Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bathroom Divas 2 Episode 2 Recap

This week's episode begins with the six finalists arriving at the house for three weeks of Opera Boot Camp. Tom Diamond and Mary Lou Fallis were on hand for the divas' arrival.

The six are:

  • Phillip Holmes, from Shawville, Quebec
  • Donna Jacobs, from Khanawake
  • Laura Landauer, from Toronto
  • Elaine Hefferton Brown from Calgary, currently getting over a bout of laryngitis
  • Robyn Hefferton Houk, Elaine's daughter
  • Paul Abelha, from Hamilton
As the day of their arrival wore on, we find out that both Laura and Donna have left young daughters to attend boot camp, and that Paul and Phil are beginning to bond as the camp's only male singers.

The next day, the six singers are summoned to a frank talk with the judges about each singer's strengths and weaknesses on the national auditions. From there, the singers begin coaching their arias. Here are the arias each singer is working on this week:

Phil: ''O du mein holder Abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhäuser
Laura: ''Una donna a quindici anni'' from Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte
Elaine: ''Senza mamma'' from Puccini's Suor Angelica
Robyn: ''Depuis le jour'' from Charpentier's Louise
Paul: ''Questa o quella'' from Verdi's Rigoletto
Donna: ''Vissi d'arte'' from Puccini's Tosca

The next day, the singers begin with a somewhat intense cardiovascular workout in the morning with Colin Blayney before the day's coachings.

On the following day, Robyn wakes up sick with the flu and is unable to sing in the day's coachings. Tom Diamond works with the singers in the morning, offering indispensable advice to the singers that acting is "doing something to someone for a reason". Daniel Lichti and Liz Upchurch work with the singers in the evening.

The next day is the first voteoff, held at Bravo!Canada's studios on Queen Street. The guest judges of the week are mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell and Gage Averill, Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Unfortunately, Robyn's flu has worsened and she is unable to sing for the vote-off. The remaining 5 singers then perform their arias and receive feedback from the judges.

The judges inform the five that since Robyn was too sick to perform, she would be granted a reprieve, after which Donna is the first singer voted off.


I was the pianist for all this episode's coachings as well as the vote-off. What struck me about the first few days of boot camp was just how hard Donna Jacobs worked to learn her aria for the performance in only a few days, and just kept on working even when she realized that it might not be at the level that she would want it to be for a performance. I think Donna's dedication and perseverance is an inspiration to all of us and we will definitely be hearing from her in the future.

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