Italian-Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata makes her Pacific Opera Victoria debut and her role debut as Leonore in Beethoven's opera Fidelio. During her 2018/19 season she will also perform excerpts from Wagner's Lohengrin with the Victoria Symphony, as well as an Italian opera concert for Chorus Niagara.
Attendees at the 2017 Opera America Conference applauded the young soprano’s star-making turn as Norma when she stepped in for a colleague in Dallas Opera’s production of Bellini’s masterpiece. She also made her role debut as Tosca for Opera on the Avalon in spring 2018.
Further credits include Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte for the Canadian Opera Company and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Saskatoon Opera. As designated cover for Gutrune and Dritte Norn in Götterdämmerung, she was again called upon to fill in for a colleague and was praised in Opera News as a fine Gutrune, commanding the stage in the scene in which Gutrune anxiously awaits Siegfried’s return.
A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Ms. Fortunata’s main stage roles include Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Helmwige in Die Walküre, Berta in The Barber of Seville, Annina in La traviata, and Clotilde in Norma. Her cover assignments for the COC have included Norma, Anna in Maometto II, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes. Other notable credits include Desdemona in Otello and the Lady with a Cake Box in Postcard from Morocco with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Concert Opera Group, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy and the University of Toronto; and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre – Four Seasons Centre – Ms. Fortunata performed the Canadian première of John Greer’s piano quintet arrangement of Richard Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder; other performances for this popular lunchtime series include Olivier Messaien’s Poèmes pour Mi and Benjamin Britten’s Ekho poeta.
Chosen as a finalist in the 2016 Operalia Competition in Guadalajara, Mexico, Aviva performed under the baton of Maestro Plácido Domingo in the historic Teatro Degollado. Representing Canada in the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, she was a finalist for the Song Prize.
Ms. Fortunata received Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Toronto, where she won the Jim and Charlotte Norcop Prize in Song, as well as the Peter and Helen Hunt Graduation Award in Opera. She has also received grants from the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Soprano Aviva Fortunata has a powerful and gorgeous lirico-spinto that’s destined to go places. Her “Porgi amor” showed off her excellent sense of pitch, lovely legato and gleaming tone, with a nice dolcissimo high A-flat ending. Her “Dove sono” deservedly received huge applause from the audience.
Joseph So, Musical Toronto