 2010 Edmonton festivals.

In November 2009, Mattice Wanat travelled across the country to audition 250 singers. The festival's productions were created based specifically on the talent chosen.

This year's six-week run of the Vocal Arts Festival starts May 21, 2010 in Edmonton with the Best of Broadway Concert and continues with the spectacular inclusion of three operas based on the works of William Shakespeare, including Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Benedict, and of course Falstaff. "The Shakespeare operas," says Mattice Wanat, "are big operas requiring big voices."

One of those "big voices" is Tracy Cantin, who has the plum role of Alice Ford in Guiseppe Verdi's Shakespearean opera Falstaff. When in the middle of May Cantin arrives for the festival, this former University of Alberta student will be making a homecoming of sorts.

When she transferred to the University of Alberta in 2006, Cantin was a little overwhelmed at first. "It was a whole new world for me." What Cantin loved was going to concerts at the Winspear Centre and events staged by cultural Edmonton attractions such as the Edmonton Opera, Alberta Ballet, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Pro Coro Canada.    

Kim Mattice Wanat was deeply impressed with Cantin since the beginning. "The first time Tracy did the Vocal Arts Festival, when she was living in Edmonton, everyone who listened to her said, 'That is an international voice,'" she says. "They agreed it was time for her to step into her greatness."

Watch for Cantin and many other big players Canada-wide to step into their greatness during this year's Vocal Arts Festival in Canada’s Festival City.

The Vocal Arts Festival: A Season of Shakespeare is presented by Opera Nuova and runs from May 21 - June 27, 2010. For more information go to

To learn more about Edmonton festivals, visit

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